Have you ever wondered about this damage to garbanzo beans where there's a hole clipped in the pod and the seed is missing (see photo)? In this case, the damage is from pesky ground squirrels that were foraging in and around our garbanzo research plots at UC Davis this spring. However, other culprits could include field mice or voles, rats, and pod borers such as corn earworm. If you suspect caterpillar worm pests, you should be able to find them easily enough in the plant canopy. Sometimes corn earworms move from corn fields into garbanzos, so watch for infestations from nearby corn fields. Field mammals are more elusive, though ground squirrels are active during the day and easy to spot.
Generally, garbanzos have few pests because the plants (including seed pods) are covered with tiny glands that secrete acids that help repel pests. These acids are strong enough to cause skin rashes and damage clothing. However, ground squirrels don't seem bothered at all by these plant acids as they thrived on our garbanzo seeds, green and dried alike! Looking back, we should have paid more attention to where the field trial was located, avoiding places where ground squirrels thrive, such as a nearby ditch bank. We also should have controlled them as soon as they were active.
Ground Squirrel Control. Various methods can be used to control ground squirrels around fields, including fumigation, trapping, and toxic baits. Of critical importance is the timing for control. Effective management depends heavily on understanding the unique life cycle and behavior of the California ground squirrel. Baiting with treated grain is effective in summer and fall because squirrels primarily feed on seeds during this period. Burrow fumigation is most effective in spring, when moist soil helps seal gasses in the burrow system. Fumigating at this time is also more effective in reducing ground squirrel numbers since squirrels die before they can reproduce. More information on ground squirrel management can be found on the UC IPM website for ground squirrel control at http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7438.html.
Recently, I received a call about a blackeye bean field in the San Joaquin Valley with a lot of bean pods that did not fill out at the tips (photo). I contacted the UC Riverside blackeye bean breeders Drs. Phil Roberts and Bao Lam Huynh and they shared that this problem is primarily caused by heat, which affects pollen viability and thus fertilization. Here's their response:
It [lack of pod fill] is the typical male-sterility symptom [lack of pollen viability] associated with extreme temperatures (heat or cold). Based on the planting date you gave, we just checked the temperature in Denair, CA [farm location] and noted that it was quite warm (~100) during the flowering time (40-50 days after planting) and recently during the pod filling stage, so heat must have been a main cause. The symptom could also be more severe if water is limiting.
Always be prepared with good irrigation management practices for all crops going into heatwaves, like the one we're having now. The minimum seasonal irrigation needed to produce a blackeye bean crop being managed for full yield from one pod set is 16 to 18 inches. This estimate includes a pre-irrigation of 4-inches, and irrigations of 4-inches when floral buds first appear, and 8 to 10 inches during 5 to 6 weeks of flowering and pod filling. If additional irrigations are needed during the vegetative stage, one could increase the total irrigation requirement to 20 or more inches. Irrigating for a second flush of pods could require an additional 8 to 12 inches of water. Irrigation requirements are further increased by any water required to leach salts or to compensate for an inefficient irrigation system.
Additional water may need to be applied during extreme heat events which drive plant transpiration rates to the limit. Make sure to check the soil moisture in the top 12 to 24 inches of the soil profile and apply additional water if the soil is dry. If in doubt about how much additional water is needed, check the reference evapotranspiration (ETo) and make sure to irrigate to replace at least 120% of your daily ETo in your area. The current (mid to late August) daily ETo in the San Joaquin Valley ranges from 0.25 to 0.30 in/day; make sure your applied irrigation replaces 120% of these values.
More information on growing blackeye beans can be found in the publication, UC ANR Blackeye bean production in California, http://beans.ucanr.edu/files/226601.pdf.
In May, I looked at a lima bean field in the Sacramento Valley that showed poor seedling emergence scattered throughout the field (photo 1). I sent samples to the UC Davis Plant Pathology lab and the main pathogen consistently recovered from the roots was Fusarium root rot, a fungal disease caused by Fusarium solani f. sp. phaseoli. This pathogen is specific to beans and field peas and will not infect other field crops. A few bean seedlings also had Rhizoctonia and Pythium (also fungal pathogens).
Finding Fusarium root rot in a lima bean seedling field was a surprise because this disease is most commonly encountered in established fields during mid- to late season, where it is one of the causes of early maturity ("cut out"). Rhizoctonia and Pythium can cause seedling damping-off in dry beans. However, plants usually outgrow these pathogens, particularly if the seed is treated with a fungicide and conditions favor rapid emergence.
Fusarium solani attacks underground stems and roots of plants. In established plants, early infection is characterized by elongated reddish streaks on the roots. As the disease progresses, these eventually form reddish-brown lesions that will surround the entire root, causing decay. The above ground plant symptoms of affected plants included yellowing, wilting, stunting, and dieback. On seedling plants in the affected field, I observed dieback of the growing point, stems that were a bit swollen, and roots that were brownish and not well developed (Photo 2, diseased roots on left, healthy on right).
Fusarium root rot causes little damage to healthy plants, but under conditions of plant stress due to drought, poor nutrition, or oxygen-stressed, waterlogged soils, Fusarium root rot can cause plant dieback and yield losses, particularly in fields with a long history of bean production. In this particular lima bean field, soil moisture was lost, causing plants to be extremely water stressed. Crop rotation, use of seed treatments, and closely watching field conditions to ensure plants are not stressed will help manage Fusarium root rot. This disease tends to be a problem in fields with a long history of bean production. More information on diseases in dry beans can be found on the newly revised UC IPM guidelines for dry beans.
- Author: Rachael Freeman Long
- Contributor: Brad Hanson
- Contributor: Kurt Hembree
With generous donations from seed companies and support from the California Dry Bean Advisory Board, we're working on two research projects in garbanzo beans this year. One is focusing on the herbicide Tough 5EC (pyridate) for broadleaf weed control in established garbanzo stands. Currently there are no herbicides registered for use in garbanzos after crop emergence except hooded sprays or directed sprays (not on the crop). Tough by Belchim Crop Protection, is currently being registered for use in garbanzos in other states. We're conducting two trials with Tough in garbanzos; one at the UC West Side Research and Extension Center and the other at UC Davis. Hopefully this will lead to Tough being registered for use on garbanzos in our state because it's needed by the industry. Broadleaf weed control in garbanzos is particularly challenging because of the long growing season and need to control weeds from winter to summer (planting to harvest) especially if there are late rains bringing up weeds, like last spring.
The second trial is with USDA Risk Management. The purpose of this project is to conduct field trials on garbanzo beans under common production systems across the United States, in garbanzo producing regions (including California, Arizona, Washington, and Idaho). The resulting data will be used to determine whether the loss adjustment procedures by the USDA Risk Management Agency (Crop Insurance) for garbanzos should be continued or modified. Two trials are needed for California, one in the Sacramento Valley (UC Davis) and the other in the San Joaquin Valley (West Side) for looking at production in different growing areas. Annual field tests for garbanzo yield and quality are needed for up to three growing seasons over a three-year period. Six garbanzo varieties are being evaluated, with support by USDA Risk Management.
The Insect and Mite sections of the UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines for Dry Beans have been recently revised and updated and are now available online at: UC IPM Dry Beans Pest Management Guidelines.
Authors include UCCE Farm Advisor Rachael Long and UC IPM Advisor Pete Goodell (emeritus). The guidelines include an updated photo page to help identify pests and the damage they cause to dry beans at: Photo Identification.
These guidelines can help with managing pests in your fields. Interested in Lygus bugs and how to control them? Take a look at the guidelines on lygus and see that the thresholds vary by bean class and type. For example, blackeye beans (cowpeas) have different tolerance levels to lygus than lima beans. Some lima bean varieties are more tolerant to lygus than others. Interested in biocontrol of aphids? See photos of natural enemies that prey on aphids at: Photos to identify natural enemies of aphids.
There is also a newly revised table on the relative toxicities of insecticides and miticides to natural enemies and honey bees in dry bean production, found at: Insecticide Toxicities.
This information and much more is available through the newly revised 2018 UC IPM Dry Bean guidelines! This follows the recent revision of diseases and abiotic disorders in dry beans. The weed management section is currently in review and will be available later this year.