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Green Beans

Green beans account for almost 200,000 acres of crops grown in the United States, with Wisconsin as the country’s leading producer. On average, one acre produces between 250 to 300 bushels of green beans at harvest.

A green bean crop prefers well-drained soils with a pH between 6.0 and 6.8. Green beans do not like continuous moisture in the root zone but require adequate water for pod-set, so sandy soils with irrigation are preferred for high yields. Green beans have a shallow root system. Due to the shallowness, a complete nutrient program must be implemented to maximize crop quality and yield at harvest. Unlike other legumes, green beans do not have the ability to fix enough nitrogen to support a good crop, requiring supplemental nitrogen to be applied. Manganese deficiency is common in green beans, especially in soils with pH over 6.5.

Nutrient Deficiencies

Nitrogen is mobile in the plant. Symptoms will appear as chlorosis first on lower leaves and stunted plant growth.
Phosphorus is responsible for capturing and converting the sun’s energy. Plants deficient in phosphorus are smaller with slow and stunted growth.
Potassium is mobile within the plant, causing deficiency symptoms to appear first in older leaves. Leaf symptoms appear as yellowing to necrosis on the outer edge of leaves.
Sulfur appears in every living cell and is important for photosynthesis. Plants deficient in sulfur will be stunted and pale green in color.
Calcium deficiency causes internal browning and hollow tubers.
The availability of zinc decreases as soil pH increases. Zinc aids in the synthesis of plant-growth substances and enzyme systems. Symptoms appear as yellow or bronze coloration of leaf edges and tips.

Additional Resources

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