Nebraska’s dry bean harvest is 99 percent complete.
The producers of Great Northern, Pinto, and other dry beans planted their crops close to on time at the end of spring, but harvesting this fall was delayed due to rain.
“It could possibly be one of the latest harvests in 40 years,” Courtney Schuler, field representative for Trinidad Benham Corp., and chair of the state Dry Bean Commission, tells Nebraska Radio Network.
“Most producers were very satisfied with yields being average to above average in most of the areas,” she says. “Part of that was due to some cooler times during the summer. Dry beans respond well to cooler temperatures during their bloom and pod-set, and we did have some of that weather in August.”
Schuler says the hundredweight price for Great Northern and Pinto beans is around $21, which is lower than the five-year average.
Fortunately, for producers, not all beans are sold at harvest time at the harvest price.
“There are contracts available throughout the year that producers can guarantee their pricing on, at least, a portion of their production,” Schuler explains, “So it just depends on what choices they made.”
Schuler says Nebraska is the number one producer of Great Northern beans in the country, and number two for Pinto and Light Red Kidney beans. Roughly 25 percent of the state’s crop is exported around the world.
“Nebraska produces over a billion servings of dry beans every year,” she says. “It has a very significant impact to our state economy and the Dry Bean Commission is currently having a study done to see what that economic impact is.”
Producers are closely watching how next year’s Farm Bill is being crafted, and the ongoing trade negotiations by the Trump administration to gauge their impact on the industry.
AUDIO: Mike Loizzo reports [:43]