On-Farm Versus Agricultural Experiment Station Evaluation and Improvement of Intrinsic Characteristics of Landrace Common Bean Cultivars for Sustainable Farming Systems in the Twenty-First Century

2004 Annual Report for SW02-038

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2002: $167,717.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2005
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $23,383.00
Region: Western
State: Idaho
Principal Investigator:
Shree Singh
University of Idaho

On-Farm Versus Agricultural Experiment Station Evaluation and Improvement of Intrinsic Characteristics of Landrace Common Bean Cultivars for Sustainable Farming Systems in the Twenty-First Century


Trial of 16 cultivars was repeated in seven cropping systems in 2004. Soil, plant and seed samples are being processed and nutrients analyzed. Four hundred and forty F2:5 families and eight parents from two populations were evaluated on-farm in two organic and one conventional and at UI-Kimberly to identify the most promising families within each cropping system. Also, one F6 inbred line was developed from each of 440 families in greenhouse. Seed of these inbred lines needs to be increased for subsequent evaluations. A meeting of participants in March and a field day open to the public in August were held to discuss results.

Objectives/Performance Targets

By seeking farmer participation and on-farm evaluation and selection from early segregating generations, this proposal focuses on identification, genetic improvement, and promotion of the most appropriate dry bean cultivars for low-input sustainable and organic farming systems for Idaho in particular and the Western U.S. at large for the 21st century. The specific objectives are to (1) compare the most popular landraces and modern cultivars developed over the last 75 years of major market classes on-farm organic and conventional farming systems and at agricultural experiment stations (AES). Identify and promote adoption of the most promising cultivars. (2) Use on-farm organic and conventional farming systems and AES to develop high yielding high quality cultivars suitable for low-input, sustainable farming systems from multiple-parent interracial populations involving the most promising landraces and donors of complementary desirable traits. And (3) promote adoption of new cultivars through field days, farmer outreach, farmer conferences, bean schools, news media, bulletins, and electronic means.


A two-year evaluation of 16 dry bean cultivars and landraces on-farm two organic, one each low soil fertility and conventional farming systems, and at agricultural experiment station under 50 years of continual bean cropping, drought-stressed, and conventional farming systems have been completed. All soil, plant, and seed samples were processed including analyses of 16 micro and macro elements in plants and seeds of 16 cultivars for the seven cropping systems for the 2003 trials and data analyzed. Effects of cropping systems, cultivars, and their interactions were large and highly significant (P<0.01) for seed yield, 100-seed weight, and number of days to maturity. Cropping systems affected the uptake of nutrients such as N, P, Zn, Cu, Fe, and Mn. Large cultivar differences for nutrient uptake and utilization, drought response, and water-use efficiency were observed. Drought-resistant landrace Common Red Mexican and cultivars Matterhorn and Othello had three times higher water-use efficiency compared to the susceptible LeBaron, Topaz, UI 259, UI 320, and others. These also exhibited higher yield stability across all seven cropping systems. Detailed results will be provided after 2004 data are processed and combined analyses performed for 2003 and 2004. Early generation evaluation has been completed for 220 F2-derived F5 families and five parents from each of Topaz///Matterhorn/Mesa//Buster/Common Red Mexican and LeBaron///VAX 3/Common Red Mexican//Matterhorn/NW 63 populations. Replicated trials using a partially balanced 15 x 15 lattice design were conducted on-farm in two organic and one conventional, and at Kimberly R & E Center in a conventional farming system in 2004. Harvested seed is being cleaned, and data for yield, 100-seed weight, and seed color will be used for identification of the highest yielding families within each cropping system. Also, using greenhouse plantings in the fall and spring and the field planting in 2004, one F6 inbred line has been developed from each of the 440 families from the above two populations. Sufficient seed of these breeding lines needs to be produced at Kimberly in 2005 for replicated yield trials and other evaluations in 2006 and beyond for identification and promotion of the most promising cultivars for low input organic and conventional farming systems.

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes

Drought-resistant and water-use-efficient dry bean landrace Common Red Mexican grown by the Native Americans, and cultivars Matterhorn, Mesa, and Othello have been identified. These have been used in crosses to develop new cultivars for low-input sustainable farming systems. Their promotion for cultivation under low-input, deficit-irrigation, and drought-stressed cropping systems has been initiated.

Workshop and Field Day:
Farmers and researchers participating in the project met on March 17, 2004, at Kimberly R&E Center to discuss the 2003 results and plan work for 2004. Also, a field day was held on August 18, 2004 (approximately 50 participants) to visit experiments and discuss results.

Singh, S.P., D. Westermann, R. Allen, R. Parrott, K. Mulberry, J. Smith, M. Dennis, R.
Hayes, H. Terán, and C.G. Muñoz. 2004. Response of dry bean cultivars and landraces to seven cropping systems in southern Idaho. Annu. Rpt. Bean Improv. Coop. 47:303-304.