Cooperatively Exploring Dry Edible Beans as a Value Added/Alternative Crop Dry Edible Beans

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Henning Cooklin, Chris
Hansen, Ray
Hertel, Craig
Kennicker, John
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Proceedings of the Integrated Crop Management Conference
Iowa State University Conferences and Symposia

The Iowa State University Integrated Crop Management Conference is Iowa's premier crop production education event. No other program in Iowa brings together the diverse range of topics, slate of expert presenters and results of the latest University research.

The ICM Conference offers workshops focusing on the latest in crop production technology. Experts from Iowa and surrounding states will provide research updates and results in soil fertility, soil and water management, crop production and pest management.


Driven by the desire and interest in finding a value-added marketable alternative crop a group of 24 producers in central Iowa recently tackled the formidable challenge of evaluating potential alternatives for their farming operations. Having witnessed other alternative crop projects come and go this group approached the process with a unique attitude of cooperation. Through a cooperative approach the risks, rewards and resources were shared for the purpose of more quickly reaching project resolution and at a scale that would reflect realistic market potential. Initial grower meetings narrowed the project down to two potential dry edible beans and established a protocol for risk management. Producers were encouraged to grow these dry edible beans with the mindset of research and experimentation. Individual growers were encouraged to utilize their existing cropping practices and commit to no more acres than they were willing to put at risk. To provide consistent evaluation data, the growers performed all production tasks and absorbed all personal production costs, however, all harvesting was done by a common machine and operator. Based on acres of production revenue from sales would be divided equally to all producers. This protocol was developed for the first year of production only and for the purpose of evaluating crop profitability as well as establishing a baseline of production practices.