According to Monday’s Crop Progress report, the entirety of the Michigan dry bean crop is planted, and 89 percent are above ground. According to Joe Cramer, executive director of the Michigan Bean Commission, about 80 percent of the crop was planted in the first 10 days of June.
“We got a little bit of rain last week that really got everything emerged, and we’re feeling like we’re in pretty good shape,” he said. “Our planting window is May 25 through June 25 that would encompass everybody, but the bulk of it went in those first 10 days.”
The majority of the dry bean planting window was favorable for growers. A few weeks ago, Cramer said some growers saw heavy rains around the time of emergence.
“That required a lot of guys to find their rotary hoe, which they haven’t used in many years, and a lot of our acres got a rotary hoe ran over them,” he said. “For the most part, people are feeling pretty good about their crop. I don’t think we have a bumper crop—some of the crusting caused a little bit of a chemical burn to some drowned out from last Friday night’s excessive water in a couple areas.”
Out west, the central part of the Red River Valley has received a lot of rain, causing drowned out spots. Here in Michigan, Cramer is expecting yields to be average or slightly better than average this year.
“We’ve got navy beans pegged at 22 bags an acre, and black beans at 21 bags an acre,” he said.
There’s still an issue with inventories since consumer demand of dry beans has been high since the pandemic began. Most of the product has been sold, but Cramer said the bean industry will need all the acres they can get.
“We’re going to carry over beans, no question about that, but our numbers are going to be really small compared to normal,” he said. “What’s left in the bin is sold—it’s just not shipped. All in all, people are very limited on what they’ve got left to sell, if anything.”
He said that’s caused strong values, but not many growers can take advantage of prices because they don’t have product to sell at this time.
“As we come into new crop, we’re definitely going to have an adjustment in price, and if Mother Nature continues to smile on us with some rain once in a while, that’s probably a downward number from where we’re at,” he said. “But still, new crop values have been a decent price, and I think growers are fairly optimistic about what the potential is in terms of ROI out of this 2020/21 bean crop.”