Dry beans (Phaseolus vulgaris), a high-protein pulse crop, have been grown in the Northeast since the 1800’s. As the local food movement expands, consumers have requested stores stock more and more locally produced foods, and heirloom dry beans are no exception. Currently, the demand for heirloom dry beans has exceeded the supply. Farmers are interested in starting or scaling up dry bean production but require assistance in overcoming production barriers. Local farmers have struggled to obtain consistent high yields and quality. Growers’ lack of success with dry beans can be attributed to limitations in acquiring quality seed, poor stand establishment, diseases, and difficulty growing the crop to maturity by harvest. In an effort to improve seed quality, the University of Vermont Extension Northwest Crops and Soils Program collaborated with High Mowing Organic Seeds (Wolcott, Vermont), to evaluate the use aerated steam treatment on bean seed to reduce seedborne disease. A study to evaluate the impact of steam treated beans versus a non-treated control trial was initiated in June at Borderview Research farm, Alburgh, VT.


Vermont, University of Vermont Extension

Publication Date