The ups and downs of bean production.
I'm going to refer to this as the yo-yo bean phenomenon. I've done so many stories on dry beans that have been so positive in the last few months. It seems that there is a hummus revelation, make that revolution going on, and that is primarily driven by the health craze. Lots of protein, almost no calories, slather it on top of bread or crackers and you have an extremely healthful food which is delicious. So call it chick peas call it garbanzos, producers who deal in that world are certainly in a win-win situation. But hold the press. Why then does this appear? USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service is forecasting dry bean production in Idaho at 2.5 million hundredweight this year which is down 17 percent from last year. Harvested acres are forecast at 119,000, down 25,000 from 2012. How could that be? I called the Idaho Bean Commission's Lacey Menasco for an explanation: "if there is a high year of production then there are extra supplies so the next year producers just plant a little bit less. 2012 was a really good year, acres were up and yields were good.
There were beans left on the market. This year, dealers contracted fewer acres. Next year is going to be a big year because of problems in the red River Valley region of North Dakota and flooding plus there is less production this year. Next year the acres in Idaho will be back up. So like I said in the beginning it's a yo-yo. Yup, a yo-yo.