Over 150 researchers, organizations and bean industry professionals representing 12 countries gathered in Fargo, North Dakota for the Bean Improvement Cooperative biennial meeting. North Dakota State University plant pathologist Julie Pasche says the last time this meeting was held in Fargo was 2001. “There are both different challenges and the same challenges in bean production across the world. We learn from those challenges,” says Pasche.
Phil Mikals, a dry bean research geneticist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service, is the current BIC president. Miklas says disease resistance is a top talking point “A lot of these diseases are world wide. For diseases that are a problem in the U.S., the expertise may be in South Africa or somewhere else.” Another area is nutrition. “In the last ten years, bean have shown to have health benefits beyond just fiber and folate.”