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Bean Briefs
June 18, 2008

New Board - Officers at NHB

Jon Ewy, Deer Creek, MN was named president of the Northarvest Bean Growers Association this spring.  Don Streifel, Washburn, ND was named vice president and Todd Sorenson, Fisher, MN was named treasurer for the Association. Scott Mund, Milnor, ND was elected to the ND Council for District 5.

Also serving on the Northarvest Board are Gary Paur, Gilby, ND; Mark Streed, Milan, MN; Joe Mauch, Hankinson, ND; Alan Juliuson, Hope, ND; Mark Myrdal, Edinburg, ND; and Daniel Webster, Penn, ND.

Beans, beans, theyre good for your ... hair?

Yes, its true. Legumes like kidney beans and lentils should be an important part of your hair-care diet. Not only do they provide plentiful protein to promote hair growth, but ample iron, zinc, and biotin. So says Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, a Chicago-based dietitian. Your hair grows about 1/4 to 1/2 inch every month, and the foundation of all of our new hair, skin, and nail growth is the nutrients we eat.  A well-balanced diet that includes plenty of growth-promoting protein and iron can make a difference. 

Plants Text Message Farmers When Thirsty

Beginning this crop season, farmers will be able to receive text messages on their cell phones from their plants saying whether they are thirsty or not. Accent Engineering, Inc., of Lubbock, TX, developed the SmartCrop" automated drought monitoring system based on a patent held by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS). They are offering it for sale in time for this growing season.

Battery-operated infrared thermometers placed in irrigated fields monitor leaf temperatures and relay that information to a computerized base station. A cell phone modem can be hooked up to the base station to download data to a personal computer. This modem can also send text messages to a farmers cell phone. An automated infrared sensor system tells farmers when plants are thirsty or hotter than their ideal growing temperature and need cooling off with irrigation water. A
RS is the U.S. Department of Agricultures chief scientific research agency.

Rich Zollingers Herbicide and Weed Control Myth Buster Videos 2008

For the 2007-08 pesticide certification season, Rich Zollinger, NDSU Extension weed specialist came up with a new video series in which he busts certain myths about herbicides and weed control. Each video is about four to five minutes long.  Go to the website at

A Flatulence Free Bean?

A new variety of the flatulence-free manteca bean, grown in the UK, has recently come to market following decades of research by Dr. Colin Leakey, research scientist from Cambridge University.

Dr. Leakey found a way to make these beans suitable for the
UK climate. Part of the rationale behind this was to give farmers another crop which could help with crop rotation and reduce the need for agri-chemicals. They are now being processed and marketed under the name Prim Beans by Cambridge, UK-based Phaseolus.

McKay Leaves NDSU

North Dakota State University extension crops specialist Kent McKay has accepted a job in the private sector. McKay has been an agronomist at the North Central Research Extension Center since 1991.  McKays last day with the extension service was April 18th.

University of Minnesota Plant Disease Clinic

The University of Minnesota Plant Disease Clinic provides services that include routine plant disease diagnosis, nematode analysis, seed quality testing, viral analysis, insect identification, and contract research.

It is important to obtain an accurate diagnosis to choose the best disease-control measures and to know what is affecting your crops or plants. Accurate and timely plant disease diagnosis starts with proper sample collection and submission. Samples should be collected as soon as disease symptoms develop and they should be submitted to the Plant Disease Clinic.  Go online at

Mexican Bean Output Seen Rising

The U.S. agricultural attache for Mexico is optimistic dry edible bean production in that country will expand at least 100,000 metric tons (MT) in 2008-09 to a forecast 1.2 million because of greater harvested area with the assumption of more favorable weather conditions.

Mexicos 2007-08 crop was hurt by dry conditions. In Zacatecas, preliminary official estimates indicate that the 2007-spring/summer crop (250,000 MT) declined by roughly 40% compared to the same crop a year earlier. At least part of this decline is attributable to the 100,000 hectares of dry bean production land damaged by the uncharacteristically dry weather. The total damaged area for the 2006 - spring/summer crop in Zacatecas was 9,521 hectares. (Source: StatsPub)



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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: