Nebraska Dry Bean Variety Test Results Released - UNL CropWatch, Jan. 13, 2012

Nebraska Dry Bean Variety Test Results Released - UNL CropWatch, Jan. 13, 2012

Jan. 13, 2011

Results of the 2011 Dry Bean Variety Tests are now available on CropWatch in the Variety Testing dry bean section.

Harvest of dry bean variety trials in western Nebraska, 2011.

Figure 1. Harvest of dry bean variety trials in western Nebraska, 2011. See results of these trials at CropWatch: Variety Testing of Dry Beans

Extension Educator Jim Schild of Scottsbluff said the 2011 variety tests included 103 entries representing eight market classes of dry edible beans: great northern, pinto, light red kidney, navy, small red, black, cranberry and pink beans.

The trial results come from plots at the Mitchell and Scottsbluff UNL agricultural labs. Schild said stand establishment at the plots was tricky in 2011 because of several heavy rain and hail events in June that decreased plant population per acre. But, he noted,dry bean, with its viney growth habit, has the ability to overcome low plant populations and the yields were near average.

Nebraska is a national leader in the production of dry edible beans, ranking 1st in great northern bean production, 2nd in pinto production, and 4th in production of all dry edible beans. The majority of dry beans are grown in western Nebraska. The arid conditions of western Nebraska produce bright, shiny seed coats.

Other major production areas in the United States include Colorado, Michigan, North Dakota, and Idaho. Schild noted that the quality of dry beans produced in western Nebraska is premium compared to other regions, due to the dry conditions common at harvest season (usually around September). Western Nebraska receives less rainfall than the other areas at that time of year.

The bulk of dry beans planted in western Nebraska are great northerns and pintos; however, Schild noted that the variety trials provide important information for growers who are considering any of the six other market classes compared.

“We can grow different market classes of dry beans in this area and get acceptable yields, and if growers have traditionally grown pintos and great northerns and are interested in small red beans, it gives them an idea of the varieties to plant,” he said.

Also included in the data is each variety’s growth habit. Type II plants are upright and are being developed for a direct harvest system, while the traditional Type III are viney and have better adaptation to wider rows and hillsides. Growth is further defined by the letters "a" and "b", with "b" indicating a more vigorous growth than "a".

For more information on production and pest management of edible dry beans see CropWatch:   Dry Beans.  For information specific to other crops and systems, use the left navigation bar in CropWatch. 

David Ostdiek
Communications Specialist, Panhandle REC, Scottsbluff