Preliminary Evaluation of Tepary Bean (Phaseolus acutifolius A. Gray) as a Forage Crop



There is a lack of crop options for planting when summer crops, such as corn and soybean, fail due to drought during late summer period. This study evaluated the potential of using tepary bean as a short-duration forage crop when planted late during summer period. Tepary bean (Phaseolus acutifolius A. Gray), a short-duration, drought-tolerant, summer crop, is a potential candidate forage crop for this situation. A study with 31 tepary bean lines indicated that 59 days old crop can be harvested as forage with mean fresh and dry matter yields of 22.2 and 4.4 Mg.ha-1, respectively. Tepary bean forage contained 21.4 percent protein, 37.5 percent ADF, 41.1 percent NDF, 0.48 Mcal/pound NE, 60.8 percent TDN, and 1.12 percent fat. Mean values of P, K, S, Ca, Mg, and Na (% dry matter) in tepary bean forage were 0.28, 2.5, 0.28, 2.11, 0.54, and 0.05, respectively. Mean values of Fe, Al, Mn, Cu, Zn, and B ( were 307, 229, 359, 9.3, 39.5, and 20.9, respectively. Tepary bean forage quality compared well with that of alfalfa hay, perennial peanut hay, and soybean forage. These results indicated that tepary bean has potential as a short-duration forage crop.

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