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January 15, 2008

The Northarvest Bean Growers Association underscored their commitment to dry edible bean research by increasing the 2007-2008 research budget 42% over the previous year.  In March, committee members met with the applicants requesting a total of $360,343 in funding.  The committee recommended that the following projects in the areas of applied, added value, and health research receive $305,908 from the Northarvest Bean Growers Association.

Dry Bean Improvement for the Northern Plains

Dr.  Juan Osorno,Department of Plant Sciences, NDSU ($152,500)

The first priority of this long-term project is to improve pinto and navy market classes, but also black, great northern, red and kidney market classes which are also an important part of their breeding program.  This long-term project uses a modified pedigree breeding method which allows continual evaluation and selection of desirable plants and/or lines.  Each winter about 600 unique hybridizations are performed in the greenhouse with more than 40 percent of all crosses focused on pintos.  Each year the breeding program evaluates material from around the world as possible sources of resistance to white mold, rust, root rot, anthracnose, virus, and bacterial blights.  There are currently seven trial locations in Minnesota and North Dakota.

Northarvest grant funds will be used for daily operational expenses of the breeding program, for supplies, a research assistant, to hire technical support and student labor, and replacement of a thresher.

Experimental Herbicides and Desiccants in Dry Edible Beans

Dr. Richard Zollinger, Department of Plant Sciences, NDSU ($4,000)

This project meets the Northarvest goal to aid in harvesting and other research increasing the efficiencies in dry bean production.  Herbicide and weed research will include testing KIH-485 for dry bean tolerance, testing halosulfuron for weed control and dry bean tolerance, testing carfentrazone and experimental compounds to determine rates and adjuvant for maximum dry bean desiccation.

The majority of funds granted by Northarvest will assist in supporting the salary of a research specialist.

Resistance against Fusarium Root Rot of Dry Bean

Dr. Jack Rasmussen, Department of Plant Pathology, NDSU ($17,975 -- This project also received funding in the amount of $11,525 from the State Board of Agricultural Research and Education.)
The long-term objective of this project is to assist the development of dry bean germplasm and resistance to Fusarium root rot for the Northarvest production area.  Immediate objectives include assistance to the dry bean breeder by screening germplasm for root rot resistance and to conduct experiments to determine the genetics of resistance to Furarium root rot in Vax 3.

Grant funds will be used to support student labor necessary for year-round growth and screening operations and for supplies.

Enhancement of Molecular Marker & Molecular Biology Capabilities for Dry Bean Pathology

Dr. Jack Rasmussen, Department of Plant Pathology, NDSU ($45,000)

This project is to provide tools necessary to support modern laboratory-based molecular biology research.  The techniques of molecular biology offer opportunities to advance breeding efforts of disease-resistant dry bean cultivars, also to help plant pathologists understand plant pathogens and how they change over time and space, and to diagnose plant diseases.  While molecular tools have been used in other area crops, the NDSU Plant Pathology has not previously had a molecular component.

Northarvest will work with other partners to provide funds for molecular laboratory equipment including a PCR machine to produce molecular markers linked to disease resistance genes and markers that can fingerprint a plant pathogen, electrophoresis equipment to analyze the molecular markers, and centrifuges to isolate DNA from plants and pathogens.

Effect of Soybean Cyst Nematode on Growth of Dry Bean

Dr. Berlin Nelson, Department of Plant Pathology, NDSU ($21,300)

This is a two-year project to examine the interaction of the SCN strains and dry bean.  The strains were discovered in Minnesota in 1973 and North Dakota in 2003, however few definitive studies have been conducted.  Preliminary research evaluating eight pinto and navy bean cultivars and four black and kidney bean cultivars grown in the Northarvest region clearly indicate that SCN reproduces on the Northarvest  areas dry beans. The first year of the study will focus on greenhouse research to investigate the effect of SCN on dry bean growth.

Northarvest grant funds will help support greenhouse labor and supplies as well as necessary research equipment.

Utilization of Cracked & Broken Bean Flour in Omega-3 Fortified Extruded Snacks

Dr. Mehmet Tulbek, NCI, NDSU; Dr. Clifford Hall, Department of Cereal Science, NDSU; and Brian Sorenson, NCI, NDSU ($37,890)
This project attempts to utilize the broken and cracked beans that make up an average of seven percent of the harvest loss of edible bean production by developing a health based product for the snack food industry.  Previous research indicated that bean snacks were oxidatively stable and that navy and pinto bean flours could be used as alternative ingredients in snack foods without altering product quality.  The project will develop a flour processing method by utilizing cracked and broken beans, determine functional properties of cracked and broken bean flour, assess the shelf life properties of the cracked and broken bean flour during storage, and develop a method for producing extruded snack products from omega-3 fortified cracked and broken dry bean flour and assess the sensory properties of the extruded bean snack products.

Northarvest grant funds will be used for graduate student salary, technical support, materials and supplies, equipment, travel, and publication.

Antioxidant Activity in Dry Beans: Potential for Pinto Beans to Slow Age-related Bone Loss

Dr. Jay Cao, USDA ARS Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center ($22,743)

The studies undertaken in this project will use mice to demonstrate whether age-related bone loss can be prevented or slowed by antioxidant factors in dry beans.  They will also yield a better understanding of cellular and molecular mechanisms by which dry bean factors may influence bone formation and resorption, features important in the prevention/treatment of osteoporosis and other bone-loss associated diseases in humans.  Positive results will provide the necessary basis for planning human studies to determine whether bean consumption can play a role in the maintenance and/or enhancement of bone health.

The Northarvest grant will fund salaries, supplies, gene expression, histomorphometry, and imaging analysis.

Grower Survey of Pest Problems, Pesticide Use, and Varieties in 2007

Janet Knodel, Department of Entomology, NDSU ($4,500)

The grower surveys began in 1987 and have made it possible to trace the rising and waning of varieties, to determine what portion of the bean crop was planted to rust-resistant varieties, to provide information on the value of the breeding program to the producer.  The current project goals are to provide information on class and variety used by Northarvest area growers, provide information on major production problems, provide information on major weed, disease and insect problems, provide information on pesticide use, and provide information on major pest problems.  The survey will be mailed directly to growers.

Northarvest grant funds will pay for printing and publication costs, mailing costs, and data analysis.

Drybean research associate Gonzalo Rojas-Cifuentes (left) and bean breeder Juan Osorno in the NDSU Seed Testing Lab, where seed is prepared before planting in greenhouse or field trial evaluations.

Research Committee

The Northarvest Research Committee plays a vital role in the research decision process. They screen all research proposals and requests for funding and then make recommendations to the full board.  Current committee members are:

"        Mark Dombeck

          Perham, MN

"        Jon Ewy

          Deer Creek, MN

"        Nick Kitsch

          Webster, ND

"        Brian Love, Chair

          Euclid, MN

"        Joe Mauch

          Hankinson, ND

"        Jason Mewes

          Colgate, ND

"        Jim Sletten

          Northwood, ND

"        Tim Smith

          Walhalla, ND

"        Todd Sorenson

          Fisher, MN

"        Dan Webster

          Penn, ND

"        James Zenk

          Danube, MN



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