By David Ostdiek
Results of the 2019 variety trials for dry edible beans and field peas conducted by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln have been posted on the Nebraska Extension CropWatch website.
Variety trial results for both crops (as well as other crops such as millet, sunflowers and oats) are available at cropwatch.unl.edu/varietytest/othercrops. Or navigate to the Other Crops Variety Trials page from the main CropWatch page at cropwatch.unl.edu by clicking on these links: management > variety testing > other crops.
Results for the past three years are listed on that page. Older variety trial results are archived on a separate page that is linked to the current variety trial page.
Dry edible bean results
The variety trials have been operated for 38 years as a service to the dry bean industry. The 2019 variety trials were planted at two locations, the Scottsbluff Ag Lab at the Panhandle Research and Extension Center and the Mitchell Ag Lab, 5 miles to the north.
Six trials were planted at both locations: Great Northern (25 entries), pinto (50 entries), light red kidney (19 entries), dark red kidney (9 entries), black beans (18 entries) and navy (8 entries). An additional yellow trial (3 entries) was planted at the Scottsbluff Ag Lab, and the Cooperative Dry Bean Nursery was planted at the Scottsbluff Ag Lab.
The trials at the Scottsbluff Ag Lab were not harvested because of severe hailstorms on Aug. 15, 16, and 20. All the results reported this year are from the Mitchell Ag Lab.
Results were compiled by Carlos Urrea, dry bean breeding specialist, and Eduardo Valentin Cruzado, research technologist for the dry bean breeding program. They also acknowledged Panhandle Center farm manager Gene Kizzire and his team and the summer crew for help with agronomic management, and Ann Koehler for editing the document. The financial support of the Dry Bean Commission is greatly appreciated.
The dry bean report includes a description of the trials and several tables that list yield, moisture, test weight and other data for each variety within the market classes. The description includes detailed information, such as planting dates, seeding rates, herbicide treatments, row width, irrigation, harvest date and other details.
In addition to the website, the report will be published in the Bean Bag newsletter published by the Nebraska Dry Bean Growers Association.
Field pea results
The pea trials consisted of five plots, each with between 23 and 43 varieties, located in Cheyenne, Lincoln, Perkins (two plots) and Saunders counties. All plots were dryland except for one in Perkins, which was irrigated.
For each variety at each site, the CropWatch website report lists yield (according to rank); test weight; days to flowering and physiological maturity; height at harvest; moisture at harvest; and seed protein percentage. Each site report also has comments about the growing season and production practices at that location.
In assessing the 2019 field pea variety trials conducted by UNL, alternative crops breeding specialist Dipak Santra noted that this year’s trial was below average because of adverse weather from the beginning of planting season, which delayed planting.
Crews began planting April 5 and planted while the ground was wet, in some cases with snow cover. The desired planting window is the last week of March to April 4 or 5.
During the growing season, several weather events affected trial performance. In Perkins County, heavy rain caused partial flooding of plots. Sidney experienced a hailstorm and a tornado. A Box Butte County trial failed because of weed infestation after the weather prevented the cooperating farmer from spraying.
The remaining trial in the Panhandle, at the High Plains Ag Lab in Cheyenne County, was significantly below average. In the west-central region, the Perkins County rainfed trial was significantly below average, but the irrigated trial was a little above average.
The Lincoln County trial was above average. The rainfed trial in Saunders County also was average or slightly below average. There was no disease in any of the plots.
Historical or old varieties performed as they had in previous years, Santra said. High-yielding old varieties remained high-yielding. The top five high-yielding varieties in 2019 based on three dryland sites (Cheyenne, Perkins and Lincoln counties) were AAC Profit (No. 1 overall), D-Admiral, Spider, Durwood and Bridger.
The average yield among those five was 35 bushels per acre. Santra noted that this was driven by one site. The Lincoln County yield average was 60 bushels per acre. The 2019 average yield for Cheyenne County was 21 bushels per acre, and Perkins County 22 bushels per acre. The three-year average yield for the state is 33 bushels per acre.
Test weight averaged about 61 pounds per bushel, similar to the long-term average. There was no significance difference among the sites.
The 2019 average seed protein was about 25%, above the long-term average of 24%. There was no significant difference in seed protein among all the sites.
Last year, two varieties, AAC Profit and Polancos, were among the top three varieties in yield. That same trend remained in 2019, except for Cheyenne County. AAC Profit ranked highest yielding at Lincoln County (81 bushels per acre). It ranked high at Perkins County (30 bushels per acre), but low in Cheyenne County (17 bushels per acre). Polancos yielded 79 bushels per acre in Lincoln County, 30 in Perkins County, and 17 at Cheyenne County. Both varieties were first tested in 2018.
Santra said one specific characteristic of AAC Profit is that it is high-yielding and high in seed protein, which is uncommon among all the pea varieties tested. This is not the case with Polancos.
There were 11 new experimental lines entered in 2019 by three companies, Puris Foods (2), ProGene Plant Research (4), and Photosyntech (5). Two varieties from Photosyntech had high yields. One variety from Puris was high yielding, and none of the ProGene varieties yielded well, Santra said.
Santra acknowledged help and cooperation of cooperators for each site: in Cheyenne County, UNL’s High Plains Ag Lab; in Perkins County, UNL’s Henry J. Stumpf Wheat Center; and in Lincoln County, UNL West Central Research and Extension Center. Several of the locations hosted field days in June.
The data were compiled by Santra. The pea variety testing project is a collaborative program among several UNL specialists, educators and staff.
Santra recognized contributions from Cody Creech, dryland cropping systems specialist for the Panhandle; Jerry Volesky, range specialist from West Central; Strahinja Stepanovic, cropping systems Extension educator in Perkins, Chase and Dundy counties; Vernon Florke, research technician at High Plains Ag Lab; Allison Rickey, research technician in the Panhandle; and Saurav Das, visiting scientist in the Panhandle.
Ostdiek is a communications specialist at the University of Nebraska's Panhandle Research and Extension Center.