Management of Iron Deficiency in Bean with Annual Ryegrass Interplantings

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2006: $9,505.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2007
Region: Western
State: Wyoming
Principal Investigator:


  • Vegetables: beans


  • Crop Production: cover crops, nutrient cycling
  • Education and Training: demonstration, extension, farmer to farmer, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research
  • Production Systems: agroecosystems
  • Soil Management: green manures, soil analysis, nutrient mineralization

    Proposal summary:

    Beans are grown widely in the western Great Plains, but high pH soil limits the availability of many micronutrients, including iron, boron, magnesium, copper and zinc. The low micronutrient levels causes yellowing, which could be iron-related chlorosis, and makes the plants more susceptible to insect and disease damage, which reduces yield and quality. Annual ryegrass growing in legumes can reduce or eliminate the negative impacts of high pH soils, but the rapidly growing ryegrass shades the legumes, impeding harvest and reducing yield. This project, using season-long soil and plant tissue tests, will try to determine the chemical and physical changes to the soil from the ryegrass and the nutrients that are being made available to the plant that the soil analysis may not reveal. In addition, the project will look at two different planting strategies that may allow for better management of bean production in the rapidly growing ryegrass.

    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.