January 11, 2005
The Canadian government published the following dry bean price and supply outlook Nov. 14.
Canadas dry bean production and supply are forecast to decrease sharply, due mainly to crop damage in Manitoba, the main producing province.
Production and supply are expected to decrease for all classes: white pea, pinto, black, red kidney, cranberry, Great Northern, small red and pink beans. U.S. production is forecast to decrease by 17% to 830,000 tonnes, due to a lower harvested area and lower yields.
Total U.S. and Canadian supply of nearly all major classes of dry beans is forecast to fall. Canadian exports are forecast to decrease sharply, due to the lower supply, and carry-out stocks are expected to decrease to a low level.
The average price, over all classes and grades, is forecast to rise sharply due to the lower supply.
Advice to new growers
Canadian ag officials are advising growers to plan before they plant dry beans. They cite the forecast for strong 2004 prices for increased interest in growing beans. Among their advice:
" Pick the right field. Dry beans are a more delicate crop than soybeans, require more management, and are less tolerant of variable soil conditions. Factors such as soil type, drainage, stoniness, weed pressure, previous crop(s), soil structure; previous herbicides have a large impact on successful bean production.
" Avoid growing edible beans where soil compaction is a concern.
" Avoid heavy soils that drain poorly, crust, or are hard to till. They increase the risk of uneven emergence and poor stands, which is turn produces uneven ripening, delayed harvest and immature beans that increase the pick and lower grade and price at market time.
" Rotate crops to reduce the risk of damage from white mold, root rot and other diseases and pests. A three to four year rotation is considered the minimum. Tillage is not effective in reducing the inoculum level of white mold, they note, because the over wintering structures can survive a long time in the soil. Reduced tillage has been credited with reduced survival of sclerotia because it favors the bacteria that breakdown these structures.