Trial plot with several varieties of dry beans nearing maturity. with several  variety signs
Photo Credit:
Greg Endres

Highlights of 2021 CREC Dry Bean Variety Trials

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As with most crops, dryland dry bean production in commercial fields and research trials was a challenge this season. At the Carrington Research Extension Center (CREC), our dryland variety trial was dropped due to highly variable plant development among and within plots. However, irrigated variety trials at the CREC and Oakes were productive and quality data is available: The following are highlights of the trials.

At the CREC, 28 dry bean varieties including 6 market types were tested this year. The irrigated trial’s seed yield averaged 3020 lb/acre. Among 14 pinto varieties tested over the past three years, 5 varieties averaged greater than 3200 lb/acre: Cowboy, LaPaz, Monterrey, Torreon and Vibrant. Averaged over the two locations (Carrington and Oakes) and three years, LaPaz, Monterrey and Windbreaker had the greatest numeric yields ranging from 3170 to 3220 lb/acre.

Dry bean variety trial field notes taken during the season at the CREC include assessments for harvest options. ‘Growth habit’ is scored on a scale of 1-9: 1 = longer vine and low stature plants with low pods; 9 = very upright plant stature with pods off the ground. ‘Direct harvest’ is a relative score to estimate the percent of seeds that would be collected using direct (straight) harvest system. As an example, dry bean varieties with ratings in the 90s percent range for ‘direct harvest’ would likely be more suitable for this harvest option versus those varieties with lower ratings.

Four black bean varieties were tested this year under irrigation at both sites and trial yield averages were 2845 lb/acre at Carrington and 3140 lb/acre at Oakes. Across 4 site-years, Eclipse (3150 lb/acre) and ND Twilight (3200 lb/acre) had similar yield. Note in the 2021 CREC plant habit ratings that Eclipse has an advantage over ND Twilight.

NDSU Extension publication “ND Dry Bean Variety Trial Results for 2021 and Selection Guide” will be available later this fall and will provide agronomic data from across the state plus variety descriptions.

Greg Endres
Extension Cropping Systems Specialist