|Porch, Timothy - Tim|
|BARRERA, SANTOS - University Of Nebraska|
|URREA, CARLOS - University Of Nebraska|
Submitted to: Euphytica
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/21/2023
Publication Date: 8/8/2023
Citation: Witt, T.W., Northup, B.K., Porch, T.G., Barrera, S., Urrea, C.A. 2023. Effect of cutting management on the forage production and quality of tepary bean (Phaseolus acutifolius A. Gray). Euphytica. 13. Article 12875. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-023-39550-3.
Interpretive Summary: Tepary bean is a drought tolerant legume from the Sonoran Desert that could be used as forage or hay for beef cattle in the U.S. We evaluated 7 different cutting managements and determined that a 15-cm (6-inch) cutting height at a 30-day frequency gave the best forage biomass and quality combination. This combination resulted in an average biomass of 5.8 Mg ha-1 (2.4 tons ac-1) and relative feed value of 165. Tepary bean produced similar levels of dry biomass as the forage soybean ‘Laredo’ and better neutral detergent fiber (NDF) and acid detergent fiber (ADF) values. Additional agronomic and breeding research is needed to encourage producers to grow tepary bean as a forage or hay in the U.S.
Technical Abstract: Tepary bean (Phaseolus acutifolius A. Gray) is an underutilized drought tolerant annual legume, originating from the Sonoran Desert, that may be a beneficial forage/hay for beef cattle in the Southern Great Plains of the US (SGP). The SGP has erratic rainfall and periods of intermittent drought exacerbated by high summer temperatures. In 2020 and 2021, we planted 13 genotypes of tepary bean and a forage soybean (control) at El Reno, OK, USA to compare production of plant biomass and forage quality parameters under seven harvest regimes. Biomass production of all tepary bean genotypes equaled that of soybean (p > 0.05), while several genotypes had superior forage quality traits (p = 0.05). Overall, a 15-cm cutting height and 30-day harvest interval produced the best overall product (average biomass of 5.8 Mg ha-1 with average relative feed values (RFV) of 165). Although all harvest regimes reduced total seasonal biomass, forage quality increased. Further agronomic and breeding research is needed to encourage producers to grow tepary bean as a forage/hay in the SGP.