- BW – 17 dry bean crop – Alvin Klassen of Winkler, MB provides an independent, unbiased perspective of the North American Dry Bean crop conditions, quality, yield and how they affect markets. Klassen said the dry bean crop is looking pretty good at this point albeit down in acres significantly from the big crop in 2017.
- BW sign car – The dry bean expert who maintains and publishes current production news on dry beans in North America making several tours of the growing areas throughout the growing seasons said exports were steady throughout the winter.
- BW – 2018 crop – Klassen took this picture in the second week of June 2018. – “This is a very good representation of how the crop is in Manitoba right now,” he said.
By Harry Siemens – Alvin Klassen of Winkler, MB provides an independent, unbiased perspective of the North American Dry Bean crop conditions, quality, yield and how they affect markets.
Klassen said the dry bean crop is looking pretty good at this point albeit down in acres significantly from the big crop in 2017.
“We’ve had pretty good conditions in most of Western Canada and Central North America. The last ten days have gone rather smoothly with some nice friendly rains,” he said. “We hope to finish up in the next seven to 10 days in ideal conditions.
In Saskatchewan and Alberta farmers grow most of the dry beans under irrigation and excellent disease control, but in Manitoba, it is a different story.
“Well, we are quite dry. We didn’t receive a lot of snow or precipitation last fall, and we don’t have a lot of sub-moisture to work with. Most of the production region is going to be reliant on timely rains to achieve an excellent crop,” said Klassen. “We never lose a crop in May, that’s correct. And so far we’ve had some … two and three nice rains over the last ten days and things are looking promising.”
The dry bean expert who maintains and publishes current production news on dry beans in North America making several tours of the growing areas throughout the growing seasons said exports were steady throughout the winter.
“We had a record crop in Manitoba and North Dakota last year, which created a significant inventory of pinto beans, but sales in exports throughout the winter months were steady. Some issues with the Mexican crop last year were good for our export business,” he said. “We’re working our way through the inventory of pintos in North America, and there’s going to be fewer beans planted, in general, in North America. I think the big question is how many less? Prices fell too. About 20 cents U.S. levels last year. And that is not a level that is sustainable with dry bean growers to remain profitable. So we’ve got to get through that inventory and feed some extra demand, I guess.”
As to the price, that is the 64 dollar question.
“Yes, we will have to keep exporting at the rate that we currently are. And combined with reduced acres we should see some strength in dry bean prices this upcoming year.”
And acres this year in Manitoba one person suggested could drop by 45 per cent, but Klassen thinks the drop will be much less but hard to tell with the weather and soil moisture conditions.
“And in North Dakota, where there’s a substantial amount of beans grown we’re anticipating a 20 per cent reduction in dry bean production,” he said. “I will be traveling throughout the US and Canada and write reports on my findings in different production regions to help guys make some good decisions on the 2018 crop.”
Klassen publishes the information he gathers on his website to subscribers putting articles up on the site and selling memberships. This year he will also send out email updates directly to the members giving them the option of going to the website or reading their emails receiving current information in a timely fashion.
While the dry beans are Klassen’s passion and specialty, he commented on the soybean market wondering whether anyone understands that market.
“It maintains significant strength and every year we see it creating a competitive edge on dry bean production regions. The industry keeps building more and more soybean crushing facilities every year throughout North America. It’s amazing that they maintain the value that they do.”