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Dry Bean Survey Highlights 2020 Growing Year

Dry Bean Survey Highlights 2020 Growing Year

The most popular market classes of dry beans grown in North Dakota and Minnesota in 2020 were pinto, navy, black and kidney, according to an NDSU Extension survey.

NDSU Extension conducted the “2020 Dry Bean Grower Survey of Production, Pest Problems and Pesticide Use” in cooperation with the Northarvest Bean Growers Association.

North Dakota produced the majority of pinto beans, while Minnesota produced the majority of kidney beans. Navy and black bean production was roughly equal in both states.

The top pinto varieties were Monterrey, Vibrant (slow-darkening) and Torreon. The most-planted kidney varieties were Montcalm, Dynasty and Red Hawk. For navy beans, the top varieties were HMS Medalist, T-9905 and Blizzard, and for black beans, they were Eclipse, Black Tails and Zorro.

“The survey provides important data on dry bean production, pest problems and pesticide use in Minnesota and North Dakota,” said professor and Extension entomologist Janet Knodel. “Survey respondents provided information on more than 146,000 dry bean acres in 2020, which represents nearly 14 percent of the 1.1 million acres planted in the Northarvest area.


The survey found that corn, wheat, dry beans, soybeans and sugarbeets were the most common crops in rotations during the past five years, with 80 percent of growers producing a dry bean crop in at least two of the past five years.

Most dry beans were grown using conventional tillage (71.4 percent), followed by minimum-tillage farming practices (20 percent), strip tillage (6.2 percent) and no-till (2.4 percent). Growers used cover crops on almost 25 percent of their reported acres, which continues an upward trend in cover crop use. The main reasons for cover crop use were soil conservation, moisture conservation and weed control.

Most growers (80.7 percent) used a soil test prior to fertilizer application, and 29.8 percent used site-specific nutrient management. Rhizobium inoculant was used by 23.5 percent of growers.

Frost affected 22 percent of the surveyed Northarvest acreage. Affected growers reported an average yield loss of 14.7 percent due to frost damage. Water damage and diseases were the next most commonly reported production problems.


For insect pests, 41 percent of reported acres had no insect problems. In dry bean acres that experienced insect problems, grasshoppers (44 percent) were the most frequently reported followed by leafhoppers (29.3 percent) and cutworms (10.6 percent). However, foliar insecticide use was low – 74 percent of dry bean acres did not receive any foliar insecticide - which indicates insect pest pressure was generally not at levels that would cause economic loss.

White mold was the most commonly reported disease, affecting 49.7 percent of dry bean acres, while common bacterial blight was reported on 19.6 percent of dry bean acres and root rot was an issue on 5.1 percent of dry bean acres. No disease problems were reported on 13.6 percent.

Kochia was the most commonly occurring weed and was reported on 22.8 percent of dry bean acres.

Scouting for insects, diseases and weeds was conducted on 98 percent of dry bean acres. About half of the growers relied on crop consultants for scouting services, while the other half handled scouting themselves.

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