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Analyzing the 2018 edible bean season

Analyzing the 2018 edible bean season

Less acres of dry beans planted this year compared to 2017 

Staff Writer
Some Ontario edible bean growers have yet to complete harvest due to excessive rains. 
Producers planted most of their dry beans in the first two weeks of June, though rainfall in some regions forced growers to plant later than anticipated, a Thursday OMAFRA field crop report said. A lack of heavy rains in June decreased crusting and other rainfall-related plant losses, allowing dry bean stands to start off strong.
Seedbed conditions were overly dry in some regions, and conditions were dry until the middle of July. Dry areas saw extended flowering periods and inconsistent maturity, though dry beans excel in conditions that are not excessively moist. 
August rains, however, may have caused re-flowering, and rainfall throughout September and into October had growers struggling to harvest on time. High-yielding crops were exposed to rain for weeks, and, in some cases, “dry beans had already been desiccated and therefore did not stand up well to rain falling day after day,” the report said.
Producers could not combine fields that were ready for harvest in September until mid-October, causing the yield quality to diminish because of fungus that thrive in wet conditions.
Some producers still had beans in the field at the end of November, and, as of Thursday, growers reported less than one third of finals yields to Agricorp.  
Farmers planted fewer acres of dry beans this year than in 2017. White bean acres, under production insurance, totaled roughly 48,000 acres this year, in comparison to 60,000 acres in 2017. Black bean acreage fell from 2017 levels, with roughly 11,800 acres planted this year. Kidney bean acreage totaled slightly under 14,000 acres. The total acreage of dry beans “under production insurance in 2018 was approximately 107,200 acres, down from about 115,800 acres the previous year,” the report said. 
Potato leafhoppers were active in various regions. Tarnished plant bugs and stink bugs appeared early in the season, before bean pods had developed. Bean leaf beetle and redheaded flea beetle, defoliating insects, were also active in many fields, though levels remained below threshold. 
Levels of western bean cutworm (WBC), specifically in corn fields, were also lower this year compared to 2017. An increase in the number of natural WBC enemies may have helped to reduce the overall damage in corn and dry bean fields this year.
Field scouts found trap counts of WBC in dry bean fields to be higher this year than last, though. The increase in trap counts is “likely because WBC are attracted to bean fields when corn is beyond their favoured crop growth stage (tassels emerged), and much of the corn tasseled prior to peak moth flight,” the report said. 
The presence of pests in this year’s crops are lower compared to previous years, Nick Masse, a field marketer with Hensall Co-op, told Friday. 
“This year, (compared) to two years ago, was definitely better.”
The number of pests in next year’s crops will depend on weather, Masse said.
Pests “definitely will be (present) next year, weather depending. … They will be there because they start at the corn and move to the dry beans,” he explained. “You’ll probably find (pests) in the lighter soil areas more than in the heaver areas, and to the south more than to the north.”
digihelion/iStock/Getty Images Plus photo

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