As of Monday’s Crop Progress Report, 44 percent of the state’s dry beans are rated in good to excellent condition. 39 percent are fair. Scott Bales, dry bean specialist with Michigan State University, said the season was off to a good start.
“We started off with an excellent planting season,” he said. “We were a little on the dry side which for dry beans, given the name is usually a good thing. However during the end of June, we did start to pick up on some relatively heavy rainfall—when I think of heavy rain for a dry bean crop, anytime we receive over three inches in one event.”
Water damage from rain events in late June and early July set some of the crop back. However, Bales said the crop has been recovering nicely.
“Most of those low spots in the very bottom will not recover, but the beans around there will help fill in with that added moisture,” he said. “I would even say that most of the crop in the Thumb probably received more of a benefit from those rains than what we lost from water damage. The crop was able to get a nice drink to keep growing as we now head into flowering.”
Now that dry beans are headed into their reproductive stages, Bales encourages growers to keep scouting for diseases.
“For Michigan bean growers, white mold is our most yield-limiting disease in the state, so we definitely want to be cautious—watch these weather patterns and apply our fungicide as needed,” he said.
Just because crop conditions aren’t too stellar at the moment doesn’t mean Michigan’s dry beans are doomed for the rest of the season.
“We’re about halfway through our growing season, but the weather in mid- to late-July and into August has the largest impact on our driving crops for the year,” said Bales. “That’s when we flower, set pods and definitely have our largest yield potential ability to gain and improve that crop condition from where we’re at today.”