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The Heat Cranked Up, Water Spigot Turned Down
August 29, 2007

After a wet start to the growing season, the heat cranked up and the water spigot turned down for many in the Northarvest bean growing area.  Some observations as the calendar flipped to August: The bean crop looks good in my area but it is quickly getting dry, said Brian Love, Euclid, MN.  The hot dry weather is starting to stress the plants and if we do not get some rain soon it will hurt the yields.

Jim Zenk who farms near
Renville, MN, reports that drought in his area will result in low edible bean yields, if there will be a crop to harvest at all.  Mike Beltz, Hillsboro, ND, had better news to share heading into August.  The edibles in my area look good right now, although while it was hot it was also humid, bad for people but easier on the crop then hot and dry would have been. Hopefully the next hot spell will be the same. Right now we are at the make or break stage for the crop, while it looks good now that could change, given current conditions I would expect an average to above average crop.

Alan Juliuson notes that the beans in his area (
Steele County) near Hope, ND were affected by a large hail storm that passed through in July.  Where it hailed they are completely gone. The ones that were not touched look very good. A little rain now would be welcome and make the crop a nice one. Heat did not seem to affect us, the rows are filled in and great pod set is occurring. Prices are strong and will remain strong, especially next year where a serious battle for acres will continue, he says.

Dealers in the Northarvest area say too that dry weather conditions seem to be the theme with this years dry edible beans.  Many bean fields were looking good heading into August (with generally better moisture conditions north) but needing rain to build yield, Some end-of-July dealer observations:

The Bean Mill, Perham, MN

Bean grown in the area: dark red kidney, light red kidney & pink

Dry beans are on schedule. The dry land beans (pink) look like they might be below average because the area is short on water. The quality of the beans range from great to pretty bad. Because is it sandy soil, the rain is needed frequently.

Bird Island Bean Co. LLC, Bird Island, MN

Beans grown in the area: navy, black turtles and kidney

The crops look fairly good but they are awful dry. There are a lot of pods on the plants but rain is needed and fairly soon. There are about 600 acres that may have to be destroyed because of drought. The farmers had to replant this year because of winds earlier this spring.  Compared to last year, the crop looks below average.

Red River Bean of Oslo, MN

Beans grown in the area: pintos and blacks

The crop looks real good.  We did have hail earlier this spring but the beans seem to be coming around. Plus, the Red River overflowed its banks and took out some acres as well. It wont be a bumper year but it should be a good year.

Lee Bean & Seed, Inc., Borup, MN

Beans grown in the area: black

The crops look good and it should be an above average crop this year. There were some fields that received too much rain early on. These were drowned out but were replanted and have recovered pretty well.

Mayport Farmers Coop, Mayville-Portland, ND

Beans grown in the area: blacks and pintos

The area is a little dry but the beans look good. The dry beans look better than last year and harvest looks to start on time which should be the beginning of September.

Thompson USA Limited, East Grand Forks, MN

Beans grown in the area: navy, blacks, kidneys and pintos

The dry beans look good in the area and should be average to above average. We are dry and could use a shower or two. We missed most of the bad weather that occurred earlier in the season with only minor pockets that were affected.  The beans look as good, if not better than last year with harvesting looking to be on time this year.

Joliette Ag Systems, Inc, Pembina, ND

Beans grown in the area: pintos and blacks

The dry beans look average to better-than-average this year. There were some drowned outs but have since dried up. We didnt receive any damaging weather early on and no excessive rain. We did have (some timely rain) and so the pods should fill up nicely before harvest. We needed it because the topsoil was dry. The ground here is heavy and not the ideal ground for dry edibles and we dont get the yields that some do but it is looking good for this area.

ngstrom Bean and Seed, Leeds, ND

Beans grown in the area: pintos and blacks

There may be some aborted blooms on some of the earlier planted beans, but overall the beans are looking good, with fairly timely rains.

ADM Edible Bean Specialties, Casselton, ND

Beans grown in the area: navies and pintos

Some bean fields in the western part of Cass County hailed out but overall its looking pretty good, dryness isnt as bad here as it is in some other areas.  Heat is speeding development along and rain will be needed to fill some of those later pods that are setting.


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Northarvest Bean Growers Association | 50072 East Lake Seven Road | Frazee, MN 56544
Ph: 218-334-6351 | Fax: 218-334-6360 | Email: