Dry Beans does well in warm seasons of the year. Optimum temperatures for growing are 15ºC to 27ºC.
Popular varieties are Carioca, A197, Solwezi Rose, Kabulangeti, Pan 148, Pan 159, Primeira and Bounty.
Maturity period differs between different varieties but in the range of 85 to 120 days.
A well-managed beans crop should yield 500 to 750kg per Lima.
Beans should be harvested when leaves turn yellow. This is best done in the morning as beans tend to shatter.
Land Preparation /Soil Type
Loamy to loamy clayish soils with a pH range from 5.5 to 6 is ideal.
Effective rooting depth is 60cm.
Plough and harrow to a 60cm fine tilth seedbed.
Planting and Transplanting
Sow directly 3 cm deep at seed rates of 12.5 kg seed per Lima. The best time to plant dry beans is first week of January when effective rainfall starts.
Space the plants at 10cm between plants and 60cm between ridges/rows to give a plant population of 200,000 plants /hectare.
At planting broadcast Soya Mix 25gms/ m2 (62.5kgs/Lima).
Top dress using Top 32 10gm/m2 may also be applied at 21 days after germination if leaves are pale (25kg/Lima).
Weeds compete with plants for nutrients and space; they can reduce yields by more than 25%. Keep the field free from weeds at all times.
Scout for pests and diseases once weekly, spray upon noticing disease or pest. Aphids, bean fly, Bollworms and Chafer beetles are common insect pests while Rust, Blights and Anthracnose are common Beans diseases.
Article Courtesy: Zambia Agribusiness Society