Heirloom dry bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) cultivars are distinct in their seed characteristics, although little information regarding their performance at the field scale in theMidwest is currently available.Demand for organic heirloomdry beans fromdirect-toconsumer markets in Minnesota motivated our examination of the crop’s suitability for local production. Heirloomcultivars were evaluated on the basis of yield and yield stability at four small-scale organic vegetable productions in southeastMinnesota. Yield data from 2013 and 2014 were subject to static and dynamic stability biplot analyses. The mean yield of heirloom cultivars was ≈44% lower than commercial market class checks included in the trial; heirloom yields ranged from 825 to 2127 kg·ha-1, with a mean of 1362 kg·ha-1. Stability analyses and economic incentives suggest that the production of heirloom cultivars, especially ‘Jacob’s Cattle Gold’, ‘Lina Sisco’s Bird Egg’, ‘Peregion’, and ‘Tiger’s Eye’, could provide growers with the opportunity to diversify their production, differentiate themselves in local markets, and maintain economic return.
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- Common bean
- Niche markets