Impact of Planting Dates on Dry Edible Bean

(A1806, revised November 2021)

This publication is a production reference to highlight new planting date research.

Lead Author
Lead Author:
Greg Endres, Extension Cropping Systems Specialist
Other Authors

Hans Kandel Extension Agronomist, Broadleaf Crops

Other NDSU scientists contributing to data used in this publication:

Burton Johnson, Professor and Research Agronomist

Mike Ostlie, Research Agronomist

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Publication Sections


dry edible beans crop

Crop seasons in North Dakota occasionally begin early, providing the opportunity to plant crops in a timely manner and plant some crops, including dry edible bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.), earlier than normal. This prompted North Dakota State University researchers to conduct field trials to explore if dry bean seed yield and quality can be increased with early planting, compared with the normal planting period (the last 10 days of May through the first 10 days of June) or a late period.

If so, early planting would provide the opportunity to increase profitability without additional input costs.
This publication will summarize results of NDSU dry bean planting date trials conducted during 2012 through 2015.

Materials and Methods

Six planting date trials were conducted by NDSU during 2012-15 at the Carrington Research Extension Center (CREC) and in 2012 at Prosper with pinto (‘Lariat’), black (‘Eclipse’) and navy (‘Avalanche’) market classes of dry bean. Table 1 lists trial locations, market types, planting dates by year and seed yield. During the early planting seasons in 2012 (including two trials at the CREC) and 2015, the first planting dates were May 11 to 17, while with later starts to the planting season in 2013 and 2014, the early planting dates were May 23 to 24. The second, or normal, planting dates for the trials ranged from May 22 to June 5, and the third, or late, planting dates ranged from June 5 to June 18.

Best management practices were used for dry bean production during the trials.

Table 1. Dry bean yield response to planting dates across market types, Carrington, 2012-15, and Prosper, 2012

Carr. 2012a

Carr. Seed yield (cwt/acre) Carr. 2012b Carr. Seed yield (cwt/acre) Carr. 2013 Carr. Seed yield (cwt/acre) Carr. 2014 Carr. Seed yield (cwt/acre) Carr. 2015 Carr. Seed yield (cwt/acre) Prosper 2012 Prosper Seed yield (cwt/acre) 6-trial average Seed yield (cwt/acre)
17-May 26.0 16-May 15.4 24-May 17.2 23-May 18.6 13-May 14.4 11-May 25.7 19.6
30-May 25.7 25-May 13.3 3-Jun 16.2 5-Jun 18.0 27-May 17.5 22-May 23.4 19.0
13-Jun 25.9 6-Jun 10.4 13-Jun 17.1 18-Jun 19.2 12-Jun 16.9 5-Jun 25.0 19.1
LSD (0.05)2 NS   3.0   NA   NS   1.6   NS NS

1Carrington: 2012a= pinto and black; 2012b and 2013 = pinto; 2014-15= pinto, black and navy. Prosper: pinto.
2NS = not statistically significant; NA = not available. 

Results and Discussion

Among years, yield with early planting tended to be greater than with normal planting dates in five of six trials (Table 1). However, yield generally was statistically similar with early and normal planting dates.

Yield with the early planting date was reduced in 2015 due to low plant density (44,160 plants per acre average across market types), compared with plant density (62,970 to 72,930 plants per acre) with later planting. The reduced plant stand resulted from cold and wet soil conditions (including snow) following planting, plus soil crusting that increased stress during seed germination and seedling emergence.

Averaged across the six trials, yield was statistically similar among planting periods but tended to be highest with early planting. Averaged across trials for each market type, yield was statistically similar for each market type with early, normal and late planting (Table 2). When averaged among trials and market types, yield also was similar among planting periods.

Table 2. Dry bean market type yield response to planting periods, Carrington and Prosper, 2012-15
Market Type (variety) Trial Number1 Seed Yield (cwt/acre)
Planting Period2

Seed Yield (cwt/acre)
Planting Period2

Seed Yield (cwt/acre)

LSD (0.05)
Pinto (Lariat) 6 19.6 19.5 20.5 NS
Black (Eclipse) 3 19.8 20.3 18.2 NS
Navy (Avalanche) 2 16.1 16.5 17.4 NS
Average   19.0 19.1 19.3 NS

1Pinto: Carrington=2012 (2 trials), 2013-2012; Prosper =2012. Black: Carrington=2012,2014-15;Navy: Carrington=2014-2015.
2Early: May 11-24; Normal: May 22-June 5; Late: June 5-18.

Table 3. Dry bean market type yield response to planting dates during early crop seasons, Carrington and Prosper, 2012 and 2015.
Market Type (variety) Trial Number1 Seed Yield (cwt/acre)
Planting Period2

Seed Yield (cwt/acre)
Planting Period2

Seed Yield (cwt/acre)

LSD (0.05)
Pinto (Lariat) 4 20.1 20.4 21.3 NS
Black (Eclipse) 2 21.9 21.14 18.7 NS
Navy (Avalanche) 1 12.2 16.1 15.5 NS
Average   19.5 20.1 19.7 NS

1Pinto: Carrington=2012 (2 trials) and 2015, and Prosper =2012. Black: Carrington=2012 and 2015; Navy: Carrington=2015.
2Early: May 11-17; Normal: May 22-30; Late: June 5-13.

The crop seasons of 2012 and 2015 were “early” (cool-season crop planting generally beginning in April) while 2013 and 2014 seasons were “late” (crop planting beginning in May). Table 3 summarizes dry bean seed yield during the early growing seasons.

Averaged across trials, yield was statistically similar for each market type with early, normal and late planting. When averaged among trials and market types, yield was statistically similar but tended to be highest with the normal planting period.

Table 4. Dry bean response to planting dates across market types, Carrington 2012a and 2014-15
Planting Period Plant density (plants/acre) Planting to emergence (days) Emergence to physiological maturity (days) Seed Yield (cwt/acre)
May 13 to 23 70,670 20.1 20.4 18.9
May 27 to June 5 79,350 21.9 21.4 19.7
June 12 to 18 73,190 12.2 16.1 20.0
LSD (0.05) Average   19.5 20.1 NS

1Carrington: 2012a= pinto and black; 2-14-15=  pinto, black and navy.

Table 4 displays plant density and development, and yield by planting periods averaged across market types for three Carrington trials. Plant density tended to be greater with normal planting, compared with other planting periods.

Days from planting to plant emergence were delayed with early planting, generally due to cooler soil temperatures, compared with normal and late planting periods. Days from plant emergence to maturity averaged three days less with the normal planting period, compared with early or late planting. In 2014, plant lodging was slightly less with the normal planting period, compared with early or late planting (data not shown). Yield tended to increase with later planting.

Seed quality data with planting dates averaged across market types are displayed from trials conducted at Carrington in 2014 and 2015 (Table 5). Test weight increased with normal and late planting dates in 2014 and tended to increase in 2015, compared with the early planting dates. Seed size was largest with early planting in the 2015 trial. Seed quality based on visual evaluation was variable among plant dates.

Table 5. Dry bean seed quality with planting dates across market types, Carrington, 2014-15.
2014 Planting date 2014 Test weight (lb/bu) 2014 seed count (no.lb) 2014 Seed quality2 26-Nov 2014 Seed quality2 10-Dec 2015 Planting date

2015 Test weight (lb/bu)

2014 seed count (no.lb)

2015 Seed quality3


23-May 61.5 2,140 3.5 3 13-May 60.8 1,970 2
5-Jun 62.6 1,970 3.0 4 27-May 61.2 2,090 3
18-Jun 62.6 2,370 4.5 3 12-Jun 61.2 2,250 3
LSD (0.05) 0.4 NS 0.5 1   NS 80 1

1Market types= pinto, black and navy.
2Brightness visually evaluated on Nov. 26 and Dec. 10 using a sale of 0= dark and 5=light for pinto and navy and 0= dull and 5= bright for color of black bean. Ratings also included general seed quality. 
3Visually evaluated on Nov. 24. Pinto: 0=light and 5= dark seed coat color; Navy: 0= no wrinkled seed coats and 5 = all seed coats wrinkled; no evaluation of black bean. 


The dry bean research consisted of six site-years of data with three market types planted during early, normal and late planting dates. The data collected indicate the planting period of late May through early June, normally used by farmers, remains appropriate.

• Seed yield: The early planting period shows potential for increasing yield but with increased risks. However, yield with early planting was statistically similar to the normal planting period, including during “early” planting seasons. Also, these data indicate if planting is delayed until mid-June, yield will be maintained.

• Seed quality: Test weight tended to increase with normal vs. early planting periods, with generally no consistent impact on seed size or appearance.

Research was supported by the Northarvest Bean Growers Association and North Dakota State Board of Agricultural Research and Education.