Report for FS04-184
Edamame, green soybeans that are eaten as a vegetable, are eaten in my rural community in early August of each year. Consumed mainly as a snack, edamame is an excellent source of protein. It is also gaining popularity as an alternative to traditional sources of protein. For local consumption and sale at the farmers market, growers typically harvest the immature beans from fields planted for agronomic production. The growers are not familiar with varieties that are better suited for consumption as a green vegetable. Although edamame are produced the same way as regular soybeans, there is no information available on which varieties grow best in this area. The objective of this producer proposal is to conduct an edamame variety trial using ten (10) varieties to determine: 1) marketable yield for each variety and 2) the number of days after planting to reach maturity (green stage). The results from this on-farm test will help growers decide which varieties of edamame are more appropriate for production and the marketable yield for each. Each edamame variety will be grown on well drained soil, under irrigation, and follow the standard production practices for agronomic soybeans as prescribed by the Clemson Extension Service guidelines to ensure a good plant stand. Seeds will be inoculated with the Bradyrhizobium japonicum strain. Weeds will be controlled with a pre-emergence herbicide. The plots will be monitored for early detection of diseases and/or insects. If necessary, appropriate measures will be taken to prevent crop losses. Harvesting will begin when the soybean pods have reached the mature green stage and when the pods are 90 percent filled. The edamame will be hand harvested and hand graded. Grading criteria will include pod color, number of seeds per pod, and pod quality (blemishes). Data collection will include 1) the number of days required for each variety to reach the mature green stage; 2) total yield; 3) marketable yield; and 4) weekly photographs of the variety trial.