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Breeding Program Ramps Up
January 15, 2008

The next cycle in dry bean breeding program at NDSU is underway.

Juan Osorno, dry bean breeder with the NDSU Plant Science Department, says new lines are growing in seed increase plots in
Puerto Rico. In Fargo, technicians are screening new germplasm in laboratories for disease resistance. New crosses between parent lines made before Christmas are growing vigorously. The plants will blossom soon in the NDSU greenhouse.

It is a very busy time, Osorno says.

Osorno says he hopes that 2008 will be as good as 2007 was for the dry bean breeding program. The Northarvest Bean Growers Association, the North Dakota Dry Bean Council and the Minnesota Dry Bean Research and Promotion Council devote most of their research funds to the dry bean program.

In 2007, the NDSU Agricultural Experiment Station released two new pintos  Stampede and Lariat. Osorno and the other members of the dry bean breeding program team evaluated thousands of lines in 10,000 plots planted at eight locations in the region. Most of the plots escaped hail and other damage.

We saw some very promising material, he says. Two navy lines stood out. They continue to top the yield trials.

Osorno says he was also impressed by three pinto lines. They are very upright and they have good yields, he says. Well see how they do over the next several years.

Its important to test cultivars for several years so that they are exposed to a wide variety of weather conditions, Osorno continues. This year, for example, was cool early in the season and a navy variety that had been a top candidate to be released showed significant zinc deficiency.

Masters student

In 2008, the breeding program will get a boost on another front. A student from Brazil, who is working on his masters degree, will join the program, Osorno says.

The student is going to help with the breeding program and conduct direct combining research. His project involves measuring direct combining field losses due. The data will help provide farmers with specific information about losses they can expect from direct combining with different cultivars, row spacings and other variables.

Direct combining looks very promising, Osorno says. We hope to measure some of the things producers need to know to make good decisions about the system.

Osorno, a Colombian native, accepted the dry bean breeder appointment last year.

Im very happy working in the project, he says, and I acknowledge all the support from Northarvest.


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