Lima Bean Harvest Progress and Disease Update

Gordon Johnson, Extension Vegetable & Fruit Specialist;

Lima bean harvest is about one third completed on Delmarva. Early planted yields have been variable, as is often the case. Dryland lima fields have been yielding similar to irrigated fields and this is likely due to the plentiful rains received during the summer. Split sets and delayed sets are less severe this year in the early limas compared to the last 2-3 years.

So far, diseases have been moderate to low. White mold is widespread but at low levels and Phytophthora capsici has been less severe than expected. While some downy mildew has been found at low levels across a number of fields, only a handful of fields have been severely affected. This is because wet conditions have not persisted in most areas (fields have dried out) as well as preventative sprays going out in high risk fields. Where downy mildew has been found at high levels is in areas with higher rainfall in later August and with a history of lima bean production.

As rains return, scout fields closely for these three diseases and plan for preventative applications in high risk fields with young pods.