Final report for ONE16-258

Increasing the viability of heirloom dry bean production in the Northeast: Part II

Project Type: Partnership
Funds awarded in 2016: $14,925.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2017
Region: Northeast
State: Vermont
Project Leader:
Dr. Heather Darby
University of Vermont Extension
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Project Information

Summary:

Dry beans (Phaseolus vulgaris), a high-protein pulse crop, have been grown in the Northeast since the 1800’s. Currently the demand for heirloom dry beans has exceeded the supply. Although white cooking beans have been successfully grown in the Northeast for generations, heirloom dry beans including, are more challenging to grow locally. Local farmers have struggled to obtain consistent high yields and quality. Their primary issues include acquisition of high quality seed, adequate stand establishment, disease management, and reaching proper maturity at harvest.

Development of regionally adapted production practices will assist farmers with producing the higher value heirloom dry beans. In 2015, our team was awarded a Partnership grant titled “Increasing the Viability of Heirloom Dry Bean Production in the Northeast” (ONE15-234), which we resubmitted to collect a second year of data. Our project is focused on key agronomics that can quickly help farmers improve the yields and quality of heirloom dry beans. The objectives are to: 1. Screen heirloom varietals and develop a list of top performing lines for the region; 2. Develop optimum planting dates and seeding strategies to obtain adequate plant populations; 3. Determine primary pest issues and identify control options, and 4. Evaluate biological seed treatments for control of early season diseases.

In 2016 heirloom dry bean research trials were established at Borderview Farm, Alburgh, VT and Morningstar Farms, Glover, VT. These trials included evaluation of heirloom varieties, planting dates, seeding rates, seed treatments, and planter types. In addition, six Vermont bean producer’s fields were scouted several times during the growing to identify disease and insect pests in this crop.High yielding heirloom dry beans were identified and included Peregion and Lina Sisco. These varieties were high yielding and also more tolerant to potato leafhopper pressure. Ideal planting dates varied by location and were most influenced by soil temperature at the time of planting. Indicating that farmers should couple soil temperature and date before making decisions on whether or not to start planting dry beans. Biological seed treatment appeared to improve plant stands but did not impact yields. Further research needs to be conducted across more years to better understand their potential benefits.  Pest pressure was moderate due to the dry and warm weather during the 2016 growing season. However several growers had yields nearly eliminated by diseases that originated in their purchased seed. This further indicates that farmers need to purchase certified seed if possible or have seed sources testing for seedborne disease. Research reports, videos, and a production guide were produced and distributed to farmers at field days. Three field days hosted by collaborating farms shared dry bean production information with approximately 300 stakeholders.

Introduction:

Surprisingly there is very little research available on best agronomic practices for dry bean production available in the Northeast. Most recent research on heirloom dry beans has been conducted in Washington and Minnesota. Both of these projects are heavily focused on variety evaluation in comparison with modern day cultivars. Neither have evaluated planting dates, seeding rates, or disease issues. Based on our SARE database search we found few listings that were related to our proposed project topic. There was nothing found specifically on organic heirloom dry bean production in the northeast. We did find a project (ONE08-086), which looked at using organic desiccants to increase bean yields and quality. Another (LNC11-336) focused on dry beans variety trials, dry beans in crop rotations and the impact of cover crops for weed suppression in the north central region.

Currently, Vermont producers typically grow a few varieties, but there are dozens of available heirloom dry bean varieties. Seed yields differ significantly by variety as well. Because all of the beans on a vine-type plant, being indeterminate, do not reach physiological maturity at the same time, harvest readiness can be difficult to assess and determine. In addition, organic production does not allow for chemical desiccants, so growers need to choose varieties that will mature as evenly as possible. Properly-timed harvest is essential in reducing the percentage of “splits” or unmarketable beans in the final harvest. Identifying varieties that perform well in this region and offer good disease resistance and yield will be essential to success.

Seeding rates and planting dates vary based on type and cultivar of dry bean, and depend on climate and cultural practices. For this reason, exact seeding rates for dry beans in the Northeast have yet to be determined. Regional growers recommend lower seeding rates than the more common soybeans (typically seeded at 150,000-200,000 seeds per acre, or about 10 seeds per foot), and lodging can be an issue if planted in stands that are too thick. Based on a document published by Cornell in 1963 farmers were planting between 4 and 8 seeds per foot and planted between June 1 and June 15th.  This document will establish a reference point for our research.

 

Pest issues have been widely reported by dry bean producers in the region but little information exists on what specific disease and arthropod pests are plaguing heirloom bean varieties. This project will provide critical pest identification information to growers and connect them with potential control options. 

Project Objectives:

Our project is focused on key agronomics that can quickly help farmers improve the yields and quality of heirloom dry beans. The objectives are to:

1.Screen heirloom varietals and develop a list of top performing lines for the region;

2.Develop optimum planting dates and seeding strategies to obtain adequate plant populations;

3.Determine primary pest issues and identify control options;

4.Evaluate biological seed treatments for control of early season diseases.

 

Cooperators

Click linked name(s) to expand
  • Seth Johnson
  • Roger Rainville

Research

Materials and methods:

Heirloom Dry Bean Variety Trial

The trials were established at Borderview Research Farm in Alburgh, VT and at our partner farm, Morningstar Farms in Glover, VT. Morningstar Farms is certified organic through Vermont Organic Farms, LLC (Richmond, VT). The experimental design at both locations was a randomized complete block with four replications. The treatments were heirloom dry bean varieties. The heirloom dry bean varieties, seed sources, relative maturity, and vining tendencies for both sites are listed in Table 1.  The varieties with an asterisk (*) were trialed in Glover.

The seedbeds at both the Alburgh and Glover locations were prepared by conventional tillage methods. All plots were managed with practices similar to those used by producers in the surrounding areas (Table 2). The previous crop planted at the Alburgh site was sod and in Glover, it was a mixture of vegetables and sod. The field in Alburgh was spring plowed, disked and spike tooth harrowed to prepare for planting. At the Glover site, the seedbed was prepared by spring moldboard plowed and followed by disk harrow.  In Alburgh, the plots were planted on 1-Jun with a Monosem 2-row planter, at a rate of 7 seeds per foot. In Glover, the trial was seeded on 8-Jun with a White 140 plate planter calibrated for 7 seeds per foot. Prior to planting, bean seed at both trial locations were treated with dry bean inoculant (Rhizobium leguminosarum biovar phaseoli). Additionally, starter fertilizer was applied in Alburgh at 150 lbs ac-1 to the acre of 10-20-20 and in Glover, an organic approved fertilizer called MicroSTART 60 (3-2-3) was applied at 350 lbs ac-1. Plot size in Alburgh was 5’ x 20’ and 5’ x 12’ in Glover, with 30-inch row spacing at both locations.

Plant populations were taken at Morningstar Farms on 30-Jun by counting the number of plants in each plot.

In Alburgh, the plots were mechanically cultivated with a 4-row Brillion cultivator on 6-Ju1 and 11-Jul. At the Glover location, plots were tine weeded prior to bean emergence and a John Deere 4-row C-shank with crop shields was used to cultivate weekly for four weeks starting 28-Jun.

On 8-Jul and 8-Aug, plots were scouted at the Alburgh site and on 19-Jul in Glover. Trials were scouted by using two, 0.5 meter quadrats for disease symptoms and insect damage in each plot. Quadrats were placed randomly within bean rows. In each quadrat, the number of plants was recorded. The number of plants with disease symptoms and insect damage were recorded.  In addition, one plant per quadrat was pulled to examine roots for pest damage.  Plants with unknown discoloration or damage were pulled, placed in a labeled plastic bag, refrigerated, and identified at the UVM Plant Diagnostic Laboratory.

At the time of harvest, at both trial locations, plant height, relative maturity, plant vining, lodging, pod distance to ground were determined and 10 pods from each plot were examined for the presence of disease. At both locations, plots were hand harvested and then threshed with a portable thresher with a rasp bar rotor. Beans were then weighed to calculate yields and a DICKEY-John MINI GAC Plus meter was used to determine bean moisture content and test weight. Harvest occurred on 20-Sep and 21-Sep in Alburgh and 6-Oct in Glover.

Data was analyzed using mixed model analysis using the mixed procedure of SAS (SAS Institute, 1999).  Replications were treated as random effects and treatments were treated as fixed. Mean comparisons were made using the Least Significant Difference (LSD) procedure when the F-test was considered significant (p<0.10). In Alburgh, diseased pods, moisture, and test weight were analyzed using the PROC MIXED procedure in SAS using the Tukey-Kramer adjustment, which means that each variety was analyzed with a pairwise comparison. There were significant differences among the two locations for most parameters, and therefore, data from each location is reported independently.

 

Dry Bean Planting Date Trial

The impact of planting date and seed treatment was evaluated for three dry bean types. The three dry bean types (King of the Early, Yellow Eye, and Black Turtle beans) were selected to represent types commonly grown in the northeast.  In 2016, the trials were conducted at Borderview Research Farm in Alburgh, VT and at Morningstar Farm, Glover, VT.

Borderview Research Farm, Alburgh, VT

The experimental design was a randomized complete block split design with four replications.  For each bean variety (Black Bean, King of Early, and Yellow Eye), the main plots were planting date and subplots were seed treatment . Planting dates were initiated on 20-May and continued approximately every week for 3 weeks. Split plots were treated with the biofungicide MYCOSTOP® developed by Verdera Oy.

MYCOSTOP® (EPA# 64137-5) is a biofungicide )30% dried spores and mycelium of ray fungus

Streptomyces griseoviridis Strain K61) used for the control of seed rot, root and stem rot and wilt caused by Fusarium, Alternaria and Phomopsis of container grown ornamentals, vegetables and tree and forest seedlings. Mycostop has also shown suppression of Botrytis Gray Mold and root rots of Pythium, Phytophthora and Rhizoctonia in the greenhouse.

The soil type at the project site was a Benson rocky silt loam. The seedbed was prepared by spring plow, followed by disk and spike tooth harrow.  Before planting subsequent planting dates, the area to be planted was spike tooth harrowed. All plots were managed with practices similar to those used by producers in the surrounding areas (Table 8). Seed germination tests were done on dry bean varieties before planting by wrapping 25 seeds in 2 absorbent paper towels like a burrito, sufficiently wetting the wrap, placing it in a plastic bag, and storing it in the dark at room temperature for 5 days. Each variety was duplicated. The samples were checked daily, germinated seed was removed and additional water added as needed. On the fifth day, the number of seeds not germinated was counted and percent germination calculated. Plots were planted with a Monosem 2-row planter. Seeding rates were determined by calculating the desired target seeding rate and adjusting for percent germination. Prior to planting bean seed was treated with dry bean inoculant (Rhizobium leguminosarum biovar phaseoli).

The plots were 5’x 20’, with 30-inch row spacing. At planting, a starter fertilizer was applied at 150 pounds to the acre of 10-20-20. Plots were mechanical cultivated with a four-row Brillion cultivator on 6-Jul and 11-Jul. Plant populations were taken on 23-Jun by counting the number of plants in a 17.5-foot section per plot.

Morningstar Farm, Glover, VT

For each bean type the experimental design was a randomized complete block design with three replications. The treatments were planting date. Planting dates were initiated on 20-May and continued approximately every week for 3 weeks with a White 140 planter using the red seeding plates.  The bean varieties King of the Early and Yellow Eye were selected based upon varieties commonly grown on Morningstar Farm and relative maturity. Prior to planting, bean seed were treated with dry bean inoculant (Rhizobium leguminosarum biovar phaseoli). An organic approved fertilizer called MicroSTART 60 (3-2-3) was applied as a starter fertilizer at 400 lbs ac-1. Morningstar Farm is certified organic through Vermont Organic Farmers, LLC.

The soil texture at the project site was a sandy loam.  The seedbed was prepared by spring moldboard plowed followed by disk harrow.  Before planting subsequent planting dates, the area to be planted was disk harrowed. All plots were managed with practices similar to those used by producers in the surrounding areas (Table 9). The plots were 5’x 12’, with 30-inch row spacing. At the Glover location, plots were tine weeded prior to bean emergence and a John Deere 4-row C-shank with crop shields was used to cultivate weekly for four weeks starting 28-Jun. The plots were also hand weeded in mid-July.

At the time of harvest, plant height and 10 pods from each plot were examined for the presence of disease. Plots were hand harvested and then threshed with a portable thresher with a rasp bar rotor. Beans were then weighed to calculate yields and a DICKEY-John MINI GAC Plus meter was used to determine bean moisture content and test weight. Harvest occurred on 6-Oct in Glover, VT.

Data were analyzed using mixed model analysis using the mixed procedure of SAS (SAS Institute, 1999).  Replications were treated as random effects and treatments were treated as fixed. Mean comparisons were made using the Least Significant Difference (LSD) procedure when the F-test was considered significant (p<0.10).

Seeding Rate Trial

The trial was conducted in 2016 at Borderview Research Farm in Alburgh, VT. The experimental design was a randomized complete block split design with four replications.  Main plots were seeding rate and subplots were 3 types of dry beans (Table 18).

The soil type at the project site was a Benson rocky silt loam.  The seedbed was prepared by spring plow, followed by disk and spike tooth harrow.  All plots were managed with practices similar to those used by producers in the surrounding areas (Table 19). The field was spring plowed, disked and spike tooth harrowed to prepare for planting. Seed germination tests were done on dry bean varieties before planting by wrapping 25 seeds in 2 absorbent paper towels like a burrito, sufficiently wetting the wrap, placing it in a plastic bag, and storing it in the dark at room temperature for 5 days. Each sample was done in duplicate. The samples were checked daily, germinated seed was removed and additional water added as needed. On the fifth day, the number of seed not germinated was counted and percent germination was calculated. Plots were planted on 1-Jun with a Monosem 2-row planter. Seeding rates were determined by calculating the desired target seeding rate and adjusting for percent germination. Prior to planting, bean seed was treated with dry bean inoculant (Rhizobium leguminosarum biovar phaseoli). Additionally, a starter fertilizer was applied at 150 lbs ac-1 to the acre of 10-20-20 at the time of planting. The plots were 5’x 20’, with 30-inch row spacing. Plant populations were taken on 23-Jun by counting the number of plants in 17.5 feet of both rows of each plot. Plots were mechanical cultivated with a four-row Brillion cultivator on 6-Jul and 11-Jul. At the time of harvest, plant populations were counted in one square meter per plot, plant height, and 10 pods from each plot were examined for the presence of disease. Plots were hand harvested in Alburgh on 26-Sep and were then threshed with a portable thresher with a rasp bar rotor. Beans were then weighed to calculate yields and a DICKEY-John MINI GAC Plus meter was used to determine bean moisture content and test weight.

Data was analyzed using mixed model analysis using the mixed procedure of SAS (SAS Institute, 1999).  Replications were treated as random effects and treatments were treated as fixed. Mean comparisons were made using the Least Significant Difference (LSD) procedure when the F-test was considered significant (p<0.10).

Impact of Planter Type on Heirloom Dry Bean Production

The trial was conducted in 2016 at Borderview Research Farm in Alburgh, VT. The experimental design was a randomized complete block design with six replications.  Main plots were seeder type.The soil type at the project site was a Benson rocky silt loam.  The seedbed was prepared by spring plow, followed by disk and spike tooth harrow. 

The trial was conducted in 2016 at Borderview Research Farm in Alburgh, VT. The experimental design was a randomized complete block design with six replications.  Main plots were seeder type. The soil type at the project site was a Benson rocky silt loam.  The seedbed was prepared by spring plow, followed by disk and spike tooth harrow.  The variety used for this trial was Yellow Eye. Prior to planting, a seed germination test was done by wrapping 25 seeds in 2 absorbent paper towels like a burrito, sufficiently wetting the wrap, placing it in a plastic bag, and storing it in the dark at room temperature for 5 days. The samples were done in duplicate, checked daily, germinated seed was removed, and additional water added as needed. On the fifth day, the number of seed not germinated were counted and percent germination calculated. Plots were planted on 17-Jun with a Monosem 2-row planter at a rate of seven seeds per foot (121,968 seeds per acre), or a John Deere 1750 with soybean cups (16-Driver/24-Driven) at a rate of 77,000 seeds per acre. Prior to planting, bean seed was treated with dry bean inoculant (Rhizobium leguminosarum biovar phaseoli). Additionally, a starter fertilizer was applied at 150 lbs ac-1 of 10-20-20 at the time of planting. The plots were 10’x 20’, with 30-inch row spacing. Plots were mechanical cultivated with a four-row Brillion cultivator on 6-Jul and 11-Jul. At the time of harvest, plant height, and 10 pods from each plot were examined for the presence of disease. Plots were hand harvested in Alburgh on 26-Sep and were then threshed with a portable thresher with a rasp bar rotor. Beans were then weighed to calculate yields and a DICKEY-John MINI GAC Plus meter was used to determine bean moisture content and test weight.

Data was analyzed using mixed model analysis using the mixed procedure of SAS (SAS Institute, 1999).  Replications were treated as random effects and treatments were treated as fixed. Mean comparisons were made using the Least Significant Difference (LSD) procedure when the F-test was considered significant (p<0.10)

Heirloom Dry Bean Pest Survey

A survey of dry bean pests was conducted on farms throughout Vermont during the 2016 season. Plant diseases and insect pests were scouted on five Vermont farm locations in the towns of Alburgh, Cambridge, Danby, Glover, and North Ferrisburg. Unknown disease and insect samples were taken and identified with assistance from the UVM Plant Diagnostic Laboratory (PDC).

Research results and discussion:

Heirloom Dry Bean Variety Trial

Pest Scouting

Several plant pests were identified through scouting the trials this season. Root rots, primarily, Fusarium, Rhizoctonia, and Pythium root rot, were present at both trial locations. In Alburgh, ‘Kenearly Yellow Eye’ had the lowest root rot severity (0.50 %) and ‘King of the Early’ had the highest severity at 41.3 %.  At the Glover trial location, ‘Hutterite Soup’ had the lowest root rot infection severity (0.00 %) and ‘Raquel’ had the highest with 56.3 % severity. Alternaria leaf spot (Alternaria Aaternata) was confirmed at both trial locations, however the severity was minimal. A bean mosaic virus was observed at the Alburgh trial site however, the exact virus was not determined. Anthracnose (Glomerella lindemuthiana) infection was seen on five dry bean varieties: Spanish Tolasna, Vermont Cranberry, Jacob’s Cattle, Tiger’s Eye, and Tongues of Fire. Common bacterial blight (Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. phaseoli) was identified in all of the varieties, in varying degrees, at both trial locations.  ‘Light Red Kidney’ had the lowest severity at the Alburgh trial site (5.00%) and in Glover, Raquel and ‘Spanish Tolasna’ had the lowest severity (0.50%). Interestingly, Light Red Kidney also had the lowest Potato leafhopper severity. In contrast, Hutterite Soup had the highest amount of common bacterial blight (77.5%) and one of the highest severities for potato leafhopper (100%) (Table 3).

Injury of certain heirloom dry bean varieties from potato leafhopper feeding was observed at both trial locations, and the most severe injury was recorded in Alburgh (Table 3). Potato leafhoppers feed with piercing-sucking mouthparts on host plant vascular tissue (Image 1). This restricts phloem and eventual xylem flow to the rest of the leaf resulting in leaf edge yellowing and curling. At high infestation levels, stunted internodes can be observed. Visual damage caused by potato leafhopper is called “hopperburn” (Image 2). Hopperburn is not present until 5-7 days after leafhopper feeding has occurred. The first sign is yellowing of the leaf at the tip followed by necrosis and leaf curling. These symptoms are the result of the plant shutting down photosynthesis in the leaf in response to leafhopper feeding. As this pest weakens a plant, it becomes more vulnerable to disease. In Alburgh, ‘Lowe’s Champion’ and ‘Peregion’ had low potato leafhopper damage; all the other varieties had severities above 40% (Table 3).  At the Glover location, the potato leafhopper was not nearly as severe, 3.0% – 15.0%.

Heirloom Dry Bean Harvest – Alburgh, VT   

In Alburgh, there were significant differences in plant height (Table 4). The tallest variety was Light Red Kidney at 38.3 cm. Other tall varieties included: ‘Lowe’s Champion,’ Kenearly Yellow Eyes, ‘Orca,’ Peregion, Spanish Tolasna, ‘Vermont Appaloosa,’ ‘Jacob’s Cattle Gold,’ ‘Jacob’s Cattle,’ and ‘Marifax.’ The shortest variety was ‘Tongues of Fire’ at 25 cm. There was no significant difference in lodged plants. Only two varieties, Hutterite Soup and Peregion lodged minimally (7.50%). Although not significant, the variety with greatest pod distance to ground was Kenearly Yellow Eye (2.33 cm) (Table 4). Several varieties had pods touching or nearly touching the ground. This can promote the spread of disease and can lead to pre-mature sprouting of the beans in the pods. The primary pod diseases observed were Aschochyta and Anthracnose. The variety with the lowest pod disease severity was Peregion (7.50%) while ‘Black Calypso’ had the highest at 52.5%. The severity of diseased pods was not found to be significant (Table 4).

In Alburgh, there were significant differences in the yield, harvest moisture, and test weight (Table 5). The highest yielding variety was Peregion (2264 lbs ac-1) and the lowest yielding was Tongues of Fire with 242 lbs ac-1. The variety with the lowest harvest moisture was King of the Early (19.0%) and the highest moisture at harvest was Tongues of Fire (36.0%). All of the harvest moistures were above the recommend level for proper storage and therefore, all varieties had to be dried down to below 14% moisture. The variety with the highest test weight was Hutterite Soup (60.9 lbs bu-1). Other varieties with high test weights include: Kenearly Yellow Eye (60.8 lbs bu-1), Peregion (60.4 lbs bu-1), Lowe’s Champion (60.0 lbs bu-1), Black Calypso (59.1 lbs bu-1), ‘Vermont Cranberry’ (59.0 lbs bu-1), Spanish Tolasna (58.3 lbs bu-1), King of the Early (58.2 lbs bu-1), and Marifax (58.0 lbs bu-1). However, only four varieties (Hutterite Soup, Kenearly Yellow Eye, Peregion, and Lowes Champion) had test weights that met or exceeded industry standards of 60 lbs bu-1.

Heirloom Dry Bean Harvest – Glover, VT

Plant population, plant height, pod distance to ground, and pod disease severity were all significantly different at the Glover trial location (Table 6). ‘Red Calypso’ had the highest plant population (65,703 plants ac-1) and the lowest plant population was Lowe’s Champion (4175 plants ac-1).  The tallest plant variety at this location was Jacob’s Cattle Gold (46.8 cm). Other tall varieties were Raquel (44.0 cm) and Spanish Tolasna (42.5 cm). The greatest pod distance to ground was Jacob’s Cattle Gold (10.3 cm) and this variety had one of the lowest pod disease severity (15.0%) as well. Several varieties that had higher pod distance from the ground and also lower pod disease severity included Marifax, Kenearly Yellow Eye, and Raquel. Peregion was the exception with a pod distance to ground of 0.58 cm and pod disease severity of 15%.

In Glover, harvest yield, moisture, and test weight differed significantly by variety (Table 7). The highest yielding variety was Peregion (2016 lbs ac-1). The lowest yielding harvested variety was Lowe’s Champion (355 lbs ac-1). The varieties with the lowest moisture at harvest were Black Calypso, Marifax, and ‘Tiger’s Eye’ at 22.8%. All varieties were above the recommended storage moisture of 14% and therefore had to be dried down. Peregion had the highest test weight of 58.9 lbs bu-1. Other varieties with high test weights include: Hutterite Soup (58.8 lbs bu-1), Vermont Appaloosa (58.3 lbs bu-1), Marifax (58.3 lbs bu-1), and Kenearly Yellow Eye (58.1 lbs bu-1). However, all varieties were below industry standards of 60 lbs bu-1.

Heirloom Dry Bean Planting Date Trial

Borderview Research Farm, Alburgh, VT

 Interactions of Black Turtle Beans x Seed Treatment (MYCOSTOP)

 There were significant interactions between Black Turtle beans treated and not treated with MYCOSTOP for plant height, percent diseased pods, and test weight. These interactions indicate that seed treatment had different results across the planting dates.  The black bean plant heights were consistent between the first and second planting dates regardless of seed treatment. On the 3rd planting date, seed that was treated resulted in plants with greater height (Figure 1).  The seed treatment may have given the black bean plants an emergence and subsequent height advantage in the 3rd planting date. This makes sense due to the fact that one heavy rainstorm after planting on 9-Jun led to soil saturation and ponding in some areas of the black bean field. The seed treatment may have helped overcome disease issues in the saturated soil. Further research is needed.

The amount of pod disease was zero across planting dates that had black bean seed treated with MYCOSTOP. However the non-treated black beans had higher levels of pod diseases on the 20-May and 9-Jun planting dates (Figure 2). This is likely the case considering cooler soil temperatures in May and saturated soil in the last planting date. Seed treatment again may have helped overcome adverse soil conditions in the black beans.

The test weight of the black beans was higher in treated seed than the non-treated seed during the first two planting dates. This difference was most notable in the 20-May planting date which makes sense due to far cooler soils at this planting date (Figure 3).

 Impact of Planting Date on Black Turtle Beans

 Planting date had a significant impact on black bean plant height, diseased pods, dry matter yield, harvest moisture, and test weight (Table 10). The third planting date (9-Jun)  had the tallest plant height (49.7 cm), the highest yields (2568 lbs ac-1), lowest harvest moisture (21.6%) and the highest test weight (61.4 lbs bu-1). All of the harvest moisture were above 14%, the recommended moisture for long-term storage, and therefore all planting dates had to be dried down. All except the first planting date (20-May) had test weights that met or exceeded industry standards for test weight of 60 lbs bu-1.

 Impact of Seed Treatment (MYCOSTOP) on Black Turtle Beans

There were significant differences in the percent of diseased pods and harvest moistures between the MYCOSTOP treated and non-treated Black Turtle beans (Table 11). The MYCOSTOP treated black beans had the highest plant populations (152,419 plants ac-1), the tallest plant heights (47.3 cm), the lowest percent diseased pods (0.00%) and harvest moisture (21.7%).  Seed treatment did not impact black bean yields.

Interaction of King of the Early Beans x Seed Treatment (MYCOSTOP)

There were no significant interactions between treated and non-treated King of the Early dry beans across planting dates. This indicates that the King of the Early beans responded similarly across planting dates regardless of if they were treated or not.

 Impact of Planting Date on King of the Early Beans

 Planting date did not significantly impact plant populations, plant height, diseased pods, and harvest moisture of King of the Early beans (Table 12). All King of the Early planting dates, except for the first (20-May), had harvest moistures below 14%. All of the test weights met or exceeded industry standard for dry bean test weights of 60 lbs ac-1. The first planting date (20-May) had the lowest percent of pod disease (22.5%) compared to the other dates.

Impact of Seed Treatment (MYCOSTOP) on King of the Early Beans

There were significant differences in dry matter yield and harvest moisture between the MYCOSTOP treated and non-treated King of the Early beans (Table 13). Plant populations, plant height, pod disease, and test weight did not differ significantly. The non-treated beans had the lowest harvest moisture (12.3%) and the highest yield (1538 lbs ac-1). Both the treated and non-treated King of the Early beans had moistures below 14% and therefore did not need additional drying. The test weights for both treated and non-treated were above or exceeded industry standards of 60 lbs bu-1.

Interaction of Yellow Eye Beans x Seed Treatment (MYCOSTOP)

 There were significant interactions between planting date and treated and non-treated Yellow Eye beans for percent diseased pods. This interaction indicates that the seed treatment had varying responses by planting date. Seed treated with MYCOSTOP had lower levels of pod disease on the 20-May and 9-Jun planting dates when compared to no seed treatment (Figure 4). However the 1-Jun planting date resulted in similar levels of pod disease regardless of seed treatment. Again this was likely due to adverse soil conditions on the 10-May and 9-Jun.

Impact of Planting Date on Yellow Eye Beans

 Yellow Eye bean percent diseased pods, harvest moisture, and test weight differed significantly by planting date (Table 14). There were no significant differences in plant populations, plant height, and dry matter yield. The first planting date (20-May) had the lowest amount of diseased pods (7.50%) conversely; the third planting date (9-Jun) had the highest percent of diseased pods (22.5%). The third planting date (9-Jun) had the highest test weight (63.7 lbs bu-1), and the lowest harvest moisture (19.2%). All of the Yellow Eye harvest moistures across planting dates were above 14% and therefore had to be dried down before storage. Test weight of the Yellow Eye bean planning dates met or exceeded industry standards of 60 lbs bu-1 for test weight.

Impact of Seed Treatment (MYCOSTOP) on Yellow Eye Beans

 There were significant differences between treated and non-treated Yellow Eye beans in plant height and percent diseased pods (Table 15). The treated and non-treated Yellow Eye beans did not differ significantly in plant populations, dry matter yield, harvest moisture, and test weight. The non-treated Yellow Eyes had the highest plant population (48,870 plant ac-1), the tallest plant height (38.4 cm) and was the highest yielding (1240 lbs ac-1). The MYCOSTOP treated plots had the lowest amount of pod disease (4.17%). Both the treated and non-treated Yellow Eye beans had moisture content above 14% and therefore had to be dried down. Both treatments had test weights that exceeded industry standards.

Morningstar Farm

Impact of Planting Date on King of the Early Beans

 Planting date did not impact disease, yields, moisture, or test weight of King of the Early dry beans (Table 16). All planting dates had harvest moistures greater than 14%, necessary for proper storage, and therefore had to be dried down. The King of the Early planting date test weights were all below the industry standard of 60 lbs bu-1.

Impact of Planting Date on Yellow Eye Beans

Planting date had a significant impact on plant height and pod disease in Yellow Eye beans (Table 17). There were no significant differences by planting date in yield, harvest moisture, and test weight of Yellow Eye beans. The first and second planting dates had the tallest plant height (50.7 cm). The third planting date (8-Jun) had the lowest amount of pod disease. All of the Yellow Eyes had harvest moisture above 14% and therefore needed to be dried down. None of the Yellow Eye beans at any of the planting dates attained the industry standard for test weight of 60 lbs bu-1.

Dry Bean Seeding Rate Trial

Actual plant populations for all seeding rates and bean types were far below the target seeding rates (Table 20). The Black Turtle bean populations ranged from 29,434 plants ac-1 (37.3% germination) to 67,456 plants ac-1 (56.7% germination); King of the Early ranged from 32,359 plants ac-1 (55.8% germination) to 56,192 plants ac-1 (57.3% germination); and Yellow Eye populations ranged from 21,469 plants ac-1 (37.7% germination) to 31,737 plants ac-1 (32.7% germination). Interestingly, all varieties showed the seeding rates went from low to high although none met the target seeding rates. The below average rainfall combined with the low soil moisture, and higher than normal temperatures during planting may have contributed to low germination rates which resulted in poor stand establishment. Even though it was the largest of the bean type, the King of the Early had the highest overall plant populations. This bean variety is an heirloom that has a long history of cultivation in the Northeast, and therefore might be better adapted to the irregular growing conditions in our region.

Plant height, dry matter yield, and harvest moisture were significantly different between the Black Turtle bean seeding rate treatments (Table 21).  The medium seeding rate (99,000 seeds ac-1) was the tallest (46.5 cm), the highest yielding (1659 lbs ac-1), the lowest harvest moisture (18.3%) and the highest test weight (59.2 lbs bu-1), although not significantly different from the low seeding rate. There were no significant differences in plant height, pod disease, yield, harvest moisture and test weight in the King of the Early seeding rate treatments. The highest yielding seeding rate treatment for the King of the Early was the middle seeding rate (78,000 seeds ac-1) at 2323 lbs ac-1. There were significant differences in pod disease in the Yellow Eye seed rate treatments. The highest seeding rate (97,000 seeds ac-1) had the lowest amount of pod disease infection (2.50%).  Even though not significantly different, the middle seeding rate (77,000 seeds ac-1) of the Yellow Eye beans yielded the highest at 1896 lbs ac-1. All of the harvest moistures for all bean types and seeding rates were above the recommended storage moisture of 13%, and therefore all samples had to be dried down. Additionally, none of the treatments met industry standards of 60 lbs bu-1 for test weight.  The actual plant populations were much lower than the target seeding rates for Yellow Eye, King of the Early, and Black Turtle Beans. Factors that may have limited germination rates include low soil moisture at the time of planting, possible planter error, and little rainfall after planting.

Impact of Planter Type on Heirloom Dry Bean Production

Plant height was significantly different between planter types (Table 22). Yellow Eyes planted with the Monosem 2-row planter were the tallest (44.0 cm), while the beans planted with the John Deere 1750 were shortest (38.1 cm). There were no significant differences in pod disease, dry matter yield, harvest moisture and test weight between the planter types. The beans planted with the John Deere 1750 had the lowest pod disease. Overall, the amount of pod disease on the beans planted with either planter was relatively low. The higher seeding rate and therefore plant populations of the Monosem 2-row planter may have impacted pod disease by restricting airflow. Yellow Eyes planted with the Monosem 2-row planter yielded the highest (1525 lbs ac-1). The harvest moisture for the beans planted with either planter type were above the recommended storage moisture of 13%, and therefore all samples had to be dried down. Additionally, neither of the treatments met industry standards of 60 lbs bu-1 for test weight.  

Heirloom Dry Bean Pest Survey

Plant Diseases Identified

The overall warm and dry growing conditions throughout much of the season resulted in relatively low levels of foliar and root diseases. The one exception was purchased seed unknowingly contaminated with Anthracnose that was planted on several farms, which resulted in yield reductions and in one case, complete crop loss. The plant diseases identified during the 2016 growing season are listed by location in Table 23.

Root rots were minimal this season due to the warm and dry conditions during seed germination and early plant growth. Root rots were observed at the Glover and Alburgh locations. The early season root rot diseases Rhizoctonia spp. and Fusarium spp. were identified. Pythium spp. is another root rot disease likely present on bean roots at emergence. Where one of these diseases is observed, it is likely that the others are also present. One will give the others an opportunity to attack, together restricting nutrient and water uptake.

Anthracnose, an easy-to-identify fungal disease had severe impacts on bean yield and quality on certain bean fields this season. While scouting a black turtle dry bean field in Cambridge, VT, plants showing typical anthracnose (Colletotrichum lindemuthianum) symptoms were observed on the underside of the foliage. Symptoms included linear, dark/black lesions along the leaf veins (Figure 5). Mature circular lesions on pods were surrounded by reddish-brown to black borders with a grayish black interior that exuded pink masses of spores, typically diagnostic for this pathogen. Field samples (leaf and pods) suspected of being infected, were taken to the UVM Extension PDC for further microscopic examination. Based on morphological analysis the pathogen was identified as Colletotrichum spp. In addition to the Cambridge location, Anthracnose was positively identified in Glover, Alburgh, and N. Ferrisburg fields.

Interestingly, while screening pods for anthracnose, another pathogen was detected on the surface of some examined pods from the Glover location. Microscopic examination revealed the fungus to be Ascochyta spp. Small black pycnidia were observed on dark brown sunken lesions of some of the pods. Cultivars ‘Tiger’s Eye’, ‘Yellow Eye’ and ‘Black Turtle’ were determined to be infected with Ascochyta spp. based on morphological characteristics such as presence of pycnidia, absence of setae and conidia (Figure 6). Ascochyta was only positively identified at the Glover location but it is likely additional locations had some level of infection as well.

Common bacterial blight (Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. phaseoli) was found at the Alburgh, Danby, and Glover locations (Figure 7). This plant pathogen is often a secondary infection. We overserved that the severity of common bacterial blight infection coincided with the severity of Potato Leafhopper damage.

 Alternaria leaf spot (Aternaria alternate) was recorded at the Alburgh and Glover locations (Figure 8). This plant pathogen will overwinter on crop residue and weed debris therefore, it is important to rotate your crops to minimized infection from this disease.

Research conclusions:

Our project was focused on key agronomics that if addressed could help farmers improve the yields and quality of heirloom dry beans. The project conducted experiments to meet the objectives.

1.Screen heirloom varietals and develop a list of top performing lines for the region.

Heirloom bean variety trials were conducted at 2 locations in Vermont. Seed quality continues be an important issue in dry bean production. Before variety trials were planted, percent seed germination was determined for each variety and seeding rates adjusted and those varieties with low germination rates were eliminated from the 2016 trials. The one exception was Lowe’s Champion (62% germination), which was kept in because it was a new variety for our trials. Even with adjusting for the low germination this variety had poor stand establishment (4175 plants ac-1) indicating there might have been other seed quality issues. The overall warmer and drier conditions throughout the 2016 growing season, in both trial locations, resulted in higher dry bean yields and quality. Yields of the varieties ranged from 242 to 2264 lbs per acre. Indicating that variety selection will be critical to obtaining economically viable yields with dry beans. At both locations Peregion yielded 500 more pounds per acre than all other varieties. At least 2 growers have adopted this variety because of its yield potential.

2.Develop optimum planting dates and seeding strategies to obtain adequate plant populations.

Planting date studies at two locations in Vermont were conducted. The third planting (9-Jun) date in Alburgh yielded the highest for all bean types. Interestingly, the first planting date (25-May) yielded the highest for both bean types grown at the Glover site. This could be due to the warmer than average temperatures in May allowing the beans to germinate relatively quickly. The cooler temperatures in June may have impacted germination in the June planting dates. This data indicates that dry bean planting should occur when the soil temperatures have reached at least 60 degrees. The dry beans matured when planted from 20-May to 9-Jun indicating that this planting range would be adequate in most years. Farmers realized through this project that understanding soil temperature combined with an evaluation of the date is important in making the decision as to whether or not plant. At least 2 farmers indicated buying soil thermometers to monitor soil temperature in the spring. 

3.Determine primary pest issues and identify control options.

Overall, bean pods scouted for disease during the 2016 growing season exhibited several deformities and discoloration from plant diseases, however for the most part the beans inside appeared largely uninfected. In general, growers reported “above average” yields in 2016, the one exception were those farmers who planted the Anthracnose contaminated black bean seed. In those fields, there was a reported 60-100% loss. As a result of this project at least 5 farmers have requested that we test their seed lots for disease contamination prior to planting.

Interestingly, Hutterite Soup, Kenearly Yellow Eye, and Tongues of Fire appeared to be particularly susceptible to leafhopper damage whereas Light Red Kidney and Peregion were relatively resistant. As a result of the leafhopper damage “hopperburn”, we saw an increase in secondary plant disease infections, primarily common bacterial blight.  Many farmers did not realize that the yellowing of their plants was being caused by a insect pest. Several farmers lost almost half of their yields to severe infestation of leafhoppers. Farmers indicated that they would be scouting and monitoring this pest in the future. Several were interested in growing more tolerant varieties and in fact adopted Peregion for the yield potential and pest tolerance it exhibited..

4.Evaluate biological seed treatments for control of early season diseases.

Even though plant and root disease was minimal this season, the seed treatment MYCOSTOP did appear to have some efficacy in reducing the amount of pod disease and in some cases may have improved bean quality. The application of the MYCOSTOP seed treatment did not improve yields at any planting date or for any bean type. Further work across multiple years and environments would be necessary to further elucidate the benefit of investing in this organic seed treatment. Many farmers are using biological seed treatments and looking for more information on their efficacy.

Overall this project produced significant information on varieties, planting dates, and pests that will help farmers grow higher yielding and quality dry beans. In fact at least 6 farmers have adopted new varieties, planting practices, and pest monitoring practices. To work towards improved stands farmers are also utilizing the UVM Plant Diagnostic Laboratory to test for seedborne pathogens prior to planting.

 

Participation Summary
5 Farmers participating in research

Education & Outreach Activities and Participation Summary

11 Consultations
7 Curricula, factsheets or educational tools
1 On-farm demonstrations
2 Webinars / talks / presentations
4 Workshop field days
2 Two videos were produced on dry bean production.

Participation Summary

200 Farmers
144 Number of agricultural educator or service providers reached through education and outreach activities
Education/outreach description:

A variety of education and outreach activities were performed during the project period. The project team held 3 field days, created 4 research reports, 2 videos, 1 guide, 1 pest scouting card, and developed 3 presentations all with the focus on improving dry bean production in the region. Details on outreach is outlined below.

June 28, 2016-Annual Grain Tour, Borderview Research Farm, Alburgh, VT. Distribute bulletin produced on sourcing heirloom dry bean seed, scouting report, and 2015 dry bean research reports. These were all materials completed in 2015. Toured the research plots and discussed dry bean production and answered questions from growers. There were 39 in attendance.

July 28, 2016- Annual Crops & Soils Field Day, Alburgh, VT. Distribute bulletin produced on sourcing heirloom dry bean seed, scouting report, and 2015 dry bean research reports. Toured the research plots and discussed dry bean production and answered questions from growers. Held an afternoon session on scouting for pests and diseases. Highlighted potato leafhopper damage and handed out the pest cheat sheets for scouting. There were 185 attendees. Continued scouting producer’s dry bean fields for plant disease and pests.

October 11, 2016, DryBeanWorkshop was held at Morningstar Farms in Glover, VT, to highlight dry bean production, harvest, and post-harvest handling strategies. There were 28 in attendance.

November 30, 2016, Growing Heirloom Dry Beans in the Northeast – a presentation was given at the Atlantic Canada Organic Regional Network Conference held in Moncton, New Brunswick. There were 35 farmers in attendance including farmers from ME, VT, NY, and several provinces.

March 2016,  Northeast Dry Bean Production Guide2017 is revised to include pest management section. Published at www.uvm.edu/extension/cropsoil.

March 23, 2017- Annual Northern Grain Growers Conference hosts 2 sessions on Producing Dry Beans, which attracted 75 diversified growers. One session was focused on dry bean pests and the other a presentation by Rodney Graham a New York dry bean grower.

June 2017 – Two dry bean production videos were developed and posted to YouTube. The first video was focused on planting dry beans and calibrating a planter (https://youtu.be/SBmBcPpxbAg). The second video was focused on harvesting, drying, and cleaning dry beans (https://youtu.be/KufUEscXAE4).

 

Learning Outcomes

200 Farmers reported changes in knowledge, attitudes, skills and/or awareness as a result of their participation
Key areas in which farmers reported changes in knowledge, attitude, skills and/or awareness:

pest scouting, dry bean production, seed quality, and

Project Outcomes

Assessment of Project Approach and Areas of Further Study:
  • This season farmers continued to have difficulty-sourcing disease free dry bean seed in our region. Some farmers experienced 100% crop loss from poor quality seed. We worked with these farmers to figure out the issue causing disease. This has helped us focus our work on seed quality testing prior to purchasing seed. We hope to conduct future work on seed treatments focused on seedborne diseases.
  • We continue to develop information on heirloom dry bean varieties that are high yielding and also less susceptible to arthropods and diseases. We have included new varieties in this year’s trial and eliminated poorly performing varieties from 2015 trials. This information is critical in helping farmers develop economically viable bean production.
  • Several plant diseases and insect pests were identified in trial plots as well as producer’s dry bean fields. This again is critical information to help farmers understand both how to manage or prevent diseases and arthropod pests that can severely limit yields. We discovered that certain heirloom bean varieties are more susceptible to potato leafhoppers. This needs to be further explored in future research.
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.