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Organic Bean Field Day Sept. 19 Near Madison
Minnesota Ag Connection - 08/27/2014

The University of Minnesota and partners have been busy conducting research to aid in improving soybean and dry bean varieties for organic systems. On-farm research plots were planted on the Carmen Fernholz farm near Madison in 2014. Join the research partners on Sept. 19 to learn more about the research being conducted and to view the on-farm research plots. The field day will be from 1:00pm to 3:00pm on the Fernholz farm.

Field day attendees will learn about multiple varieties of both general purpose and food-type organic soybeans. Researchers are paying particular attention to those soybean varieties that are competitive with weeds, are high yielding, and have improved root systems and nitrogen fixation potential all while maintaining adequate levels of protein and oil.

A second aspect of the research is dry bean breeding. The desired characteristics are similar to those described for soybeans, but instead of protein and oil levels, the dry bean research includes appropriate seed coat color and pattern. Both traditional dry bean cultivars and heritage cultivars are included in the on-farm plots.

A third piece of research that will be highlighted during the Sept. 19 field day will be the effect that certain agronomic practices have on bean yield. The on-farm plots on the Fernholz farm are looking at the response of the soybeans and dry beans to multiple tillage practices. Of particular interest is a comparison between tine-weeding and cultivation.

All those interested in organic bean production are welcome to attend. The field day will be held rain or shine and will include some walking.

For more information, contact: Jill Sackett, University of Minnesota Extension 507-389-5541 or sacke032@umn.edu. Attendees will meet at the Fernholz farm located at 2484 Highway 40, Madison, MN 56256. The farm is near the Mile Marker 15 sign approximately 2 miles East of Madison and is on the North side of Highway 40.

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