Submitted to: Agronomy Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/9/2014
Publication Date: 2/6/2015
Citation: Landry, E., Hu, J., Coyne, C.J. 2015. Agronomic performance of spring-sown Faba bean in Southeastern Washington. Agronomy Journal. 107:574-578 doi:10.2134/agronj14.0284.
Interpretive Summary: Faba bean (Vicia faba L.) is one of the world’s most important cool-season pulse crops. Faba bean could support the sustainability of cereal-cool season pulse cropping systems in the United States, as previously shown in Europe, Australia and Canada. It has shown faba bean has the highest N2 fixing capacity among cool season pulses. This research evaluated spring sown faba bean across two contrasting environments in southeastern Washington in 2012 and 2013. We observed that the average yield across site years is approximately 125% of the global average faba bean yield, strongly supporting further interest into the adaptability of this crop to agroecosystems of the Pacific Northwest. Assessment of phenological development and the level of experimental grain production would identify key areas of additional research necessary for the development of this crop to satisfy regional economic and agroecological sustainability.
Technical Abstract: Faba bean (Vicia faba L.) is the world’s third most important cool-season pulse crop. Currently, no commercial faba bean cultivars are available in the United States specifically selected for grain production. Therefore, a spring planted variety trial with eleven entries was conducted at two contrasting locations in southeastern Washington, over two seasons. Early plantings were expected to achieve optimal grain yield. In 2012, the warmer Central Ferry location was planted a month earlier than at Pullman (April vs. May), resulting in earlier flowering, higher grain yields, and an earlier maturity across entries. A drier March-April in 2013 allowed similar sowing dates across locations, synchronizing phenological development, improving grain yields at Pullman. However, at Central Ferry yield was reduced due to high temperatures and subsequent pod shedding. The NPGS accession W6 12023 and the ‘Extra Precoce Violetto’ x ‘Hiverna/2’ F3:F5 breeding population were the highest yielding entries and earliest to flower in 2012 and 2013, respectively. Earlier flowering, in conjunction with an optimal sowing date, would likely help to avoid pod shedding thereby improving yield. Across four site years, W6 12023 proved to have superior general adaptability (bi=1.16) with high mean plant yield (22.6 g/plant). Yield data compared favorably to other spring sown pulses currently grown in the region. Thus, additional spring-type cultivars would be worthwhile to trial for adaptation.