In 2022 the UVM Extension Northwest Crops and Soils Program conducted a new research trial to investigate the impact of black bean seeding rate on crop productivity and weed suppression under different tillage regimes. Planting dry beans into rolled down rye can reduce weed pressure but can also result in reduced seed yields because of reduced stands. Increasing the dry bean seeding rate at planting could make up for the lower emergence in no-till systems.
At Borderview Research Farm (Alburgh, VT), black beans were planted at 60, 120, 180, 240, and 300,000 plants ac-1 in both a conventional tillage and a no-till system. For the no-till system, cereal rye was planted the previous fall and was rolled down prior to dry bean planting. Overall, black beans that were no-till planted into cereal rye had reduced yields and increased weed pressure (Figure 1). Increasing the seeding rate of black beans did increase yields but there was no significant impact on weed suppression (Figure 2). The timing of cover crop termination is crucial. High rye biomass at termination made it difficult to cut through with the no-till planter and good seed to soil contact is very important especially for dry beans. This trial is being repeated in 2023 to better understand the impact of seeding rate and tillage regime on black bean performance.
Read the full 2022 Organic Black Bean Seeding Rate Trial research report on our website! While you are there, be sure to check out the 2022 Organic Dry Bean Variety Trial research report as well.
This project was done in collaboration with Cornell University and is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Federal Award No. 2021-38640-34688, Subaward No. 142258-21558.