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Dry Bean Field Preparation

Proper field selection and preparation for dry beans provides seed with the best environment for rapid germination and emergence, allows roots to grow quickly and absorb nutrients, and provides the conditions necessary for good weed control and proper irrigation.

Dry beans require warm, moist soil conditions for germination and emergence. The soil must be prepared so it warms rapidly, but still retains as much moisture as possible. Fall plowing is preferred because it conserves more moisture than spring plowing. Freezing and thawing during winter tends to reduce soil clods.

Consider these tips in your field selection for dry beans.

  • Choose land that is moderately firm, level, and free of clods and trash.
  • Ensure adequate moisture in the seeding zone.
  • Work soils, especially heavy clay types, at the right moisture to avoid producing a lumpy seedbed and soil compaction.
  • Avoid excessive tillage — it’s not only costly, but can cause compaction that interferes with water drainage and root penetration. It also has a tendency to dry out the seedbed.
  • Avoid compacted wet soils, as they tend to warm slowly and cause delays in germination and emergence.