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Gavin R. Sills and James Nienhuis

The interactive effects of genotypes, plant population densities, and harvest methods on snap bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) yield evaluation were investigated using a split-split plot factorial arrangement of treatments at two locations Six snap bean processing cultivars were grown at 5.5, 11, and 22 plants/m2 and harvested either by machine or by hand. Each' of three commercial seed companies provided two cultivars, one of which was described as “good” and the other as “poor” for machine harvesting. Genotype × harvest method interactions were not significant for pod count, but were significant when yield was evaluated as pod weight. This latter interaction was explained by a single-degree-of-freedom contrast of genotypes × (“good” vs. “poor” harvestability). Genotype × density and genotype × density × location interactions were significant for both pod count and weight. The density × harvest method interaction was nonsignificant for both yield variables. These results suggest that breeders can evaluate yield of genotypes using either hand or machine harvest but should use plant population densities appropriate to commercial production. Optimum plot size for snap bean yield evaluations at these locations under the various conditions imposed were estimated.