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Alexander D. Pavlista, Dipak K. Santra, James A. Schild and Gary W. Hergert

To lower seed yield loss from directly harvested common bean or dry bean, height of the lower pod-bearing nodes needs to be raised. The objective of this greenhouse study was to stimulate lower stem elongation by gibberellic acid (GA3) of dry bean cultivars. Seeds of cv. Matterhorn, erect indeterminate Type II, and cv. Poncho, prostate indeterminate Type III, were dipped in GA3 at 62.5 to 16,000 ppm and planted. After 14 d, the height of the unifoliate and first trifoliate nodes showed maximum stimulation of stem elongation by 1000 ppm GA3 for ‘Poncho’ and by 2000 ppm for ‘Matterhorn’. Application of 1 mL of GA3 at 0.031 to 2048 ppm to newly expanded unifoliate leaves showed cultivar differences. Whereas ‘Matterhorn’ was promoted at 64 ppm and reached a maximum height by 512 ppm GA3, ‘Poncho’ was promoted at 0.25 ppm and reached a maximum height by 8 ppm GA3. Flowering of ‘Matterhorn’ was unaffected by GA3; flowering of ‘Poncho’ was completely inhibited by 128 ppm. The sensitivity difference of cultivars was verified with other cultivars. Type I cultivars, which are all determinate, showed a full range of GA3 sensitivity. Dry bean cultivars may be regrouped based on the GA3 dose to which they respond. Individual response to GA3 rates of dry bean cultivars needs to be predetermined using a short-term, 2–3 weeks, greenhouse bioassay before field use of GA3.

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Alexander D. Pavlista, Gary Hergert, Dipak K. Santra and James A. Schild

The lowest pods on common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) are on or near the ground. Yields may improve by raising these pods to reduce yield loss, especially with direct harvest. The objective of this field study was to use gibberellic acid (GA3) to raise lower pods and increase yield. Seeds of cultivars Poncho (Type III, pinto) and Matterhorn (Type II, great northern) were dipped in GA3 at 0, 125, 500, and 2000 ppm and planted in 30-inch rows (2005). Stem elongation was promoted, but emergence and yield were decreased especially for ‘Poncho’. In foliar tests in 30-inch rows (2005 and 2006), GA3 was applied to newly expanded unifoliolate leaves. Doses were 0, 0.5, 2, and 8 ppm for ‘Poncho’ and 0, 31.25, 125, and 500 ppm for ‘Matterhorn’. The higher doses raised the low pod by 2 inches, and yields harvested conventionally were increased from 14% to 18%. In 2007, ‘Poncho’ and ‘Matterhorn’ unifoliolate leaves were treated with GA3 at 0, 2, and 4 ppm, and 0, 62.5, and 125 ppm, respectively, and then portions of each plot were harvested either manually, conventionally, or directly. Planting was in 22- and 30-inch row spacing. Lower pods were raised by ≈1 inch by GA3. Yields from conventional and direct harvest were increased by foliar GA3 application for both cultivars and both row spacings. Yield from directly harvested GA3-treated plots was comparable to that from untreated conventionally harvested plots. GA3 may play a role in increasing yield from directly harvested common bean in conjunction with genetic and mechanical improvements.