The Agronomists, Ep 94: Edible bean management with Paul Cornwell and Dennis Lange


Those looking for a challenge need to look no further than trying to grow the best crop of dry edible beans.

Whether in Manitoba, Ontario, or further afield, dry beans offer a real possibility of tidy profit, but the crop is most certainly not for the faint of heart.

To get through some of the decisions to be made on edible bean production, this episode of The Agronomists features Paul Cornwell with Hensall Co-op, and Dennise Lange with Manitoba Agriculture.

This episode of the Agronomists is brought to you by ADAMA Canada, CanolaMaster, and The Edible Bean School!

Catch a new episode of The Agronomists every Monday night at 8 pm E!


  • Dry beans and edible beans, the year that was
  • Manitoba had an excellent year (record soybeans)
  • For Ontario, it was mostly pretty good, maybe not great
  • What ARE dry beans? Navy, kidney, cranberry, pinto, adzuki …so many kinds! The beans you eat from a can and more
  • Because we consume them whole, and as they are out of the field, quality and appearance is so critical
  • What can knock that? Tarnish plant bug (a kind of lygus) and anthracnose
  • To paraphrase, there’s money in those beans
  • Anthracnose is variety specific and type — clean seed is key
  • Rotation can help for several disease risks, white mould being one major one
  • Edible beans are management intensive and a challenge, but that creates opportunity
  • 99 cents a pound for adzuki beans means farmers are willing to deal with the challenges
  • Save your best ground for dry beans
  • Soybeans aren’t usually in the same rotation, because they can handle tougher conditions
  • Volunteer soys are a quality issue in the sample, too. It’s an allergen
  • Clip 1: When to roll, and field selection
  • Rolling stones (not the band)
  • Do you roll before or after emergence? After is likely better, but rainfall, soil conditions, heat of the day matter too
  • Plant stand counts before and after rolling matter
  • Be patient with crusting, Cornwell says
  • Soybean cyst nematode: Not a huge issue in Manitoba, but emerging issue
  • Remember: dry beans are a host, and could be susceptible, so keep in mind for soybeans
  • Ontario’s SCN problem is trickier — adzuki gets hit the hardest, kidneys and cranberries next
  • Need seed treatments registered for dry beans
  • Adzuki beans volunteer a lot, everyone
  • Do dry beans need better fertility?
  • Dry beans will make better use of background fertility
  • Dry beans respond to management more than soybeans do
  • It takes real skill to be a dry bean grower
  • Is there a typical tillage set up for edible beans? Not so much anymore
  • Dry beans are a two-step harvest process: pulled or clipped, then harvested
  • Can cover crops be a fit? Maybe
  • White mould! Biggest pest in Ontario, a real issue in Manitoba too
  • Cornwell says growers in Ontario should budget for two fungicide passes. One is a must, the second will depend on environmental conditions the two or three weeks after the first pass
  • Great point at harvest: check the sample in the truck, not just the combine hopper, Lange says. The unload auger can really damage seed


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