UMN Extension Strategic Farming Series

The weekly Strategic Farming Series webinar hosted by University of Minnesota Extension engages farmers and agriculture professionals in an interactive discussion. This Wednesday program features a live webinar with interactive discussion with attendees, addressing in-season cropping issues as they arise. Weekly sessions may include topics related to soil fertility, agronomics, pest management, equipment, and more.
 
Register for free here.

USDA Seeks Dry Beans

USDA is seeking dry beans for using in the National School Lunch Program and other Federal Food and Nutrition Assistance Programs. Including in the offer are packaged Great Northern and pinto beans, along with 2,000-pound totes of pinto beans. The specialist for this solicitation is Christopher Edwards. The contracting officer for this solicitation is Kelli Dawkins. Please contact the specialist first with questions regarding the requirements of this solicitation.
 
Grady Thorsgard - Harvest (black and pinto)

Pinto Beans Purchased

USDA has purchased dry beans under Section 32 for distribution to child nutrition and other domestic food assistance programs for Fiscal Year 2021. The purchase includes 2321,360 CS of pinto beans totaling more than $3.4 million.
 

Climate Change Funding Available for MN Farmers

Minnesota farmers can now apply for assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to plan and implement voluntary conservation practices. This is part of USDA’s $10 million investment in climate smart agriculture. For more details including state specific deadlines and starting an application, farmers can contact their local NRCS office or learn more.

U of M Extension Strategic Farming Series

The growing season is filled with a host of challenges, including insect, disease, and weed pests, resistance concerns, agronomic issues, and soil fertility questions. The weekly Strategic Farming Series webinar by the University of Minnesota Extension engages farmers and agriculture professionals in an interactive discussion. This Wednesday program features a live webinar with interactive discussion with attendees, addressing in-season cropping issues as they arise. Weekly sessions may include topics related to soil fertility, agronomics, pest management, equipment, and more.
 
Register for free.

Producers to Receive Crop Insurance Premium Benefit for Cover Crops

Agricultural producers who have coverage under most crop insurance policies are eligible for a premium benefit from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) if they planted cover crops during this crop year.
 
The Pandemic Cover Crop Program (PCCP), offered nationally by USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA), helps farmers maintain their cover crop systems, despite the financial challenges posed by the pandemic.The PCCP is part of USDA’s Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative, a bundle of programs to bring financial assistance to farmers, ranchers and producers who felt the impact of COVID-19 market disruptions.
 
“Cultivating cover crops requires a sustained, long-term investment, and the economic challenges of the pandemic made it financially challenging for many producers to maintain cover crop systems,” said RMA Acting Administrator Richard Flournoy. “Producers use cover crops to improve soil health and gain other agronomic benefits, and this program will reduce producers’ overall premium bill to help ensure producers can continue this climates-smart agricultural practice.”
 

Last Call: 2021 Northarvest Scholarship Applications

The Northarvest Bean Growers Association (NBGA) is offering a scholarship to the children and grandchildren of a Northarvest producer member.  NBGA is comprised of dry bean growers from North Dakota and Minnesota.

The association is excited to offer two- $1,000 scholarship opportunities individuals who meet the following requirements:

  • A parent or grandparent must be a current participating grower-member of NBGA.
  • The applicant must be planning to enroll or be enrolled in their first year of college or technical college.
  • The applicant must have at least a 3.0 grade point average from high school.

If the above criteria can be met, the applicant must complete an application when applying for the scholarship.  Applications must be received no later than June 1, 2021.

Please request application by mail or email:

Northarvest Bean Growers Association

4844 Rocking Horse Circle S. Suite 2

Fargo, ND  58104

Email:  mitch@northarvestbean.net

Dry Bean Alternative: Beans Can Be Profitable

Ontario dry bean producers are in a quandary in early January 2021. Their problem is summed up by a message on a sign in front on Ondrejicka’s Elevator near Exeter, Ontario. It says, ‘with IP (Identity Preserved) soybeans at these levels (prices), why would you grow edible beans?’
 
“It’s a fair question,” says Mike Donnelly-Vanderloo, chairman of Ontario Bean Growers in Thamesford, Ontario. “It’s certainly the one everyone is talking about. I’ve had numerous dealers ask me, ‘what will it take to keep good growers continuing to grow beans?’”
 
Globally, dry bean consumption has been increasing by 5 percent a year between 2014 and 2019. They’re considered a great source of plant protein and attract a lot of consumers interested in gluten-free and vegan diets. The increasing level of interest in using bean flour by the food processing sector is also a factor.
 
“They are a high value crop most years,” Donnelly-Vanderloo says. “But they take a lot more effort to grow than soybeans and the input costs are significantly higher. So, there’s no way you would go to all the extra trouble if there isn’t going to be the returns at the end of the road to make it worthwhile.”
 
Read more in this John Deere article.

Now Hiring: Office and Finance Director

Are you interested in working with dry bean farmers who are committed to sustainability and the future of agriculture in North Dakota and Minnesota? The Northarvest Bean Growers Association is looking for an office and finance director.

The office and finance director will manage the office database, provide support of all office activities, trade activities, etc. and coordinate arrangements for the three dry bean organizations functions. This position will also serve as the primary informational source for the Board of Directors, Council Members and operations of the office and staff. This position helps maintain the business calendar, assists with travel or activity arrangements, helps prepare for meetings and serves in other administrative capacities as needed.

Check out the job description.

Dry Beans Bought by USDA

USDA purchased dry beans for distribution to the child nutrition and other related domestic food assistance programs for Fiscal Year 2021. Included in the purchase are Great Northern beans, light red kidney beans and pinto beans. The purchase totals more than $6.1 million.