Sustainable cropping systems for processing baby lima bean production

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer
Funds awarded in 2009: $10,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2012
Region: Northeast
State: Delaware
Project Leader:


  • Vegetables: beans


  • Crop Production: cover crops, no-till
  • Education and Training: extension, farmer to farmer, on-farm/ranch research, workshop
  • Farm Business Management: agricultural finance
  • Production Systems: general crop production

    Proposal summary:

    Baby lima beans are the most important processing vegetable corp fo the $60 million vegetable industry in the Delmarva area of the mid-Atlantic region. However, there has been little yield improvement over recent decades. Competition from alternative land use for field crops due to high grain commodity prices threatens the economic viability of processing vegetables, and lima bean production in particular. This reduces rotational options and the diversity of agriculture on farms in the area. Obtaining higher yields through improved production practices is critical to remaining competitive.

    We will investigate the potential for improving yield by extending the lima bean season with early planting and harvesting the same planting twice. This is done by promoting regrowth after the first harvest. In addition, we will study the use of no-till planting into specifically adapted cover crops that have shown promise in the region. This will reduce the need for tillage and may have other environmental and crop benefits leading to improved quality of harvested product as well as potentially increasing overall yields. Results will be presented to other processing vegetable producers in the region through two field days, two presentations at grower meetings, the production and distribution of a project summary, and posting of the summary on an Extension website.

    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.