Agricultural Research Division of IANR


Date of this Version



University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, G1562.


Copyright © 2005-2011, The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska on behalf of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension. All rights reserved.


Bacterial wilt of dry beans has reappeared in Nebraska dry bean fields. This NebGuide addresses symptoms and identification, life cycle, and management of bacterial wilt in dry beans.

Bacterial wilt of dry beans, caused by Curtobacterium flaccumfaciens pv. flaccumfaciens (Cff), has been a sporadic — but often serious — production problem in dry beans throughout the irrigated High Plains since first being reported in South Dakota in 1922. It was first observed in western Nebraskadry bean production fields in the earlymid 1950s, and continued to be an endemic, economically important problem throughout the 1960s and early 1970s. The disease then only periodically appeared in seed, but had little detectable effect on yields after the implementation of crop rotation and seed sanitation practices

The pathogen was again identified in 2003 for the first time in this area in almost 25 years. Over the last seven to eight years, it has fully re-emerged in the Central High Plains (Nebraska, Colorado, and Wyoming) and has now been identified from more than 400 fields. Affected fields were planted with dry beans from multiple market classes and seed sources, including yellows, great northern, pintos, kidneys, cranberries, blacks, navies, pinks, and small reds. Disease incidence in these fields has varied from trace levels to >90 percent.