Posted: April 1, 2017
According to USDA’s Prospective Plantings report, farmers intend to plant 12% more dry beans this year than last. Bean acres are estimated at 1.866 million compared to 1.662 last year. It’s hard to actually sort kidney bean acres out of the report because planting intentions for all bean classes are grouped together by class. For example, Minnesota farmers intend to increase dry bean acres by 13% from 155,000 to 175,000. Minnesotans traditionally plant more dark, light and white kidney beans than any other state, but how do you figure out how many kidney acres are included in the class report? Does one assume that all classes will increase by 13%? Probably not, but one thing certain, there’s lots of room for speculation.
Other information gleaned from the report includes a reduction of ND bean acres by 1% from 625,000 to 620,000 acres. Colorado growers say they’ll plant 28% more dry beans this year; Nebraska growers will plant 9% more, while Michigan growers intend to plant 7% less.
The current market is slow but steady with beans moving both domestically and abroad. Chinese prices are currently higher than prices in the US. We felt that US prices should have increased by now, but with seemingly high stocks at other elevators, we’ve met resistance.