The ancient crop provides flavor for humans and forage for livestock.
Tepary beans are among the most drought-tolerant legume crops in the world, but at one time, they were almost an endangered species in the U.S.
Waltram Ravelombola, a Texas A&M AgriLife Research organic and specialty crop breeder at Vernon and in the Texas A&M Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, is one of a few scientists funded by a U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service grant to bring tepary beans into modern cropping systems and diets.
The legume — pronounced tep-uh-ree — is an ancient crop native to the northern part of Mexico and the southwestern part of the U.S. The beans can be multiple sizes and colors, like pinto or black beans, but they offer drought tolerance other legumes don’t, Ravelombola said.
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