2002 dry bean yield trials
April 24, 2003
The Northarvest Bean Growers Association invests checkoff dollars in the dry bean plant breeding program at North Dakota State University. The Report Dry Bean Performance Testing 2002, reproduced in the tables that follow, are a product of the breeding program.
Growing season weather
A warm, dry, relatively uneventful winter preceded the erratic weather of the 2002 growing season. Planting began in earnest in May, but the temperature was variable. The combination of dry soils, 80 degree F temperatures and little precipitation made it appear that the 10-year wet cycle was ending. Memories of the dry springs prevalent from 1988-1993 returned. A killing frost in late May added to the problems.
The remainder of the growing season was a tale of too little or too much water. Southwestern and south central North Dakota remained dry throughout the summer. Four straight weeks with high temperatures, often exceeding 100 degrees F, ended briefly when the first significant rain fell in mid-July.
Northern North Dakota was completely different, especially in the northeast. A series of major storm systems that produced large rainfall totals moved across northern North Dakota and the Red River Valley throughout the summer.
April through September total rainfall generally increased from only 6 inches in the southwest to about 18 inches in northeastern North Dakota.
The 2002 growing season will always be remembered for the tremendous rains and flooding in northeastern North Dakota, the northern Red River Valley and especially northwestern Minnesota and extreme drought in south central and southwestern regions of the state.
After several years of widespread water surpluses, the typical fall condition - dry soil -returned over most of North Dakota in 2002. September rainfall was well below normal and little rain fell in October, so there has been little recharge. Despite the lack of rain, October was cloudy and cold, causing poor drying and harvesting conditions. When the data are tabulated, October will probably rank as one of the coolest on record in many areas. On a positive note, the October weather pattern also reduced evaporation from surface soils, which may help soil water recharge slightly.
Compiled by: Duane Berglund, NDSU extension agronomist