Breeding Green Beans Ready for Mechanization, Pests, and Consumer Demands

Innovation Impact
Green Bean Main Image

Raw, steamed, frozen, canned, fresh… the list of ways green beans are used is long. With demands from consumers growing, and production challenges increasing, green bean growers need a partner who listens to these needs and adapts.

Syngenta Vegetable Seeds recognizes green beans are a critical crop for growers and consumers globally. For growers, it is a choice vegetable providing beneficial traits like disease resistance and ease of harvest. For consumers, green beans pack a nutritious punch as a rich source of vitamins A, C, and K, and of folic acid and fiber.

From leveraging science-based agronomic solutions improving stewardship, to anticipating processor preferences and consumer market trends which impact growers’ return on investment (ROI), sustainability is at the heart of everything we do. 

At the end of the day, Syngenta Vegetable Seeds strives to create a more competitive, brighter future for green beans.

Improvement for processors and desirability in fresh market

We are committed to gaining a deeper insight into the desires of consumers as their choices affect processors. We are excited to test dozens of varieties designed to offer uniform grading, straight pods with appealing shades ranging from mint to dark green color.

Alongside perfecting these characteristics, we are also crafting versatile dual-purpose varieties that cater to both the processing and fresh market sectors. Experts work to accommodate the trends by creating multiple processing options for mid-large, fine, very fine and extra fine grading.

“We’re noticing some emerging trends in processing and fresh market,” George Hallam, Syngenta Product Development Specialist said. “With processors, we also know it must be machine harvestable with a clean, straight, and uniform pod that’s suitable for the freezing process while delivering, desirability for fresh markets. Our fresh market innovation invests in addressing consumer preferences by providing appetizing produce with robust resistance against blemishes.”

Crafting a better bean for growers

We work hand-in-hand with growers to understand their challenges throughout the season. Whether it is a pest, agronomic concern or a crop quality challenge, we keep an eye on the ground to breed products that provide the defense or quality traits that matter to growers. 

Experts strive to identify favorable traits such as uniform pod settings that provide robust, stable varieties able to weather environmental factors. Our experienced breeders know that varieties need to be adaptable to various fertility plans, and a wide range of soil conditions.

Our experts also breed for strengths like early maturity and long harvest windows. In addition to the longer windows, they identify varieties that are easy to harvest, with or without the use of mechanization - reducing time spent in fields.

“We’re in it for the long term when it comes to green beans,” said Hallam. “We have a team of full-time breeders designated to produce new material for growers and processors. They do so by reviewing thousands of varieties, checking for key traits such as disease resistance, lodging, etc. They filter thousands upon thousands down to hundreds, down to tens, by looking for these characteristics to find the perfect varieties for each market.” 

Whether it is disease resistance, fertility, environmental factors, processor needs, or consumer preferences, our focus remains on delivering competitive solutions to our valued growers. The cornerstone of achieving these objectives is our commitment to ensuring bean varieties evolve to create a better bean.

(c) 2023 Syngenta. Some or all of the varieties may be protected under one or more of the following: Plant Variety Protection, United States Plant Patents and/or Utility Patents and may not be propagated or reproduced without authorization.