Look for Dry Bean Grower Surveys in the Mail

The 2020 Dry Bean Grower Survey of Production, Pest Problems and Pesticide Use has been mailed. NDSU Extension would appreciate your time and effort to fill out the survey form. This is a cooperative effort between the Northarvest Bean Growers Association and Extension that is made possible through a grant from Northarvest.
Results from this survey are important and provide dry bean growers and invested stakeholders with information about grower practices and pest problems in North Dakota and Minnesota. It also helps identify research and pesticide registration priorities. Survey responses are kept completely anonymous. Plus, you have a chance to win $500 prize drawing if you return a completed survey with your drawing form! 
Here are the results from last year’s dry bean grower survey

Courneya Honored by NDSU Extension

North Dakota State University (NDSU) Extension honored Tim Courneya, executive vice president, Northarvest Bean Growers Association, with the Friend of Extension Award. Courneya has served in this role with the association for more than 40 years. The award was presented during the recent joint NDSU Extension and Research Extension Center conference held virtually.

Two Palmer Findings in Two Weeks

Palmer amaranth has been confirmed in Stutsman County, North Dakota. A county weed officer noticed some suspect plants in a field and notified the landowner. One week prior, the noxious weed, along with large amounts of waterhemp, were identified in a Benson County, North Dakota soybean field. It’s not exactly known how the weed got there, but the Benson County Extension agent thinks the weeds may have been there for many years.
Palmer amaranth is native to the southwestern U.S. but was accidentally introduced to other areas and has devastated crops in the South and Midwest. It is a prolific seed producer that can emerge throughout the growing season. It grows rapidly at 2-3 inches per day in optimum conditions and is prone to herbicide resistance and multiple modes of action. It is a highly invasive weed that can dramatically cut crop yields.
Additional information on palmer amaranth and other noxious weeds are available here. To report a suspect plant, go to or contact your local county weed officer or North Dakota State University Extension agent.

Dry Bean Scene

The dry edible bean growers looks good in portions of North Dakota and Minnesota, while some fields have been inundated by too much moisture and severe weather. Also, growers should be on the lookout for both bacterial blight and rust. Get the full details in this week’s Dry Bean Scene on the Red River Farm Network, made possible in part by the Northarvest Bean Growers Association.

Dry Bean Scene

It’s never too early to starting scouting and treating for disease in dry edible beans. According to NDSU Extension plant pathologist Sam Markell, white mold and rust are two common diseases farmers should look for. Get the full details in the Dry Bean Scene on the Red River Farm Network, made possible in part by the Northarvest Bean Growers Association.

Practice Physical Distancing on the Farm

As North Dakota slowly moves into a phase of re-opening, the risk of illness from COVID-19 has not faded. Farmers, ranchers and their employees interact with each other regularly, so they need to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) physical distancing guidelines to minimize the risk for themselves and their families. Here are some tips to protect farm employees:
  • Maintain a 6-foot distance between people whenever possible.
  • Wear a mask when working around others.
  • Develop a cohesive plan for the whole farm.
Daily plans can be communicated virtually through phone calls, emails or group text messages. If in-person meetings are necessary, try to meet outside in an open area rather than in a small shop with limited space that won’t allow for physical distancing. If you have space, set chairs apart or mark spots on the floor for distancing. Here are some other tips for physical distancing:
  • Have enough vehicles so people can drive separately or in pairs as often as possible. Assign equipment, tractors and pickups to individuals as much as possible, especially for those who may be considered at higher risk of developing illnesses.
  • Limit the number of individuals in vehicles when riding from field to field, and wear a mask when sharing this space.
  • Limit ride-alongs of nonessential workers or family.  
  • Stagger breaks and mealtimes to minimize the number of individuals in the breakroom at one time, and encourage cleaning and disinfecting between uses.
Visit NDSU’s COVID-19 in agriculture website at

Research on Dry Bean Row Spacing

Narrower row spacings and higher plant populations are trending in dry bean production. Data from a 2018 dry bean grower survey indicate 39% of black and 44% of navy bean were planted in North Dakota at rates of 110,000 seeds per acre or greater, with the likely goal of establishing at least 100,000 plants per acre. In addition, the survey results record about 70% of black and navy bean in 2018 were planted in row widths ranging from 11 to 25 inches.
Based on historic North Dakota work, NDSU recommends an established stand of 90,000 plants per acre for black and navy bean. Research conducted in 1999 to 2000 indicated no seed yield response among black and navy bean planting rates of 90,000, 105,000 and 120,000 pure live seeds (PLS) per acre and a yield increase in one of two years with 7- versus 30-inch row spacings.
This publication summarizes NDSU research trials conducted 2014 to 2018 in eastern North Dakota to evaluate potential yield increase of black and navy bean with higher plant populations and narrower rows compared to the traditionally recommended plant density in wide rows. View the research here.

Dry Bean Scene

NDSU Extension Soil Health Specialist Abbey Wick has been fielding questions from farmers. Some of the common questions deal with salinity and cover crop use. Hear more in the Dry Bean Scene on the Red River Farm Network, made possible by the Northarvest Bean Growers Association.

NDSU Extension Helping Farmers Cope with Stress

Poor growing and harvesting conditions, low commodity prices, trade wars and a shortage of livestock feed for winter all have been stressful for North Dakota farmers and ranchers. NDSU Extension has developed a number of resources to help farmers and ranchers cope with the stress resulting from the uncertainties in their profession.
The first step is to recognize the early symptoms of stress, according to Sean Brotherson, Extension family science specialist. “Before farm/ranch families can do much about managing stress, they have to know when they are experiencing it,” he says. “Much of the time, people do not know or give attention to what is going on in their bodies and in their relationships with others.”
Those early signs include rising blood pressure, a rapidly beating heart, clenched teeth, aching neck and shoulders, sweating hands and feet, and churning stomach. Read more.

“Getting It Right” Presentations Now Available

Presentations from the “Getting It Right” Dry Bean Production webinar on April 15 are now available. The dry bean webinar subjects covered by NDSU Extension crop specialists include:
  • Market types and variety review, and plant growth stages – Hans Kandel
  • Recommendations for selected plant establishment factors – Greg Endres
  • Soil considerations and plant nutrition – Dave Franzen
  • Disease management – Sam Markell
  • Weed management – Joe Ikley
  • Market update – Frayne Olson
Access them here.