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January 17, 2006


Northarvest continues commitment to research.  Between fiscal years 1999/2000 and 2004/2005 Northarvest dedicated 23.5 percent of the total budget or a total of over 1.72 million dollars, to research aimed at more productive dry bean yields.

The 2005/2006 budget allocates 28.6 percent of the total budget to research.  The Northarvest Bean Growers Association approved $219,725 for the following seven research projects.

Dry Bean Improvement for the Northern Plains

Dr. Ken Grafton, Department of Plant Scientists, NDSU ($127,500)

The dry bean breeding program at NDSU is a long-term research effort to develop high yielding, high quality bean genotypes adapted to the northern Great Plains.

Increased greenhouse space, provided in part by Northarvest, allows the breeding and pathology group to perform additional evaluations of lines for disease resistance in the greenhouse and laboratory, and also allows lines to be increased in a disease-free environment.  The expansion has helped in disease testing and hybridization work tremendously.

The 2005/2006 allocation will be applied toward operating expenses for the breeding program, research associate, and the winter nursery program.

Field Evaluations of Dry Bean Populations for White Mold Resistance

Dr. Jack Rasmussen, Department of Plant Pathology, NDSU ($ 10,500)

During the last few years, Rasmussen and Grafton have worked together with financial support from the Northarvest Bean Growers Association to find potential new sources of resistance to white mold, to cross these sources to resistance with a susceptible cultivar adapted to this region, and to develop progeny of these crosses into recombinant inbred populations that would segregate for reaction to white mold.

Funds will be used for inoculation and disease evaluation, plot maintenance at a Carrington site, field chemicals, travel to and from the plots, and production of ascospore inoculum.

Evaluation of Dry Bean Cultivars for Resistance to Fusarium Root Rot Under Field and Controlled Conditions

Dr. Carl Bradley, Department of Plant Pathology, NDSU ($11,901)

In the 2002 grower survey published by Bradley and Luecke in 2004, growers ranked root rot as being the number one and number three disease problem of dry bean in Minnesota and North Dakota respectively.

Funds will be applied toward student labor, expendable supplies, travel to off-site locations in Perham and Park Rapids, and purchases of expendable supplies including petri dishes, culture media, chemicals, glassware, pots, and potting mix.

Evaluating Nitrogen Fertilizer Rates on Kidney Bean Yields and Surveying Root and Foliar Diseases of Several Dry Bean Types in Minnesota and North Dakota

Dr. James Percich, Department of Plant Pathology, U of M ($33,399)

Five dry bean peer reviewed root rot publications were published in 2004 in part as a result of grant support from the Northarvest Bean Growers.  Upon the successful completion of the 2005 nitrogen research trials, dramatic changes concerning nitrogen fertilization will be recommended in the Dry Bean Production Guide.  An extension bulletin detailing Northarvest research efforts in 2004 and 2005 is scheduled for publication in 2006.

The 2005/2006 project budget includes field labor salary, general operating supplies, laboratory supplies, soil and plant analysis, travel, land leases, and publication costs.

Improving the Capacity of Beans for Nitrogen Fixation through Varietal Improvement and Modification of Inoculation Procedures

Dr. Peter Grahm, Department of Soil, Water and Climate, U of M ($12,506)

The study would evaluate and select bean lines bred for improved nodulation and nitrogen fixation, but that have the agronomic characteristics of Northarvest bean lines; and would field test liquid inoculant formulations and Rhizobium strains permitting seed inoculation and contact with seed-applied fungicide.

The 2005/2006 funding will be applied toward technical support for the preparation and installation, sampling and final harvest of experiments, glasshouse; travel to Becker Sandplain and Staples; field plot costs; glasshouse charges for seed multiplication; glassware and chemical supplies; seed protein analysis costs; determination of inoculant strain success.

High Selenium Pinto Beans as a Value-Added Product, Phase II

Dr. John Finley, Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center, USDA/ARS ($19,869)

A conference hosted by the Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center highlighted the potential benefits to human health of enhancing the food supply with the essential trace element selenium.  The Center, UND Department of Geography and Northarvest Bean Growers Association conducted a joint project in 2004 to determine the total content and variability of selenium in North Dakota-grown pinto beans.

The 2005/2006 project would continue GIS mapping and development, acquire and analyze 2005 harvest samples, submit a full report, and prepare scientific publication of project results.  Funds will be applied toward graduate student labor, a laboratory supervisor, and analyst to maintain and run hydride generator, and supplies for analyses.

Grower Survey of Pest Problems, Pesticide Use, and Varieties in 2005

Dr. Carl Bradley, Department of Plant Pathology, NDSU ($4,000)

There have been several previous surveys beginning in 1987.  The data on varieties has made it possible to trace the rising and waning of varieties. It also provides information on the value of the breeding program to the producer, information which is useful for legislative considerations.

The 2005/2006 project will provide information on: class and variety used by Northarvest growers, the major production problems, the major weed, insect and disease problems, pesticide use, and major pest problems.  The survey mailed directly to growers will be their opportunity to tell NDSU and Northarvest about their problems and needs.  Funding will cover data analysis, printing and publication, and mailing costs.

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:

"   Kevin Anderson

     East Grand Forks, MN

"   Mike Beelner

     Menahga, MN

"   Mike Beltz

     Hillsboro, MN

"   Mark Dombeck

     Perham, MN

"   Jon Ewy

     Deer Creek, MN

"   Gary Friskop

     Wahpeton, ND

"   Brian Love

     Euclid, MN

"   Mark Myrdal

     Edinburg, ND

"   Paul Schulz

     Washburn, ND

"   Jim Sletten

     Northwood, ND

"   Dan Webster

     Penn, ND



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