How to Manage Pests

UC Pest Management Guidelines

Dry Beans

Selecting the Field

(Reviewed 12/08, updated 12/08)

In this Guideline:

Well-chosen fields can result in fewer pests and better yields, so, consider the information below when evaluating a field for dry bean production:

Have pests of bean such as lygus bugs, mites, leafminers, seedling diseases, charcoal rot, white mold, nematodes, or problematic weeds been present in the field in recent years?

Do these areas harbor any of the pests above? Are alfalfa, cotton, or safflower, which all harbor lygus bugs, growing nearby? Alfalfa can also be a source of armyworms, cutworms, darkling beetles, and cowpea aphids.

Check which bean varieties have been planted in previous years, their planting and harvest dates, and yields. Determine if the field has supported successful bean production in the past.


  • Check for excessive salt and boron, and other mineral imbalances. Ask your local farm advisor about acceptable soil boron levels for your bean type.
  • If there is a potential for herbicide residual from the previous crop, perform a soil herbicide bioassay. Residues may inhibit seedling growth.
  • Identify soil type. Beans can grow in a variety of soil types, ranging from coarse sands to clay loams, provided that irrigation is managed to prevent water stress and water logging. If possible, choose a field with deep, uniform loamy soil. Avoid fields with major variations in soil type because it makes application of herbicides difficult as rates must be adjusted for soil type.
  • Check irrigation water. If the quality of the irrigation water is unknown, assay for pH, salinity, and specific ion toxicities.
  • Sample for root knot nematodes. Before planting beans, assay for nematodes if they have been a problem in a previous crop.

Although continuous cropping is not recommended, if one bean crop must follow another, treat any weed infestations before planting (see SPECIAL WEED PROBLEMS), and use treated seed if the field has soil pathogens. If a field is infested with a soil pathogen or weed, consider crop rotation. Fields to avoid, when possible, are those severely infested with:


[UC Peer Reviewed]

UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines: Dry Beans
UC ANR Publication 3446

General Information

W. M. Canevari, UC Cooperative Extension, San Joaquin County
C. A. Frate, UC Cooperative Extension, Tulare County
L. D. Godfrey, Entomology, UC Davis
P. B. Goodell, UC IPM Program, Kearney Agricultural Research Center, Parlier
R. F. Long, UC Cooperative Extension, Yolo County
C. J. Mickler, UC Cooperative Extension, Stanislaus County
S. C. Mueller, UC Cooperative Extension, Fresno County
J. L. Schmierer, UC Cooperative Extension Colusa County
S. R. Temple, Plant Sciences,UC Davis

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