Researching Viable Soybean Growth In Richmond

Krishna Sharma

Krishna Sharma

Krishna Sharma has been researching and developing new strains of drought tolerant pole beans at The Sharing Farm since 2009. Later this month he will be presenting the latest results of his research at the Certified Organic Association of BC, COABC, conference.

Krishna, who has a Ph.D. in Plant Breeding, often works in comparative isolation at The Farm with all of his intellect focused on the research at hand. When Krishna does emerge from the fields, it’s often with armloads of near perfect edamame and string beans and a wealth of information about how the beans were grown at a level unmatched by anyone else in Terra Nova. At the recent BC Seeds conference, Krishna even managed to upstage Kareno for attention of the attendees as he discussed his methods and results to date. (A feat not readily accomplished!)

Krishna’s research is showing that certain kinds of beans can be viably grown in Richmond as a positive outcome to climate change.

Summary of Latest Research (To Be Presented at COABC)

Organic Edamame: Potential Crop for Climate Adaptation in BC.

Presenter: Krishna Sharma, The Sharing Farm, Terra Nova, Richmond, BC

Seven varieties of edamame (Glycine max L. Merrill) were planted on May 24, 2012 at The Sharing Farm, Richmond BC. Clay loam soil was tilled and steer manure was added to create medium organic fertility condition. Six feet long four rows spaced 21 inches apart were replicated three times that were randomized for each variety. Thirty seeds were hand planted to maintain 3 inches plant spacing. Seedling emergence was counted after two weeks which showed poor to satisfactory seedling population. All rows were gap filled on June 17 to maintain recommended plant population. Plots were manually weeded and light irrigation was applied at critical stages to avoid moisture stress. Crop was free from major diseases and pests throughout the season. Centre two rows were harvested for fresh pod yield when beans were fully developed. Two outer rows were harvested two weeks later for seed yield. Varieties differed in germination, canopy height, date to flower, maturity, pod yield, 100 seed weight and seed yield. Though all varieties showed economic viability with respect to yield level, SPS-BL #3, Sayamusume, Harunamai and SPS-BL- #1+2 ranked higher with respect to earliness, pod type and seed filling over Shirofumi, Hakucho and Black Jet. Results indicated the fact that organic edamame cultivation can be a potential crop to address climate change adaptation in BC.

 

Current and Previous Research

petri-beansExperiment Report 2012 (2.4MB pdf)

Experiment Report 2011 (1.3MB pdf)

Experiment Report 2010 (3.3MB pdf)

Research Report 2009 (1.1MB pdf)

Selected Excerpts

“Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) are grown all over the world as one of the important sources of vegetable protein. Several types and varieties of beans are available that are suitable to suite food habit and climatic conditions for production.  Basically the tender pods and dry seeds are used to prepare different food items to supply protein in the diet. Beans are therefore, classified into either: a) snap bean or b) dry bean, and they are further grouped as either determinate (bush type with synchronized maturity), indeterminate vine/prostrate type with non-synchronized maturity) or semi-determinate   growth habits.  Bean genotypes also differ in various traits of interest such as seed size, pod length, seeds/pod, pod texture, yield/plant, seed viability, duration of growth, days to anthesis, days to physiological maturity, response to disease and pest, root type, ability for nodulation and seed quality with respect to protein.

All physiological and agronomical parameters are affected by the climate, genotypes and interaction of genotypes and environment under production.  Therefore, identification of proper genotype for a particular location under specific farming condition is the first step for successful production. Organic cultivation of crops require inherent ability of genotypes to establish symbiotic relation with soil microbes, make maximum utilization of available natural resources for growth and development and resist better against biotic and abiotic stress as no chemicals are used for nourishment and protection.

The concept of sustainable (eco-friendly and economically viable) organic urban farming is emerging in Richmond for food security and locally grown healthier fresh vegetables and fruits. Research on appropriate technology is needed to promote the concept of organic urban farming. The diurnal fluctuation of temperature and humidity in Richmond makes a plant scientist to consider its effect on successful crop production as different genotypes respond differently to such fluctuating climate. This   experiment was therefore, conducted to observe the performance of different types and varieties of beans for successful cultivation under organic farming in Richmond and to open important avenues for further research to support and promote sustainable organic urban farming for food security.”

2009

“The vegetative and reproductive growth of edamame in Richmond climate was satisfactory at both production environments. Earlier planting at high fertility irrigated environment promoted excessive vegetative growth causing dense canopy, counter-productive for reproductive growth compared to marginal fertility rain-fed agro-environment. Three weeks differences in planting date between two sites did not affect much on number of days to flower and pod harvest suggesting that edamame could be planted until middle of June under proper management without any effect on yield (Table 2). This will give flexibility in planting dates to adjust erratic changes in rainfall pattern at Lower Mainland. The varietal difference for adaptation, growth, maturity and realized yield was strong (Fig. 1) indicating need of proper variety selection…….The results suggested that selection and breeding of proper variety for cultivation under medium fertility organic condition with or without irrigation can produce successful crop of edamame for local market with extra advantage of enriching soil fertility. However, experiment including more varieties with early maturity is suggested to confirm the indicative result of 2011.”

2011

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