Bean: Snap, Dry, and Lima

Introduction

All beans, except Lima, are relatively easy to grow in New England. Beans should be planted in well-drained soil to reduce the chances of disease, and should not be repeatedly planted in the same field (rotate every 2 to 3 years) because of soil-borne diseases.

Planting should commence only when soil temperatures have reached 60°F. Optimum seed germination occurs at soil temperatures above 70°F. Irrigation may be necessary at time of bloom in order to insure maximum pod set under dry soil conditions. Temperatures above 90°F or below 50°F cause poor pod set.

Types and Varieties

Snap Beans

Snap beans can have yellow (wax), purple or green pods, and grow in bush or vine/pole forms. Pods are flat (Italian types), oval, or round, depending on cultivar. Filet beans have slender stringless pods that stay small and thin. Good commercial yields for fresh market are 200 bushels or more per acre.

Dry Beans

In recent years, a significant acreage of pea beans and a small, but important, acreage of light red kidney varieties have been grown in northern New England. A good yield is 1,300 lb/A, but 2,200 to 2,500 lb/A is possible.

Lima Beans

Lima beans are of minor importance in most areas in New England. Seed germination requires warm soil. The need to plant late and the days to maturity of available varieties sharply reduce length of the harvest season and restrict production in northern New England. A good yield of shelled lima beans is 3,000 lb/A.

Snap, Dry, and Lima Bean Varieties
Snap Beans - green Lima Beans
Ambra - BCMV, CT Fordhook 242
Bronco - BCMV Eastland - DM
Concesa - BCMV, HB King of the Garden - pole
Contender - BCMV, PM  
Dusky - BCMV, PM, HB, BBR Dry Beans
Jade - BCMV Jacob's Cattle
Pony Express - BCMV, CT Maine Yellow Eye
Provider - BCMV, PM Pinto
Tema - BCMV Redkote Kidney - HB
Boone - BCMV, PM, HB, BBR Seafarer Pea Bean - A, HB, BCMV
Fortex - pole White Marrow
  Marfax
Snap Beans - Italian flat-podded  
Greencrop - BCMV Snap beans - yellow/wax
Romano 942 - BCMV Carson - BCMV, A
Roma II - BCMV Rocdor - BCMV, A
Navarro - BCMV Eureka - BCMV, BBR
Romano Gold (yellow) Monte Gusto - pole
   
Snap Bean - slender filet Snap beans - purple
Concador Royal Burgundy
Maxibel Purple-Podded Pole - pole
Nickel  
Soleil (yellow) Shell Beans
Tavera - A, BCMV French Horticultural - HB

 

Resistant to: A: Anthracnose; BBR: Bacterial Brown Rot: BR: Bean Rust; CBMV: Common Bean Mosaic Virus; CT: Curly Top Virus; DM: Downy Mildew; HB: Halo Blight; PM: Powdery Mildew

Other codes: pole = pole beans (all others are bush)

                                                                                                                     

Soil Fertility 

Apply lime according to soil test to maintain soil pH at 6.5 to 6.8.

Apply no more than 80 to 100 lb/A combined weight of nitrogen and potash through the planter.

A sidedressing of 30 lb nitrogen/A at prebloom may extend harvest period and increase yields, especially on sandy soils.

Machine harvested beans are unlikely to need sidedressing.

Less nitrogen fertilizer will be needed if manure or legume sod was plowed down (see Table 3, Nitrogen Credits from Manure and Table 4, Nitrogen Credits from Previous Crops).

PLANT NUTRIENT RECOMMENDATION ACCORDING TO SOIL TEST RESULTS FOR Bean: Snap, Dry, and Lima
Bean: Snap, Dry, and Lima NITROGEN (N)* LBS PER ACRE PHOSPHORUS (P) LBS P2O5 PER ACRE POTASSIUM (K) LBS K2O PER ACRE
SOIL TEST RESULTS   VERY LOW LOW OPTIMUM ABOVE OPTIMUM VERY LOW LOW OPTIMUM ABOVE OPTIMUM
Broadcast or Planter** 50 100 75 0-50 0 100 75 0-50 0
TOTAL RECOMMENDED 50 100 75 0-50 0 100 75 0-50 0
*SEE PLANT NUTRIENTS FOR INFORMATION ON NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT AND APPLICATION.
**DO NOT EXCEED A TOTAL OF 80LB. N/A PLUS K20 AS A PREPLANT INCORPORATE, IF NECESSARY.

Planting

Bush Snap Beans: Plants should be spaced 1.5" to 2" within rows and 18" to 36" between rows. Use the higher plant population under a more favorable environment. Sow 75 to 100 lb of seed/A (approximately 0.5 lb/100' of row) depending on seed type and percent germination. Plant seed 1" to 2" deep, depending on soil type and/or soil moisture content. Repeat seeding every 2 to 3 weeks for a continuous supply.

Pole Beans: Pole beans can be supported by a bean trellis of a large mesh nylon material or large mesh wire fence. Removing the plants from the fence is a chore, however. Economics will allow disposal of the nylon mesh. The traditional manner is to use a 4 pole tepee method. When using the trellis or fence method, plant seeds 1" to 2" deep, 6" apart, in rows 4' apart. For the tepee method, plant 6 to 7 seeds around each pole. One lb of seed will plant 240' of row or around 150 poles.

Lima Beans: Plants should be spaced 2" to 4" within rows and 18" to 36" between rows. Use 40 to 60 lb seed/A (4 to 6 oz/100' of row). Plant 1" deep in moist heavy soils and 2" in dry, sandy soils.

Dry Beans: Plants should be spaced 2" to 3" within rows and 28" to 36" between rows. Rate of seeding depends on seed size, percent germination, time of planting, and row spacing (check seed company recommendations for each cultivar). Plant seed 1" to 2" deep depending on soil type and/or soil moisture content.  

Defoliation of Dry Beans

paraquat (Gramoxone Inteon 3S*): Apply 0.75 to 1.3 pt/A (7 dh, REI 48h, Group 22) in 20 gal water with ground equipment or in a minimum of 5 gal water with aerial equipment. Add spreader (nonionic) at 1 qt per 100 gal spray mix. For vining-type beans or bush-type with lush growth, use a single application of the higher rate. May also be applied as a split application. Do not make more than two applications or exceed a total of 1.5 pts/A. The split application method may improve vine coverage. Apply when the crop is mature and at least 80% of the pods are yellowing and mostly ripe with no more than 40% (bush type) or 30% (vine type) of the leaves still green in color. Do not apply when weather conditions favor spray drift. A drift control agent may be included to reduce spray drift. Do not use on Fava beans.

sodium chlorate (Defol 6): 1 gal/A (7 dh, REI 48h). Apply in 5 to 10 gal water by air or 10 to 20 gal by ground equipment. Thorough coverage is essential. Make application 7 to 10 days before anticipated harvest, longer if temperatures are cool. Do not graze treated fields or feed treated fodder to livestock.

Harvest

Snap beans: Average snap bean yields are 4,000 lb/A (80 lb/100' of row) for bush and 2,500 lb/A (50 lb/100' of row) for pole. Hand-picked snap beans are in demand. Piece rate or share picking (1:1) is suggested for payment. This can increase picker efficiency. Large scale growers should investigate mechanical harvesters. Beans should be harvested when the pod is bright green and fleshy, and the seeds are small and green.  Pods should snap easily when bent.  Optimum storage conditions are 41-45° F at 95-100% relative humidity, but storage time is limited. After >10% weight loss, beans will not be marketable.

Dry beans: Good dry bean yields range from 1500 to 1800 lbs. per acre. Dry beans should not be harvested until the majority of pods have turned yellow and thoroughly matured, but before the pods dry to the point of shatter. The mature beans should be so hard that you cannot easily bite into the seed. Mechanized harvesting can be done with a puller-cutter, which will uproot or cut the entire plant and lay it on the ground in windrows as the machine moves along the field. Windrows can be combined when beans have dried to 18% moisture.  Once shelled, beans should be conditioned using a low temperature and dried to a moisture level of 15 to 16%, then stored in rodent and insect proof bins at temperature ranging from 35 to 55° F.