2019 Dry Farming Field Day - OSU Vegetable Research Farm

Handouts and Information

Below is an assortment of materials prepared for the 2019 Dry Farming Field Day at the OSU Vegetable Research Farm, September 4th from 4-6pm.


Additional Project Information

Dry Farmed Corn Breeding Project

Variety - Open Oak Party Mix Dent Corn - “A semi-flinty dent type selected from a freely crossed population of Wapsie Valley Dent, Vermont Flint, Garland Flint, Italian Polenta and several unnamed dent varieties from a University of Wisconsin breeding project for nutrition.” –Adaptive Seeds

Project Details: From 2018 dry farming field trials, 120 ears were selected for size, color, and type (flint/dent). They were planted 8 seeds per ear in this plot. We crossed different ear accessions to create a diverse pool of unique genetic combinations. These “full siblings” will be grown in dry farmed conditions in subsequent years, and we will continue to select a large pool (100+) of the best performing genetic combinations, in a breeding process called recurrent selection. This is project is a collaboration with Professor Jennifer Kling of OSU Department of Crop and Soil Science.

Dry Farmed Bean Variety Trials - Variety and line descriptions.

Rockwell (RO): This white heirloom bush bean from Whidbey Island, WA is early-maturing and able to germinate in cool soils. From Uprising Seeds.

Sacaton Brown Tepary (SA): – Tepary beans (Phaseolus acutifolius) are a different species than the popular common bean (Phaesolus vulgaris), and are known for their drought and heat tolerance, and higher fiber and protein content than common beans. These tepary beans come from Adaptive Seeds via the Gila River Indian Community and Native Seeds/SEARCH in Arizona.

Jim Myers bean lines (JM1, JM2, JM3): These three bean lines were created by OSU crop breeder Jim Myers. All three are the result of crosses between tepary beans and common beans using tissue culture methods. The arcelin protein in tepary beans - and now these new bean lines - confers beans resistance to bean bruchids, or seed weevils. These three particular lines were chosen for the variety trials due to observed drought tolerance traits.

Dry Farmed Melon Variety Trials - Variety list and identifying characteristics


Blacktail Mountain – dark green rind

Christmas Watermelon – pale green skin, storage melon

Cream of Saskatchewan – yellow flesh

Golden Midget – golden yellow rind

Moon and Stars – yellow dots on green rind

Sweet Siberian – orange flesh

Cantaloupe / Musk Melon

Eel River – teardrop shape, orange flesh

Minnesota Midget – yellow netted rind, orange flesh

Green Nutmeg – tan netted rind, green flesh

Tigger – small with smooth, orange-striped skin

Preliminary Data - Graphs and Figures

Right - During corn and bean pollination time, on July 30th, we measured stem diameter (middle panel), height and wet biomass of a subset of corn and bean plants. While inoculant treatments generally had no impact on these measures (not pictured) irrigation and spacing generally affected plant stem diameter. Notably, tighter spacing did not negatively affect the size of dry farmed bean plants. On August 28th, 2019 we measured leaf chlorophyll content as an indicator of how quickly mature plants were drying down. Dry farmed corn and bean plants had a lower chlorophyll content than irrigated plants, and plants at tighter spacing contained less chlorophyll content than plants at standard spacing (middle panel). Notably, corn plants treated with BioEnsure appeared to be drying down more slowly than other plants, and a similar trend was observed in bean plants treated with only BioTango (bottom panel). While other treatments appear to deviate from the Control, asterisks (*) represent those treatments that were significantly different than the Control treatment, based on a cutoff of 95% certainty.

Below - Readings of moisture sensors placed next to dry farmed (red) and irrigated (blue) beans, corn and squash plants, at 1', 2', 3' and 4' depths. Soil moisture tension in centibars represents the degree that plant roots must work to draw in moisture from the soil. The higher the tension, the drier the soil. Bean plots appeared to lose water due to lack of shading, while squash plants appear to quickly consume water at deeper depths.