Learn How to Future-Proof Your Green Beans

Innovation Impact
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Syngenta is investing in this crop to help growers around the world withstand seasonal challenges 

Green beans pack a nutritious punch, and they’re a critical crop for growers around the world. With climate change, disease, and other pest challenges, it’s important that bean varieties continue to improve. 

“We’re in it for the long term when it comes to green beans,” said George Hallam, Syngenta Product Development Specialist. “We have a team of full-time breeders designated to produce new material for growers and processors.” 

Green bean growers need varieties that not only withstand seasonal stressors but also provide the end-use benefits processors or fresh market consumers seek. Syngenta has dedicated time, resources, and research to understand the green bean market and grower challenges and continues to search for new and better solutions each year.

Breeding a Better Bean 

Each season brings new challenges. Syngenta strives to help offset agronomic concerns by building better beans through breeding and trialing. 

“Our breeders work hard every year to deliver new material,” Hallam said. “They do so by reviewing thousands of varieties, checking for key traits such as disease resistance, lodging, etc. If they see something that doesn’t work they scrap that variety. So, they filter thousands upon thousands down to hundreds, down to tens by looking for these characteristics to find the perfect varieties for each market.” 

Bean pests are numerous, including insect, disease, and fungi. Syngenta breeders look for genetics that have natural tolerances or resistances to the most common pests and then test those varieties in local markets to measure performance. This method uses traditional breeding techniques and capitalizes on advanced data technology to identify the best candidates to move forward each season. 

“We have a strong pipeline with resistance, disease resistance, yield improvement, stability, and all of that helps aid in potential margin improvement for growers,” Hallam explained. “With prices increasing in inputs around the world, it’s important to find something that will help you deliver a predictable yield for your crop. We’re there to support and deliver those improvements.” 

Emerging Trends 

Green beans are versatile – they’re enjoyed by fresh market consumers and can be stored for longer periods thanks to canning and freezing processors. With more health-conscious consumers around the world, vegetables will continue to be in demand. 

“We’re noticing some emerging trends in processing and fresh market,” Hallam said. “Fresh market business seems to be asking for a smaller diameter graded bean with some markets, like Italy, looking for a darker color. With processors, we also know it must be machine harvestable and blemish-free with a clean, straight, and uniform pod that’s suitable for the freezing process and the canner.” 

Consumers are also asking for more sustainability within the grocery store. They want to see more of the pods eaten and flexibility on when they can eat them. For example, if they don’t finish a freezer bag in one meal, it needs to maintain quality in the fridge by the next meal. 

From the seed to the grocery store, Syngenta is ready to help growers produce the highest quality green beans. For support and to learn more about what varieties perform in your area, click here.

ⓒ 2022 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.