South Carolina Researcher Works to Develop Heat-Tolerant Butterbean

A Clemson Extension agent is working to develop a butterbean variety that can successfully pollinate during warmer nights. The butterbean, or lima, is a southern dietary staple, but the most common variety won’t pollinate when night temperatures rise above 75°F. Climbing temperatures in South Carolina in recent years have resulted in poor crops and crop failures. Consequently, the amount of butterbean acreage in South Carolina has been in decline, as growers move to other crops. Researcher Tony Melton says he hopes to have a heat-tolerant butterbean by the end of 2019, which growers are eagerly awaiting.