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Bean Briefs
March 28, 2008

Bean Day Drawing
James Stover of Larimore, ND was the lucky recipient of this years Bean Day door prize  a $300 American Express gift card sponsored by Ag Country Farm Credit Services.  Justin Grinde of Ag Country Farm Credit Services (right) was on hand to present the gift card to Stover.

ARS Continues Effort to Help Farmers Battle White Mold

In 2002, the Agricultural Research Service launched the National Sclerotinia Initiative, a multi-organization effort to help farmers better protect these important crops from white mold. The scientists have presented their research before peers, producers, and other stakeholders at annual conferences hosted by ARS in collaboration with the National Sunflower Association, U.S. Dry Bean Council, U.S. Canola Association, U.S. Dry Pea and Lentil Council, and United Soybean Board.

The fungus Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, or white mold can infect some 408 different plant species, including U.S. sunflower, soybean, canola, dry edible bean, and pulse crops (dry peas, lentils, and chickpeas). This costs growers around $252 million annually in yield losses and diminished quality.

Scientists conduct their research with four strategic goals in mind: to develop new, disease-resistant germplasm lines and varieties of the seven crops covered under the initiative; to learn more about white molds biology and development; to decipher white molds genomic secrets and its disease epidemiology, which varies with the type of plant infected; and to devise new diagnostic tools and disease-management strategies based on information from all the above.


Beans Struggle to Compete for Land

Grower and inter-dealer markets for a wide range of products are continually setting new record high price levels. Competition for acreage this year has combined with excellent international demand to pull prices higher.

Processors in the
U.S. report extremely tight supplies of durum, spring wheat and spring barley planting seed in North Dakota, and the U.S. Pacific Northwest. Getting growers to maintain pulse area is going to be tougher than initially anticipated. In states where corn and soybeans are viable options, dry edible bean processors are also reporting tremendous problems maintaining grower interest.

The net result is that total pulse area should be down this year in the United States, with dry edible bean area reported by the USDAs NASS expected to drop from almost 1.6 million acres to under 1.44 million; and lentils from 394,000 to 354,000 acres.

Land sown to all classes of wheat, corn and soybeans needs to rise around 7.4 million acres for a comfortable supply situation. Last years 17 million acre increase in feed grain seedings in the U.S. came at the expense of a 11.9 million acre decline in U.S. soybean area, 4.4 million fewer acres of cotton, and 900,000 fewer acres devoted to other oilseeds, edible beans, peas, lentils, and sugar beets.

Land in major grains, cotton and soybeans are expected to jump from 246.5 million acres last year to 252.6 million this year. The implication is land in dry edible beans, peas, lentils, minor oilseeds, millet and other crops will decline this year.

Land competition is not expected to ease until at least 2012.


Website  Promotes Beans to Families

To communicate the high value of beans to consumers, Bush Brothers & Co. launched a web site,

The web site touts recipes, bean benefits and a Moms & Kids page that helps moms serve their kids more great-tasting vegetable dishes. Bush Brothers invited 50 families to participate in supplying and rating new bean recipes. Also available on the web site is a Vegetable With More " Toolkit, which allows viewers to download a variety of materials to increase their bean and vegetable consumption.

ND Department of Ag Announces Purchase from

A North Dakota trade delegation recently went to Cuba and announced that the Cuban government will be purchasing approximately $7.5 million in commodities, mostly peas and lentils, from the state. Ag Commissioner Roger Johnson and the delegation met with Cuban government buyers and officials in Havana to negotiate the deal. Johnson said North Dakota leads the U.S. in the production of both dry peas and lentils, and the Cubans appreciate both the quality and reliable supply. Alan Juliuson, board member of the Northarvest Bean Growers Association, was part of the 12-member trade mission.


Bean Day Elections

Elected to serve on the board of directors of the Northarvest Bean Growers Association during annual elections held this winter were Dan Webster of Penn, ND representing district 3; Don Streifel of Washburn, ND representing district 6; and Mark Streed of Milan, MN representing district 9.


NDSU Dry Bean Budget Projections

The North Dakota State University Agriculture and University Extension office has published the 2008 Projected Crop Budgets for the regions throughout North Dakota.  The 2008 crop budgets provide an estimate of revenues and costs for selected crops. Each set of budgets are developed for a multi-county region. There is considerable variation in soil type and productivity, weather conditions, as well as management and production practices within each region.
The crop budgets can be found online at


Resources Available on the NDSU Ag Web Site

NDSU has an impressive collection of publications to help producers with planting rates, row spacing and more. Go to for up-to-date information for this upcoming growing season.Variety Trial Data for all NDSU Research Extension Centers: North Dakota Field Crop Insect Management Guide (for use in 2008 only) - 2008 North Dakota Weed Control Insect Information -


Crop Reporting Dates

The National Agriculture Statistics Service will be releasing crop information on dry beans in 2008.

March 31  Prospective Planting Report

June 30  Acreage Report

August 12 - Crop Production Report

October 10 - Crop Production Report

December 11 - Crop Production Report


Beans Lower Blood Pressure

According to Joy Bauer MS, RD, CDN, nutritionist and diet editor contributor for the Today show, beans are among the best of the best when it comes to lowering your blood pressure. She explains that beans (black, white, navy, lima, pinto, kidney) are all loaded with magnesium, a key ingredient for lowering and maintaining healthy blood pressure levels. These foods also provide lots of potassium -- a primary nutrient in the fight against high blood pressure.

The other remaining seven foods listed (in no particular order) are:  skim milk, spinach, unsalted sunflower seeds, baked white potato, banana, soybeans and dark chocolate.



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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: