Gordon Johnson, Extension Vegetable & Fruit Specialist; email@example.com
Due to the wet conditions, lima bean growers are reminded to check all fields for downy mildew and white mold. Phytophthora capsici and Pythium also may be present and can confuse diagnoses. Consult with your extension pathology specialists, county agents, or state disease diagnosis personnel for correct identification. As harvest nears, note days to harvest if fungicides are to be applied. See additional articles for identification and control of these diseases.
The main fall lima bean harvest is starting. However, harvest is being hampered by wet conditions. Rain and wet fields at harvest lead to several issues that growers will face.
The first issue is brown beans. Many of our June planted fields had variable and partially split sets. This means that there are higher numbers of dry pods on the plants. In dry harvest conditions, these dry seeds can be harvested, separated, and processed. However, during wet weather, dry seeds will start to deteriorate and will turn brown. This makes processing more difficult due to the necessity of removing them.
In addition, because of recent storms where plants or have lodged and more branches are touching the ground, many of the dried pods will rot, leading to rotted seeds that must be removed.
A third issue is seed sprouting. In recent plot harvests, I have seed small but significant numbers of seeds that have started to sprout. Again these must be removed during processing.
Finally, as harvest resumes, wet field conditions along with harvester and truck traffic on fields will lead to more rutting and compaction that will need to be addressed in future cropping cycles.