Submitted to: Proceedings of Horticultural Industry Show
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: January 5, 2007
Publication Date: February 25, 2007
Citation: Russo, V.M. 2007. Exclusion of deer and yield of dry bean. In: Proceedings of the 26th Oklahoma-Arkansas Horticulture Industries Show, January 5-6, 2007, Ft. Smith, Arkansas. p. 120-130. Interpretive Summary: Deer can reduce yield in crops by removing flower buds and immature flowers from plants so that fruit are not set. Navy Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) is susceptible to damage by deer. Seed were sown in May 2006 and when plants developed true leaves plants either were or were not protected with cages. At the end of the growing season seed were harvested form protected and unprotected plants. Yields from protected plants were 20% greater than from unprotected plants. However, even with protection yields were below that which would return a profit for the producer. Conditions in the southern Great Plains do not appear to be able to sustain Navy Bean production at acceptable levels.
Technical Abstract: Yields of crops can be reduced due to predation by herbivores. Field grown Navy Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) is susceptible to damage by deer. Seed of the Navy Bean cv. Aspen were sown in a sandy loam soil in May 2006. When plants reached the first trifoliate leaf stage exclusion cages were set around six-foot randomly chosen stretches in rows in six locations in the field. Six-foot sections of rows immediately adjacent to cages were left unprotected. During the growing season deer tracks and nipped off tips of plants were found in the field. When 80% of leaves had dropped plants in the protected and unprotected portions of rows were harvested. Seed were collected and potential yields estimated and compared. Yields from protected plants were 20% greater than from unprotected plants. Although physically protecting plants improved yield, the potential yield was below that which would return a profit for the producer. It is likely that environmental conditions in the southern Great Plains are incompatible with Navy Bean production.