2010 Edible Bean Summary

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Planting
  3. Growing Season
  4. Harvest
  5. Production Challenges for 2011

Technical information can also be obtained at the OMAFRA Field Crops Webpage and Crop Pest Ontario. Referenced OMAFRA Publications include the Agronomy Guide for Field Crops (Publication 811), the Field Crop Protection Guide (Publication 812), Guide to Weed Control (Publication 75), and Ontario Weeds (Publication 505). These can be obtained from your OMAFRA Resource Centre, or by calling 1-800-668-9938.


White bean acreage increased this year to over 90,000 acres and coloured bean acreage was steady, owing to early offerings of strong price contracts. Grower interest was strong and planted acreage was only limited by the number of contracts available. Despite heavy rains and saturated soils dampening early season growth and increased early root rot pressure, overall yields were higher than expected and above long term averages. Yields ranged from 12 - 35 cwt, depending on rainfall, soil type, and disease pressure. The provincial average is expected to beat the long term average of 18 cwt/ac. and will likely set a new record of close to 20 cwt/acre.


Early planted beans were planted into excellent soil conditions. In late May soil conditions turned very dry and some planting delayed while waiting for soil moisture. Late May plantings received heavy rains resulting in ponding, significant erosion and uneven emergence. Wet conditions in June challenged growers' patience in waiting for good soil conditions to finish planting.

Growing Season

The crop struggled early in the season through frequent or severe rain events. Root rot was evident early in the season, but was held in check by dry growing conditions throughout August. Leafhopper pressure was low throughout the season, which may be partially due to almost all seed receiving Cruiser seed treatment. Frequent showers throughout July produced an excellent flush of vegetative growth and flowers. August rainfall varied significantly across dry bean growing area. Southern growing areas experienced a 4-6 week dry period, which limited serious infection from root rot, blight, white mould and anthracnose. Anthracnose was a problem in much of the white bean crop and some black beans, especially in areas to the north of Highway 8 through Huron, Perth, Bruce and Wellington-Waterloo. These areas received significantly more August rainfall or storms. Growers with AC Compass and Thunder varieties reported the greatest amount of anthracnose. All varieties, except T9903 and Envoy are susceptible to Race 73, the prevalent race of anthracnose in Ontario. A wet growing season in 2009, which resulted in infected seed fields, combined with frequent showers in July and August this year contributed to the "perfect storm" for anthracnose. Repeated applications of fungicide were sometimes not enough to keep anthracnose or white mould in check. Bacterial blight infection occurred earlier than normal and resulted in higher infection rates in most of the dry bean crop. Insect pressure was minimal through the season, although bean leaf beetle pod feeding resulted in some fields requiring control


Good harvest weather allowed for an early start and finish to harvest of most bean types. Early yields and quality were excellent, with yields of 20 - 30 cwt/ac most common. Harvest was delayed on early beans by low seed moistures in some areas. Yields were disappointing in some areas, notably west Middlesex, Lambton, and Elgin due to a 4-6 week dry period beginning in early August. Quality was excellent on Cranberry, Black, Otebo, and Kidney beans. Adzuki bean acreage remained strong although yields and seed size were disappointing in some cases, due to limited August rainfall, disease, and the early maturity of the crop. White bean quality was downgraded mostly due to seed infection from anthracnose and bacterial blight. Growers were sometimes confused by the differences in price discount schedules applied for anthracnose infection. Increased production and yields this season throughout North America have put a downward pressure on harvest prices for most dry bean market classes.

Production Challenges for 2011

Fertilizer Strategies

With fertilizer prices on the rise again, soil testing makes more sense than ever to determine fertilizer blends for next season. Fertilizing to soil test will replace fertilizing to crop removal without jeopardizing yield. Fully credit the nutrients from manure and plowdowns. Starter fertilizer has not shown a consistent response in research trials and can reduce emergence under dry soil conditions. Be leery of products with 'testimonials' but with no solid research. Do your own replicated trial.

Pest Issues

Anthracnose and bacterial blight infection of this years' white and black bean seed production fields will challenge the supply of 'clean' seed for 2011. Early detection of anthracnose is like finding a 'needle in haystack'. Anthracnose appeared earlier than normal, and sometimes with minimal leaf /stem lesions prior to pod infection becoming evident. Early, properly timed fungicide applications for white mould and anthracnose are the best defence. Bean leaf beetles now over winter in Ontario and can feed on edible beans throughout the season. Western bean cutworm moth activity was higher than previous years and remains a threat to corn and edible beans in Southwestern Ontario.

For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
E-mail: ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca