No-tillage and Dry Bean Variety Performance

Alternative market classes of dry beans, such as navy, small red, and pinto, are valued by consumers for their culinary characteristics and visual appeal. Modern breeding efforts have expanded the market classes (beyond black beans) that can be direct-harvested, lowering the barrier to entry by reducing the need for specialized equipment.

Current management practices for organic dry beans can deplete the soil, relying on tillage and cultivation for weed management and harvesting. Direct-harvesting dry beans, specifically black beans, has shown promise in organic no-till systems and could reduce the negative impacts on soil health while suppressing weeds.

In 2023, the University of Vermont Extension Northwest Crops and Soils Program initiated a research trial to evaluate the performance of four dry bean market classes (black, navy, pinto, and small red) in an organic tilled system compared to an organic no till system. Check out the 2023 No-tillage and Dry Bean Variety Performance report to see how these varieties performed under different management systems.

This research is supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) NE SARE under federal award number LNE22-444 and by the USDA NIFA Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) under federal award number 2022-51300-37881.

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