Sabolik Joins the Northarvest team as Marketing & Communications Director

Danna Sabolik joined the Northarvest Bean Growers Association (NHBGA) as the marketing and communications director on April 1, 2021.  In this role, Danna will lead Northarvest communications and promotions strategy for the dry bean farmers in North Dakota and Minnesota.

The association is very happy to welcome Sabolik.  “Northarvest has an exceptional story to share about how this organization has developed for our farmers in North Dakota and Minnesota,” says Executive Vice President Tim Courneya. “Danna provides a voice for the farmers to humanize their efforts on behalf of consumers looking for nutritious food options, like dry beans provide for the world.”

Prior to her hire with NHBGA, Sabolik was a reporter for Dairy Star, Star Publications and an editor with Future Farmer, Spotlight Media. “Northarvest provides an opportunity to work on behalf of farm families that grow a healthy safe product from field to plate,” states Sabolik.  “As an agricultural journalist, I am looking forward to giving farmers the voice that so many times gets lost when it may be the most important voice providing the world its nutritious food.”

Sabolik holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications from Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas.

Dry Bean Scene

Some parts of North Dakota and Minnesota received timely rains this past week, while others did not. Huso Crop Consulting owner Mark Huso, who is basked at Lakota, North Dakota, comments on the moisture situation in the latest Dry Bean Scene. This weekly radio update is made possible by the Northarvest Bean Growers Association.

Extreme Drought Conditions Expand

For another week, drought conditions continue to expand across the Dakotas. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, extreme drought now covers 70 percent of North Dakota, including the west, central and northeastern portions of the state. The remaining portion is in moderate to severe drought. On the flip side, Minnesota’s dry conditions are improving, with much of the state in the abnormally dry to severe drought category. A corner of Kittson County in the northwestern part of the state is in extreme drought. View the latest Drought Monitor.

Northarvest Board Elects New Officers

The Northarvest Bean Growers Association elected new officers to the board of directors, along with  U.S. Dry Bean Council directors.
Eric Samuelson of Crookston, Minnesota is the new Northarvest president. Previously, Samuelson served as treasurer and also serves on the legislative, crop insurance and scholarship committees. He was first elected to the board in 2015.
Elected as vice president is Eric Jorgenson from Leeds, North Dakota. He also serves on the legislative, research, promotion, communication, scholarship and policy and nominating committees. Jorgenson was first elected to the board in 2014.
Joe Mauch of Hankinson, North Dakota was elected as Northarvest treasurer. Mauch also serves on the legislative, research, crop insurance, food aid and policy and nominating committees. He was first elected to the board in 2007.
Serving as the United States Dry Bean Council (USDBC) delegate for Northarvest is Kevin Regan of Webster, North Dakota. He was elected to his second term as treasurer of the USDBC board in 2020. With this assignment, Regan will represent the two-state region of Northarvest.
Serving as the USDBC alternate delegate for Northarvest is Roger Carignan of Cavalier, North Dakota. Carignan is currently the vice chair of the North Dakota Dry Bean Council and will also represent Northarvest for USDBC activity.

2020 Dry Bean Grower Survey Highlights

The 2020 Dry Bean Grower Survey of Production, Pest Problems and Pesticide Use provides important data on dry bean production, pest problems and pesticide use in Minnesota and North Dakota. Research and Extension faculty at North Dakota State University, along with directors of the Northarvest Bean Growers Association (NHBGA), develop the survey form.

Survey respondents provided information on over 146,000 dry bean acres in 2020, which represents nearly 14% of the 1.1 million acres planted in the Northarvest area.

In 2020, the two most popular varieties by class were:

  • Pinto: 1. Monterrey 2. Vibrant (slow-darkening)
  • Black: 1. Eclipse 2. Black Tails
  • Kidney: 1. Montcalm 2. Dynasty
  • Navy: 1. HMS Medalist 2. T-9905
  • Pink: 1. Floyd 2. Rosetta
  • Small Red: 1. Ruby 2. Merlot
  • Cranberry: 1. Etna 2. N/A
  • Great Northern: 1. Pegasus 2. Draco

More than 80% of growers used a soil test prior to fertilizer application, and 29.8% used site-specific nutrient management. Rhizobium inoculant use likely reflects the frequency of dry beans within a crop rotation system. In 2020, 23.5% of growers used inoculant.

Frost was the most commonly reported production problem and affected 22% of the surveyed Northarvest acreage. Growers reported an average yield loss of 14.7% due to frost damage. Water damage and diseases were the next most commonly reported production problems.

For pests, 41% of reported acres had no insect problems. For dry bean acres that experienced insect problems, grasshoppers (44%) were the most frequently reported followed by leafhoppers (29.3%) and cutworms (10.6%).

White mold was the most commonly reported disease, affecting 49.7% of dry bean acres, while common bacterial blight was reported on 19.6% of dry bean acres and root rot on 5.1% of dry bean acres. No disease problems were reported on 13.6% of dry bean acres. At least one foliar fungicide application was applied to 89% of dry bean acres.

Kochia was the most commonly occurring weed and was reported on 22.8% of dry bean acres. Ragweed (19%), lambsquarters (17.3%) and waterhemp (10.1%) were the next most common weeds. While herbicide use is the most important weed control tactic, several growers incorporate non-herbicide weed control strategies. Cultivation was used by 20.9% of growers, cover crops by 7.7%, manual labor by 7.7%, and rotary hoe by 4.7%.

A grant from NHBGA funded the survey, including a grand prize drawing for participants who responded to the survey. This year, Wade Hanson of Crookston, Minnesota won the $500 drawing.

Dry Beans Purchased

Dry beans have been purchased by USDA for the USAID P.L.-480 Title II and the FAS McGovern-Dole Food for Education programs. The buy includes 360 metric tons (MT) of black beans and 830 MT of small red beans. No offers were received for 160 MT of small red beans. View the document.

Weekly Dry Bean Market Review

USDA Market News puts the grower price for black beans this past week was $27 to $32 per hundredweight (cwt). Pinto bean prices are holding steady at $30 per cwt. Navies are at $32 per cwt. Kidney bean prices increased to $40 to $45 per cwt for lights and darks. Dry beans under contract are moving at a steady pace with current crop prices steady with moderate demand. According to report contacts, rail cars (month out), trucks and containers are still difficult to source.

Bush’s Partners with Singer, Songwriter Josh Groban

Today, Bush’s ushers in a new era as That Beautiful Bean Co.™—starting with a much-needed replacement of the notorious bean song (“beans, beans the musical fruit…”) created in partnership with fellow bean-lover Josh Groban. “Bean Song” honors the humble, delicious and nutritious bean in a way only Bush’s can. The song drops at the same time that Bush’s brand evolution, complete with a new look and feel, rolls out nationwide.
Groban wrote the original song and stars in the accompanying music video, which flashes back to his childhood and progresses to a celebration of the mighty legume—and even features a cameo from his own dad on the grill.
“When Bush’s approached me with the idea to do something fun and musical, my first thought was how wonderfully weird it was. But I like the unexpected. And I love beans,” said Groban. “I had an absolute blast writing and singing this over-the-top song. Eat your beans, kids.”
In tandem with the launch of That Beautiful Bean Co. and “Bean Song,” Bush’s has unveiled a new look, website and logo. The tagline, That Beautiful Bean Co., pays homage to the brand’s “Roll That Beautiful Bean Footage” oft-memed catchphrase but contemporizes the concept for a new generation of bean lovers. The celebration of the bean continues this spring with the introduction of Sidekicks—a line of easy meal enhancers that can be used as a best supporting side, flavorful topper or mix-in.
“The next phase of Bush’s evolution will focus on elevating the company as a contemporary, fun-loving and playful brand while, of course, maintaining our core value of providing high-quality products— whether it’s our beloved Baked Beans or our newest product, Sidekicks,” said Stephen Palacios, senior vice president of marketing and innovation at Bush Brothers & Co. “At Bush’s, we believe the bean is beautiful and are inspired by the goodness it provides.”
In honor of releasing this bean ballad, Bush’s is also donating 250,000 cans of Bush’s Beans to Feeding America® to help spread even more bean goodness. This donation is an extension of Bush’s long-standing partnership with Feeding America, helping to feed people in need.
Learn more about Bush’s and “Bean Song” at
(Source: PRNewswire)

Grower Survey to Assess Herbicide Drift Damage in the North Central U.S.

Dicamba and 2,4-D drift have made headlines in recent years, but no study to-date has attempted to quantify the overall impact that herbicide drift has on growers of fruits, vegetables and other specialty crops.
A special project group of the North Central Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Center is conducting a survey this winter to gather information on herbicide drift damage and risk-management among specialty crop growers in the North Central U.S. Responses will help establish needs for research on drift mechanisms, prevention, and remediation; and/or for reviewing current policy and reporting requirements.
This survey is:
  • open to growers of fruits, vegetables, or other specialty crops in OH, IN, MI, WI, MN, IA, MO, KS, NE, ND, and SD.
  • intended to document the risk, frequency, management, and economic impact of drift damage among specialty crop growers in the region.
  • needed to establish herbicide drift as a serious economic and regulatory concern in [your state] and across the North Central U.S.
  • estimated to take 5-20 minutes, depending on your experience with drift damage.
  • facilitated by The Ohio State University and funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture through agreement 2018-70006-28884.
Growers can complete the survey at Find additional information at

April Lending Rates Released

USDA has announced loan interest rates for April, which are now effective. These Farm Service Agency (FSA) loans provide important access to capital to help agricultural producers start or expand their farming operation, purchase equipment and storage structures, or meet cash flow needs.