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ISSUE 17  September 28, 2001



Anthracnose, a serious dry edible bean disease has been recently detected in a number of north central North Dakota fields planted to Pintoba pintoís. Collected samples have been identified by a crop consultant, the NDSU plant diagnostician, the NDSU bean plant pathologist and State Seed Department officials. Anthracnose was found primarily in Pintoba pintoís with original seed source believed to be from Manitoba, Canada. The fungal disease is seed-borne, but can survive in the field on plant residues and on infected beans left in the field. The pathogen can survive on stored beans for up to two years or more. It can and will attack other classes and susceptible varieties of dry beans. It may already exist in other classes or varieties and just hasnít been identified in 2001 fields. Yield reduction and reduced quality is the major concern of this disease. Bean anthracnose is not toxic and is "not a food safety issue" for human consumption.

The disease anthracnose is a seed borne disease that spreads during cool wet weather by rain splash or center pivot irrigation. It also can be spread by movement through the fields via harvest equipment, cultivators, humans and animals walking if the foliage of bean plants are wet.

It is highly encouraged that all dry bean seed processors and commercial elevators accepting Pintoba pintos to check them carefully. All culls and cleanout of infected beans should be discarded and destroyed. The infected seeds can be a source of infection. Producers with suspected anthracnose infected pintos should deliver to a processor and inform the processor of the possibility of infection and a need to handle the beans carefully.

The following Best Management Practices (BMP"s) for control and elimination of bean anthracnose from Northarvest bean production areas are recommended:

Common sense is the primary method of control and eradication of this disease. Use high quality certified bean seed. Seed treatment is not completely effective to control bean anthracnose and currently no fungicide seed treatment is labeled for use in the United States. Resistant varieties to the disease is the best answer to its ultimate control .

The North Dakota State Seed Department field inspectors have been checking certified dry bean seed production fields and have not found any evidence of anthracnose in 2001 fields regardless of class or variety. All bean seed going through the certification process must also pass the laboratory tests.

The practice of saving and replanting commercial beans (bin run) maybe the worst economic decision bean growers can make for the 2002 growing season. The Northarvest Bean Growers, North Dakota State Seed Department, North Dakota Dry Edible Bean Seed Growers Association and NDSU are all highly concerned and motivated to control bean anthracnose in North Dakota. For additional information contact : Duane Berglund, NDSU Plant Science Dept. (701-231-8135, Luis del Rio NDSU Plant Pathology Dept. ( 701-231-7073), and Ken Bertsch, North Dakota State Seed Dept. ( 701-239-7210).

Duane R. Berglund
NDSU Extension Agronomist


Luis del Rio
NDSU Bean Pathologist


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