Tepary Beans Offer Drought- and Heat-Tolerant Crop Option

The American Society of Agronomy reports on research presented at the virtual 2020 ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting that highlighted the potential for tepary beans to enhance food security while consuming less water. The native tepary bean has been cultivated for thousands of years and is more drought and heat tolerant than other bean varieties. Researchers say heirloom crops like tepary and wild relatives could be important breeding resources for developing crops that can thrive on less water. Or, researchers say, a shift to simply growing less-thirsty crops like pistachios, sorghum, and teparies could offer an agricultural future for arid parts of the United States, such as the Southwest. In addition to being used as dry beans, tepary beans can also be used as a forage or cover crop.