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Dry Beans

Weed berriesPreharvest Weed Survey

Groundcherry, black nightshade, and hairy nightshade berries severely reduce bean quality during harvesting because they do not dry in windrows. During threshing, berry juices stain the beans; the sticky juices on the beans collect dirt and debris during harvest and warehouse handling that cannot be cleaned off. The sticky seeds of these weeds may also slow or clog the thresher. In storage, moisture from berries can lower quality. Berries left in the field will infest the soil for the following year. If present, pull and carry these weeds out of the field before harvesting.

Survey immediately before harvest to determine the spectrum of weeds present for next year's planning records. Records from previous crops will indicate which weeds escaped control, thus possibly infesting future crops.

How to survey

  • Walk through each field in a random pattern.
  • Rate the degree of infestation for each weed species on your weed survey form. Use either a numeric scale from 1 to 5 (1 being the lightest, 5 being the heaviest), or rate as "light," "medium," or "heavy."
  • Check fencerows, ditch banks, field edges, and wet spots as these may be problem areas for weed growth and potential sources for wind disseminated seed. Note the dominant species on the monitoring form.
  • Pay particular attention to perennial weeds.
  • Sketch a map of the field and mark areas with major weed infestations for follow-up control action, noting carefully the location of weeds producing seed.
  • Indicate the growth stage of the weed (seedling or mature).
  • Record results on a weed survey form (113 KB, PDF).

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Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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