Dry bean producers everywhere will be planting more Great Northern beans in 2014, which is good news for Coyne, the Great Northern variety released in 2008 by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.David Scholand, sales and marketing representative for Treasure Valley Seed Co. of Reynolds, N.D., said demand is "off the charts" for all types of seed that his company sells. In recent years, beans have had to compete for acreage with other crops such as corn. With corn prices much lower this year, bean seed has been in demand. Bean prices have held up well in recent years. So there's been a big demand on Great Northerns, according to Scholand. And Coyne has been popular during the several years it's been available to growers.
A shortage of quality dry edible beans in the Panhandle has contributed to higher prices for all varieties of beans through the fall. However, rising prices this time of year are not the norm. A recent report by University of Nebraska-Lincoln economists outlined price pattern shifts for area commodities, including dry edible beans.
Two time periods were analyzed, 1985/86 through 2006/07 and 2007/08 through 2012/13, for pinto and great northern varieties. The study noted that there have been small changes in annual bean price patterns.
In recent years more growers in the central high plains are moving toward direct harvest of dry edible beans instead of the conventional method of undercutting or rodding, windrowing, and then combining. Direct harvest is accomplished by one pass with the combine. Other growing regions such as North Dakota, Michigan and Canada are using direct harvest for the majority of their dry bean harvest.
John Thomas, Extension Educator, Box Butte County, and John A. Smith, Professor Emeritus, discuss reasons to consider direct harvest, factors that keep some growers from trying it, and data from on-farm trials.
Planting for Direct Harvest of Dry Edible Beans — Some Dos and Don'ts
Direct harvest of dry edible beans is not new to the United States. It is the most common harvest method for dry edible beans in Michigan and North Dakota. But producers in western Nebraska, northeast Colorado, and southeast Wyoming are still discovering the details that will make the system work well for them. Read recommendations for direct harvest related practices to consider for the 2013 bean growing season, from Professor Emeritus John Smith and Extension Educator John Thomas.