Posts Tagged ‘lima bean’

Re-Growth Cropping of Lima Beans

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

Gordon Johnson, Extension Vegetable & Fruit Specialist;

A number of growers are interested in the potential for re-growth cropping of lima beans. This is where plants are left to re-grow after pod stripping in early harvested fields, allowing for a second crop. Over the years this has been successful on a few fields. There are still a lot of questions to answer on cultural methods to best promote re-growth and yields of the second crop and research is being conducted at the University of Delaware to address these questions.

The following are some considerations for re-cropping lima beans:

● Only the earliest harvested fields should be considered. This would be May planted lima beans harvested at the end of July or beginning of August.

● Irrigated fields are more likely to have success.

● Limit truck and harvester traffic on fields to be re-cropped.

● Within a week of pod stripping, fields to be re-cropped should have additional N applied and should be cultivated to reduce compaction caused by harvest and to control weeds. The fields should then be irrigated.

● Additional herbicides should be applied after cultivation to control weeds in-row and to have residual control for later weed germination. Choices are limited to those that can be applied post-emergence.

● Fungicides should be considered as re-growth occurs to help reduce secondary infections from wounds created at harvest and to protect and promote the new growth (a strobilurin fungicide plus a copper fungicide).

The limitation to re-growth cropping will be having enough days, day length, and heat units to mature the crop before a killing frost in October. This means you need a full crop of pin pods by the end of August or first week in September.

Vegetable Disease Update – August 26, 2011

Friday, August 26th, 2011

Bob Mulrooney, Extension Plant Pathologist;

With the impending hurricane we will probably see large amounts of rainfall. For vine crops fields with a history of Phytophthora fruit rot it will mean more Phytophthora fruit rot if any marketable watermelon or cantaloupe remain but it will really threaten the pumpkin crop. No fungicide will protect fruit from fruit rot if we get huge amounts of rainfall. Standing water in the fields will be the biggest indicator of possible fruit rot damage. There would be some benefit to protecting foliage with fungicides before the storm arrives if there is time and there is no history of Phytophthora fruit rot. This would be true for many vegetables including vine crops, tomatoes, and others. If there is no Phytophthora fruit rot present in a pumpkin field, fungicides such as Presidio, Ranman, Revus or Forum plus a fixed copper could be considered to suppress Phytophthora fruit rot, if Phytophthora spores moving in water from other fields should be introduced. Fruit have to be covered for the materials to have a hope of having an effect.

For other vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers and other fruiting vegetables that may be planted for late harvest fungicide applications should be made before the rains arrive not after. Prevention is the key to control. If the label allows, adjuvants that help products adhere to the plants should be considered. Spreader-stickers would be encouraged if the crop and label warrant it.

In crops where cottony leak caused by Pythium could cause crop loss, such as snapbeans and lima beans, application of one of the phosphonate fungicides such as ProPhyt or Phostrol would be suggested at maximum rates, or Ridomil Gold/Copper on snapbeans only. There is a 24c label for Ridomil Gold/Copper (2.0 lbs/A) in DE, MD and VA for cottony leak on snapbeans. Lima bean growers will want to scout carefully once this storm clears out for downy mildew. Wet soil and cool temperatures will favor downy mildew infection.

Cucurbit downy mildew is present on pumpkin now in the sentinel plot in Newark in New Castle County. This is the first report of downy mildew on pumpkin. It has probably been there for several days. Growers should continue to apply fungicides for leaf diseases including downy mildew.


Vegetable Disease Updates – August 12, 2011

Friday, August 12th, 2011

Bob Mulrooney, Extension Plant Pathologist;

Sweet Corn
With a return to some cooler weather be on the lookout for corn leaf rust on sweet corn. Scout the plantings and if you see rust on plants at the whorl stage or younger, rust could become an issue if the hybrid is not resistant to rust. Rust, when heavy, can affect plant health and reduce ear size. The best control is to plant resistant hybrids, but the strobilurin or triazole fungicide work well. On fresh market corn rust on the husks makes ears unsightly to consumers.

Cucurbit downy mildew
was recently observed on cantaloupe in the sentinel plot in Newark. These lesions resemble the same symptoms as seen on cucumber but spore production appears to be very sparse. It has not moved to any pumpkin, winter squash or watermelon so far. The susceptible cucumber in the plot is almost totally defoliated.

Lima Beans
So far weather conditions have not been favorable for downy mildew. It looks like the weather may be changing and getting a bit cooler with more dew and possibly fog in the early morning hours. If it should start raining soon growers and crop consultants should be scouting for downy mildew. Race F of Phythophthora phaseoli was the only race identified in 2006, 2008, 2009, and 2010. Preventative applications of 2 lbs fixed copper, 2 lbs Ridomil Gold/Copper, or 3- 4 pts Prophyte have provided control of downy mildew in the past. The newest formulation of fixed copper from DuPont is Kocide 3000 and it performs as well as the other formulations of copper at the rate of 1.3 lbs/A. The best controls continue to be Ridomil/Gold Copper, Prophyte, or other labeled phosphonate fungicides, and Omega, especially when disease pressure is high. Application at flowering or when pods are first forming is recommended if weather is favorable for disease. If disease is present Ridomil/Gold Copper and phosphonate fungicides have shown to provide some curative activity if applied when downy mildew is first seen. If downy is present in the field do not use copper fungicides alone for curative control, they will not provide control. Another product that is labeled on lima beans for white mold control is Omega but not downy mildew, but in DE this would be a 2ee use that someone like me can recommend since the fungicide is labeled on lima beans. I have three years data that show excellent control of downy mildew at 5.5 fl oz and 8.0 fl oz/A as a preventative application (before disease is found in the field). Omega is not labeled for aerial application, however. Headline from BASF is also labeled for downy mildew. I have tested it and it has provided good control of downy when applied on a 10-day schedule at 6.0 fl oz /A. It does not give as good disease control as Ridomil Gold/Copper or the phosphonates preventatively but the yields have been comparable. It is also labeled for anthracnose which the other products do not control.

Downy mildew caused by Phytophthora phaseoli

Downy mildew on raceme and petiole

Phytophthora capsici on lima bean pod.

Phytophthora capsici will infect lima bean pods as well and can look very similar to downy mildew. P. capsici or lima bean pod rot is usually found in wet low spots in the field. The fungus growth looks more granulated or “pebbly” than downy mildew, microscopic confirmation is encouraged.

Downy mildew on the upper pod and lima bean pod rot on the lower pod. Note the granular appearance of the fungus on the lower pod and the lack of a reddish brown border on the pod infected with lima bean pod rot or Phytophthora capsici.

Pod and Seed Disorders in Lima Beans

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

Gordon Johnson, Extension Vegetable & Fruit Specialist;

This is the time of year that we start to see pod disorders in early planted lima beans. This includes partially filled, misshapen, and yellowing pods and irregular, dimpled, or misshapen seed. These disorders are most commonly related to problems with seed development in the pod, either due to incomplete pollination or direct piercing/sucking insect damage to the seed.

Due to the high heat, we are also seeing high amounts of pod drop. In one early planted field that I looked at last week there was fair pod set. This week, virtually all pods had dropped off of the plants. These plants are now reflowering and have the potential to produce a later set. This phenomenon also occurred last year where the consistent high heat did not allow for pod set until August, delaying harvest but still allowing for a good yield in earlier planted lima beans. What is not desired is a split set. The occurs when there is enough heat or drought stress to abort some flowers or pods, but not all of them , and the plant then reflowers in less stressful weather. This causes both mature and immature pods on the plant at the same time, making harvest decisions difficult.

Vegetable Disease Updates – July 8, 2011

Friday, July 8th, 2011

Bob Mulrooney, Extension Plant Pathologist;

Late Blight
There have been no new late blight detections in DE or VA on potatoes. The disease apparently is under control and the weather has not been very favorable, especially where the temperatures have been over 90°F. Besides the two finds in DE and VA the only active late blight at present appears to be on Long Island, NY on both potato and tomato.

Downy Mildew on Cucurbits
As most of you know by now downy mildew was found in Sussex County on Tuesday and Dorchester County, MD. Both finds were on pickling cucumber. Since then downy mildew was found in an additional field near Bridgeton, NJ, Talbot County, MD, Wyoming County, PA, and several more cucumber fields in NC. Now is the time to be spraying specific fungicides for downy mildew on cucumbers. Continue to check the IPM pipe website for more information on the spread of downy mildew:

Root Knot Nematode
Root knot nematode can be a very yield limiting pathogen on very susceptible crops like cucumbers and other vine crops, lima beans, snap beans and tomatoes to name a few. They are often worse in very sandy soils or sandy knolls in fields. With the temperatures that we have seen here in DE you can begin to see the swellings or galls on the roots in about 21 days from seeding or transplanting. Plants in infested areas of the field will be stunted and if the plants are dug carefully, if root knot is present, you will see galls of varying sizes on the roots. We have no chemical controls except for vine crops once the nematodes are seen. Vydate should be applied preventatively in fields with known root knot infestations at seeding and/or later when plants are still small. See label for details. Treating early is always better than waiting until galls can be seen.

Root knot galls on baby lima bean roots, 23 days from planting

Pepper Anthracnose
Be on the lookout for anthracnose on peppers. It has been reported in southern NJ. Anthracnose fruit rot can be a very difficult disease to control if it gets established in a field. Fields should be scouted frequently especially if peppers or tomatoes have been planted in the past. It is best controlled by preventative fungicide sprays beginning at flowering. Apply Bravo or another chlorothalonil product every 7 days and alternate with a stroblilurin fungicide (FRAC code 11) like Cabrio or Quadris plus Bravo. If anthracnose fruit rot appears, removing infected fruit from heavily infected areas will help to reduce spore loads and reduce spread if done early and often enough. Fruit will need to be removed from the field and not just thrown on the ground.

Anthracnose on pepper fruit


Air Pollution in Vegetables

Friday, June 24th, 2011

Gordon Johnson, Extension Vegetable & Fruit Specialist;

We are starting to see evidence of air pollution damage in sensitive vegetable plants. Those vegetables most susceptible include potatoes, watermelons, cantaloupes, snap beans, pumpkins, and squash.

Damage is most common during hot, humid, hazy weather with little wind. Air inversions, when warm air at the surface is trapped by even hotter air in the atmosphere above, lead to build up of air pollutants that cannot disperse and, consequently, plant injury. The most common form of air pollution injury to plants is ozone damage. Ozone is a strong oxidant and is formed by the action of sunlight on products of fuel combustion. It is moved from areas of high concentration (cities, heavy traffic areas) to nearby fields.

Ozone injury in susceptible vegetable varieties develops when ozone levels are over 80 ppb for four or five consecutive hours, or 70 ppb for a day or two when vegetable foliage at a susceptible stage of growth. Because it occurs in areas with high levels of automobile exhausts, crop injury is often visible on fields in close proximity to roads, especially with heavy summer weekend traffic. High pollution indexes in Baltimore and Washington are also a good indication that ozone damage may occur.

In potatoes, symptoms of ozone damage occur on the most recently emerged leaves and can be seen as a black flecking. Early red varieties are most susceptible.

Injury on watermelon leaves consists of premature chlorosis (yellowing) on older leaves. Leaves subsequently develop brown or black spots with white patches. Watermelons are generally more susceptible than other cucurbits to ozone damage. Damage is more prevalent when fruits are maturing or when plants are under stress. Injury is seen on crown leaves first and then progresses outward. Seedless watermelon varieties tend to be more resistant to air pollution injury than seeded varieties, so injury often shows up on the pollenizer plants first. “Ice box” types are the most susceptible.

Ozone injury on watermelon

In muskmelons and other melons, the upper surface of leaves goes directly from yellow to a bleached white appearance.

Ozone injury on squash and pumpkins is intermediate between watermelon and cantaloupe starting with yellowing of older interior or crown leaves. These leaves subsequently turn a bleached white color with veins often remaining green.

In snap and lima beans, ozone causes small bleached spots giving a bronze appearance on upper leaf surfaces and pods. Leaves may ultimately turn chlorotic and senesce (drop).

Ozone injury can be easily misdiagnosed as mite injury, pesticide phytotoxicity, or deficiencies.

The key to avoiding air pollution injury is to plant varieties that are of low susceptibility and to limit plant stresses. Certain fungicides such as thiophanate methyl (Topsin and others) offer some protection against ozone damage.


Stand Reduction in Lima Beans

Friday, June 24th, 2011

Gordon Johnson, Extension Vegetable & Fruit Specialist;

Recommendations are for a stand of 3 to 4 plants per foot of row for baby limas. However, each year there are some lima bean fields that end up with lower stands than expected due to soil crusting, planter malfunctions, seed quality issues, errors in setting planting rates, or other problems. I recently visited a field that was planted deeper than normal in wet soil. The soil was tight and seeds were having a hard time emerging. The only option was to rotary hoe the field. Stand reductions are expected in this situation.

Fortunately, lima beans compensate very well for stand loss by producing larger plants that can bear more pods. As long as there are not large gaps in rows without plants, there will be little effect on yield. In research at UD, stand reductions of 50% reduced yields by only 14% in baby lima beans.


Keeping it Level

Friday, June 24th, 2011

Gordon Johnson, Extension Vegetable & Fruit Specialist;

May and early June planted lima bean fields are being cultivated at this time. As cultivation season progresses, lima bean growers are reminded that harvest recovery can be affected by cultivation practices. In research by Dr. Jim Glancy and Ed Kee, they found harvest losses as high as 25% when ridging was 3 inches or more. A large part of this was due to pods left on plants that could not be harvested. It is therefore important to have the most level conditions possible. Cultivating too deeply, at too fast of speeds, when fields are too wet, or in ways that create ridges and valleys in the field will reduce harvested yields. Excessive wheel tracking in fields for other operations such as sidedressing or spraying can also cause losses.


Spartan Charge for Lima Beans

Friday, May 20th, 2011

Mark VanGessel, Extension Weed Specialist;

There is a 24c Label for use of Spartan Charge for lima beans in Delaware (not available in other states in the region). It is for control of ALS-resistant pigweed (Group 2 herbicides). It is a lower rate of the active ingredient (sulfentrazone) than is used in soybeans. The rate will provide early-season control of pigweed, but do not expect to see significant control of most species on the label due to this lower rate. The level of crop safety is marginal with Spartan Charge and so overlaps will cause injury. Also, sandy soils or sandy knolls in fields are likely to show injury. Injury is also likely if used early-season. Under conditions of cool soils and sandy soils, less than the labeled rate is suggested. We do not have experience with Spartan Charge on lima beans under a wide range of conditions, so be cautious and consider using it only in fields with known history of ALS-resistant pigweed.


Fordhook Lima Bean Production

Friday, March 11th, 2011

Emmalea Ernest, Extension Associate – Vegetable Crops; and Gordon Johnson, Extension Vegetable & Fruit Specialist;

The original Fordhook lima bean was collected by Harry Fish in 1904 in Carpinteria, California. Carpinteria is a coastal town located just north of the Oxnard Plain. The Oxnard Plain, being surrounded by mountains on three sides and the Pacific Ocean on the fourth, enjoys a moderated climate with highs between 65 and 75°F and lows from 45 and 60°F year round. The Oxnard Plain continues to be the premier location for Fordhook lima bean production and yields can be upwards of 4 T/A.

Fordhook limas were introduced to the US at large by W. Atlee Burpee & Co. in the early 1900s and their popularity soon led to production for processing on the East Coast, particularly in New Jersey and Delaware. Yields of Fordhooks have historically been lower on the East Coast, probably because they are not as well adapted to the climate, and from early on, were plagued by downy mildew caused by Phytophthora phaseoli. Renewed interest in Fordhook production in Delaware has prompted us to produce this summary of recommended practices for Fordhook production, based on research done in the region.

The two Fordhook varieties that are available at the present time are Concentrated Fordhook (CFH) and Fordhook 242 (FH 242). Both are selections from the original Fordhook variety and have white seed. The USDA lima breeding program released a number of green seeded varieties with downy mildew resistance in the 1970s and 80s (F 1072, F 169, F 90-1), however none of these varieties are commercially available any more.

Results from Fordhook yield trials conducted over four decades at the UD Research and Education Center in Georgetown, DE are summarized in Table 1. This data represents 22 separate trials of Fordhook varieties. The average yield over all of the trials is 2521 lbs shelled beans/A. Because some trials included very poorly performing experimental varieties, this average yield is somewhat lower that what would be expected with commercial varieties. The average yield for FH 242 in the trials (7 years) was 3703 lbs/A and the average yield for CFH in the trials (3 years) was 2908 lbs/A.

Table 1. Summary of Fordhook Lima Bean Variety Trial Results 1972-2010 Including Planting Date, Days to Harvest, Yield of Shelled Beans in Lbs/A, Number of Lines Tested and Description of Trial Entries.

Year Planting Date DTH Yield


# Lines Tested Description of Trial Entries
2010 28-Jun 98 3628 1 CFH
2009 11-Jun 97 1234 1 CFH
2008 13-Jun 94 3863 1 CFH
2002 13-Jun 89 1909 2 F 90-1 + breeding lines
2000 12-Jun 93 1525 7 1072 + breeding lines
1997 25-Jun 93 3267 4 F 1072 + breeding lines
1996 26-Jun 85 1584 5 F 1072 + breeding lines
1995 21-Jun 93 4152 7 F 1072, F 90-1 + breeding lines
1994 1-Jun 101 1429 6 F 1072, F 90-1 + breeding lines
1993 18-Jun ? 1480 4 F 90-1 + breeding lines
1992 27-May 140 1282 4 F 1072 + breeding lines
1991 28-Jun 115 2393 3 F 1072 + breeding lines
1990 5-Jun 92 1882 1 F 1072
1989 23-Jun 90 1747 3 F 1072 + breeding lines
1987 ? ? 2853 8 F 1072 + breeding lines
1984 4-Jun 78 1079 4 FH 242, F 1072 + breeding lines
1979 5-Jul 88 4651 10 FH 242, F 169, + breeding lines
1976 7-Jul 86 3742 2 FH 242, F 169
1975 2-Jul 94 2289 4 FH 242, F 169, F 1072 + breeding lines
1974 10-Jun 73 3612 6 FH 242, F 169, F 1072 + breeding lines
1973 6-Jun 77 4177 4 FH 242, F 169 + breeding lines
1972 26-May ? 1686 4 FH 242, F 169 + breeding lines
Overall Average 93 2521

One oft-aired complaint about Fordhook lima beans is that they yield inconsistently in Delaware. The range of yields reported in the above table, 1079-4177 lbs/A, would seem to attest to this. There are however, some management practices that can be used to reduce the potential for yield variability.

Sites and Soils
Historically, much of the Fordhook lima bean production in the region has been done close to the coast (Delaware Bay, Atlantic Ocean) because of the moderating effect of the water on temperature. Inland sites will have greater temperature fluctuations and as a result more variable yields. Coastal sites also have heavy dews, fogs, and higher humidity that will improve pod set. However, this can create an environment favorable for downy mildew. Fordhooks will grow well on a range of soil types from loamy sands to silt loams but require good drainage. Higher moisture holding capacity soils such as silt loams or those with high organic matter content will provide for better performance.

Planting Date
Fordhook lima beans are more heat sensitive than baby limas. They should be planted at the end of June or very beginning of July so that they are not exposed to high temperatures during flowering. They can also not be planted as late in the season as baby limas, because they require, on average, 93 days to harvest, versus the 75-85 days required by baby limas. Based on the trials summarized above, the average yield for trials planted before June 20 was 2096 lbs/A, while the average yield of those planted after June 20 was 3050 lbs/A – a difference of almost 1000 lbs. Risk of split sets or delayed sets is higher with early plantings. This narrow ideal planting window often leads to a narrow harvest window which can affect plant scheduling with high volumes in a short period of time.

Stand Establishment
Fordhook lima bean seeds are large and rough handling before or during planting can cause reduced viability and stand loss. Set up planters to limit bounce in seed drop and plant at slower speeds. Ensure good soil to seed contact with proper press wheel adjustment. Plant at a 1 ½ inch depth. Soil crusting during emergence can also have a devastating effect if the cotyledons are trapped in the soil and the hypocotyl breaks in half. The resulting “headless” seedlings will not recover. Similarly, if only one of the two cotyledons emerges intact, the plant will be stunted. The large seeds are also susceptible to attack by insects and pathogens. Use high quality, treated seed and handle it gently. Make sure soil conditions are optimal for germination and emergence in terms of moisture (temperature should not be an issue in the ideal planting window) so that seedlings emerge quickly and are not exposed to excessive insect and disease pressure. Be prepared to irrigate to maximize germination and to limit the effect of crusting. Lima beans compensate well for stand loss, however, the resulting larger plants will be slower to mature and are more difficult to harvest mechanically.

Fordhook lima beans should not be grown without irrigation. Adequate irrigation can mitigate stress induced by heat. Peak water usage will be from flowering through early pod set where plants will be using from 0.25 to 0.33 inches of water a day.

Fertilizing Fordhook lima beans will be similar to baby lima beans. However, because of the longer season, the higher Nitrogen (N) rate should be used, especially on sandier soils. Apply 40 lbs of N preplant or at planting and follow with a sidedressing at final cultivation of an additional 40 lbs of N. This will be 80 lbs of total N. When following peas, 20-30 lbs of total N will be adequate. Phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) requirements are the same as for baby lima beans. See the Delaware Commercial Vegetable Production Recommendations for specific P and K recommendations according to soil test levels.

Diseases and Insects
Neither FH 242 nor CFH have resistance to downy mildew. Late June and early July planting dates mean that Fordhooks will be setting pods during the cooler part of the season when downy mildew and white mold are most problematic. Effective controls are available for both of these diseases in lima bean and should be employed if necessary.

Also be aware that Fordhook limas maturing in the fall will also have more exposure to worm pests that attack pods. Stinkbugs and Lygus bugs are another concern for pod and seed damage. The large pods are very attractive to these pests at a young stage.

See the Delaware Commercial Vegetable Production Recommendations for specific guidance on lima bean disease and insect management.

Because of the large seed, pod and seed loss at harvest will have a large effect on crop recovery and yield. All efforts should be made to reduce harvest losses. This includes making sure fields are as level as possible, there is limited ridging from cultivation, and harvesters are operated to maximize recovery.