National Dry Bean Nursery Trials in Bonita, 1997

L.J. Clark and E.W. Carpenter



Results of the 1997 National Cooperative Dry Bean Nursery Trials are reported in this paper. Thirty five varieties of seven different classes of beans were included in this replicated, small plot trial. Ole, a variety from Ag Canada was the highest yielding variety in the study with a yield over 4800 pounds per acre. Both Ole and ISB 2001 had yields higher than Bill Z, the highest yielding pinto bean in the area. Four varieties had yields over the 4000 pound per acre level. Yields, seed per pound, aerial biomass, harvest index, plant population and percent splits are also reported.



Beans are a good rotation crop in Cochise County, and bring around $500,000 in income to the farmers growing them. In the early 1980's around 1800 acres of beans were grown in the county and the acreage grown each year varies with the price of beans and the rotation needs of the growers. This study is to help the bean growers in the high desert areas of the state and also to supply valuable information to the bean industry in the United States and Canada. These plots are grown in cooperation with the National Cooperative Dry Bean Nurseries which have test sites in 20 locations in the United States and 4 locations in Canada.

Materials and Methods

This trial was a replicated small plot study planted within a 125 acre pivot on the Haas Farm in the Bonita area of southern part of Graham county in southeastern Arizona. The plots were planted dry with a John Deere 71 flex-planter modified to accept cone-drop hoppers. After planting the plots were watered up using a center pivot irrigation system. The cultural practices for the plots were the same as the rest of the pivot and are highlighted below.

Crop History:

Soil type: Tubac-Sonoita Sandy loam
Previous crop: Corn
Planting date: June 27, 1997 Rate: 70 lbs/acre
Herbicide: Treflan chemigated at watering up
Fertilizer: 190 lbs/ac 11-52-0 + 9 gal 10-34-0 + Zn at planting, 
25 lbs/ac N applied via fertigation
Irrigation: Center pivot
Harvest date: October 3rd (99 days, 1985 HU(86/55EF)

The bean plots were cut together with the rest of the bean field and then a subsample was taken from each plot where plants were counted, weighed, threshed with a Vogle-type small plot thresher and bean weights and aerial biomass determined.

Results and Discussions

Table 1 gives some agronomic and physiological parameters for bean varieties grown in the 1997 regional bean nursery. The yields are in pounds per acre and seeds per pound are self-explanatory, but some of the other term need explanations. Aerial Biomass is the weight of the entire plant above the roots, at physiological maturity, in pounds per acre. Harvest Index is the dry bean yield divided by the aerial biomass, and is a measure of the plants ability to partition itĚs energies to seed production. Plants per acre and percent splits are also self explanatory. 

The yields in the 1997 trial were excellent and comparable to the 1994 trial and much better than those reported in 1992, 1993 and 1995 (1). The high yields in 1994 and 1997 are tied to their earlier planting date. The number of heat units during the growing season were very comparable between 1994 and 1997, but the ten days earlier planting date in 1997 hastened the harvest date by seventeen days. Varieties of Navy and Small Red yielded over 4000 pounds per acre as well as the two varieties of Pintos. This indicates that if markets were developed, Navies and Small Reds could successfully be grown in the area.

The most exciting result from this study was the two new pinto varieties that yielded so well. These varieties will be tested again in the small replicated trial format as well as in large strip plots to see if they could be major varieties for the area.


  1. Clark, L.J. and E.W. Carpenter. 1997. National Dry Bean Nursery Summary, 1992-1995. Forage and Grain, A College of Agriculture Report, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ. Series P-110, pp. 159-161. 

az105924-table1a.gif (25263 bytes)

az105924-table1b.gif (4269 bytes)

This is a part of publication AZ1059: "1998 Forage and Grain Agriculture Report," College of Agriculture, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, 85721. 
This document located at
Return to College of Agriculture publications list