UNL dry bean breeding program at Scottsbluff

Dry Bean Market Classes and Varieties

The primary market classes produced in Nebraska include pinto, great northern, and light red kidney beans. According to the Nebraska Dry Bean Commission, pintos made up 47 percent of the state's dry bean production in 2007, with 1.132 million hundredweight. Great northerns were close behind at 991,000 cwt, or 42 percent of the total. Light red kidneys made up 10 percent of production, or 52,000 cwt.

The remaining 2 percent of the state's production consisted of a number of other market classes, including navy, small red, black, pinto and garbanzo.

For each of these market classes, growers can choose a number of varieties, based on the characteristics they desire for their location and conditions.

Want to find out how established varieties are performing?

Dry Edible Bean Variety Test Results from UNL



UNL dry bean breeding

To maintain the competitiveness of Nebraska's dry bean industry, the UNL dry bean breeding program is committed to developing improved varieties and germplasm with high yield potential, disease resistance, and good seed quality. UNL has bolstered its dry edible bean breeding program in recent years with the hiring of a dry edible bean breeder based in western Nebraska and the construction of a molecular laboratory and greenhouses to further enhance our ability to conduct research. Several great northern and pinto bean lines identified through these efforts are being incorporated into our elite Nebraska germplasm. Accomplishments for 2008 and our plans for 2009. (PDF document, 16KB)

Progress reports on UNL dry bean breeding:

Results of 2009 mother and baby trial results in cooperators' fields (PDF document, 26 KB). Mother and baby trials are one phase of the breeding effort is mother and baby trials, a participatory variety selection process involving trial plots both at the Panhandle Research and Extension Center and on participants' farms. Advanced experimental lines are grown side-by-side with established reference lines, to test their performance in several key traits. 

Bean collection from around the world aids UNL dry bean breeding efforts: 2009 news article

"Identification of Sources of Bacterial Wilt Resistance in Common Beans:" Progress Report to the Nebraska Dry Bean Commission, April 23, 2009

"Selecting for and Improving Chickpea Adaptation to Western Nebraska:" Progress report to the Nebraska Dry Bean Commission, April 22, 2009

Dry bean improvement organizations

 The Bean Improvement Cooperative - BIC is a voluntary and informal organization to effect the exchange of information and materials for the improvement of bean production worldwide. Members include scientists, students, private organizations and lay-people interested in our mission.