Pulse Crop Research Proposals Being Sought

The Pulse Crop Health Initiative has announced the opening of its current funding cycle, seeking submissions for research proposals for fiscal year 2021 funding. PCHI is a special project, funded through the Farm Bill, with approximately $4.3 million available in grants for FY 21. Most projects funded are at the level of $60,000 to $100,000 (per institution on a project). 

The goal of PCHI is to rely on research conducted through the various funded projects on pulse crops (dry peas, lentils, chickpeas, and dry beans) to “provide solutions to the critical health and sustainability challenges facing the citizens of the United States and the global community. “

Research should be focused on any/all of the following research areas:

  1. Human Health Improvement & Chronic Disease Prevention
  2. Functionality Traits & Food Security
  3. Sustainability of Pulse Production Systems

The deadline for submitting the application packet is May 14. Plans of work will be reviewed by an independent scientific panel and rankings will be discussed with the Steering Committee before final decisions are made.

For additional contact Michael A. Grusak, Center Director, USDA-ARS Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center at 701-239-1371 or mike.grusak@usda.gov. 

Research Project Seeks Input on Pulse Flours

A new research project out of Michigan State University’s Food Legume Quality Genetics Research Lab is studying the quality of beans and pulses for use as a flour ingredient. 

The survey is directed to food industry professionals who use any type of pulse flour in their products. According to researchers, the objectives are to:

  1. Identify the food industry’s interest and experience with pulse flours.
  2. Improve characteristics of alternative flours made from beans, peas, chickpeas, and others through crop breeding.

Responses are confidential and will not be linked to your name or company in reports. Follow this link to take the survey.

Weekly Dry Bean Market Review

Dry beans under contract are moving at a steady pace with current crop prices steady with moderate demand. USDA Market News puts the grower price for black beans unchanged in North Dakota and Minnesota at $27-to-$32 per hundredweight. Pinto bean prices are holding steady at $30-$33 per hundredweight, and navies are at $32. Kidney bean prices remain at $40 to $46 per hundredweight for lights and darks.

View the April 27 report.

Living Ag in the Classroom Goes Virtual

North Dakota’s Living Ag in the Classroom event didn’t go as planned due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, with the quick thinking of the committee, commodity groups created videos to share with elementary school-aged students throughout the state. Watch the Northarvest Bean Growers Association video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7p-deaAVH-4.

Crop Progress Report – April 26, 2021

In North Dakota, USDA’s National Ag Statistics Service there were 4.6 days suitable for field work last week. Topsoil moisture supplies declined 2% to 80% very short-to-short, and subsoil moisture is pinned at 78% very short-to-short. 22% of spring wheat is seeded, ahead of 10% average, with 2% emerged. Corn plantings are unchanged at 3%, and canola seeding is just beginning at 1%. The planting progress for sugarbeets is 15% complete, 14% for barley, 8% for dry edible peas and 4% for potatoes.

Farmers found 3.8 days suitable for fieldwork in Minnesota. Spring wheat seeding is one week ahead of last year’s pace at 19% complete. That’s an increase of 9% from last week. Corn planting is 18% complete, behind 34% last year but equal to average. 42% percent of oats, 28% of sugarbeets and 12% of barley and potatoes are in the ground. Topsoil moisture is 75% adequate-to-surplus, and subsoil moisture is rated at 71% adequate-to-surplus.

Dry edible bean planting has begun in western growing regions. Idaho is 14% planted, Washington is at 60% and Montana is at 5%.

Get the latest Crop Progress Report.

Annual Dry Bean Market News Summary Available

USDA has released the 2021 Dry Bean Market News summary. This report contains monthly average prices, production by commercial class and/or state, exports by country of destination, purchases for domestic feeding programs and supply and distribution of dry beans in the U.S.

That document can be found here.

Dry Bean Scene

While dry bean planting is still a few weeks away, the cool and dry soil conditions continue to be a concern for farmers in North Dakota and Minnesota. Hear more in the latest Dry Bean Scene on the Red River Farm Network, made possible by the Northarvest Bean Growers Association.

Northarvest Requests Fair Market Access for U.S. Dry Beans

FARGO, N.D. – In March, the U.S. Dry Bean Council (USDBC) sent letters to the honorable U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo to encourage fair market access of U.S. Dry Beans to Europe and the United Kingdom.

The dry bean industry is asking for relief around the 25% retaliatory tariffs that have been placed on U.S. dry bean exports to the EU and the UK in response to Section 232 Steel and Aluminum tariffs that were applied by the U.S.
This tariff is a direct hit on the U.S. dry bean exports across the Atlantic, with tariffs potentially increasing as of June 1. The Northarvest Bean Growers Association’s concern is the rapidness of this deadline and the possibility of increasing tariffs locking the U.S. out of these two markets.
The EU and UK market was expected to grow 2-4% per year until 2023. This increase is driven by European consumer’s interest in plant-based proteins. The UK is the largest importer of canned beans at 23% share of the European market.
The Northarvest region, covering North Dakota and Minnesota, accounts for 65% of dry bean planted acreage in the United States in 2021. Europe is the largest market for canned beans in the world accounting for 50% of the worlds’ imports. It goes without saying that the impact these tariffs have on the U.S. dry bean economy are unwelcome.
In efforts to urge regional legislators to support the reversal or mitigation of these tariffs, Northarvest has reached out to Sen. Amy Klobuchar (MN), Sen. Tina Smith (MN), Sen. John Hoeven (ND), Sen. Kevin Cramer (ND), Rep. Kelly Armstrong (ND), Rep. Jim Hagedorn (MN), Rep. Angie Craig (MN), Rep. Dean Phillips (MN), Rep. Betty McCollum (MN), Rep. Ilhan Omar (MN), Rep. Tom Emmer (MN), Rep. Michelle Fischbach (MN) and Rep. Pete Stauber (MN). 
Legislators are concerned for growers and committed to raising concern. Northarvest would like to thank Federal legislators from North Dakota and Minnesota for their strong support in overcoming trade politics.
“It’s important for growers to reach out and share their concerns regarding the tariffs,” said Kevin Regan, USDBC and Northarvest member. “Through collaborative efforts with legislators, I’m confident we can minimize the fallout over this detrimental block.”
With the encouraging positive advocacy from key legislators, Northarvest asks growers to contact your local representatives and voice support in addressing the EU and UK 25% retaliatory tariffs on exported dry beans.

Very Little Relief from Dry Conditions

There was little relief from drought conditions across the Northern Plains this past week. Three-quarters of North Dakota remains in extreme drought. The far southeastern corner of the state is abnormally dry, while a narrow band spanning from the Red River Valley and west is in moderate and severe drought. The majority of Minnesota has sufficient moisture, with far southern and northwestern areas either abnormally dry or in moderate drought. The exception comes in Kittson County where there is severe drought.

Global Plant Forward Conference Recap

The 2021 virtual Global Plant Forward (GPF) conference was attended by Adam Veile and Kaci Vohland from Communique on behalf of Northarvest Bean Growers Association. They also presented at the GPF event on March 30 – April 1, 2021.

The Global Plant-Forward Culinary Summit is a joint initiative of the CIA and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Department of Nutrition. The summit focuses on cooking and culinary strategy discussions, which are all based on the evidence-based framework of optimal innovation embodied in the 24 Principles of Healthy, Sustainable Menus of the CIA-Harvard Chan School Menus of Change Initiative. Innovative chefs and masters of traditional cuisines from around the world and across the United States are featured, as well as sector experts from full-service restaurants to contract foodservice. Featured chefs included those whose work is highlighted in the Plant-Forward Global 50, a joint initiative of the CIA and the EAT Foundation, summarized by The Washington Post with its headline, “The World’s 50 Best Places to Eat Your Vegetables.” It includes a strong focus on blended burgers and the Pulses of Change initiative which elevates legumes as a plant protein.

Through the online platform, we were able to attend all general sessions. As a sponsor, Northarvest provided a virtual booth in the Plant-Forward Innovation Hub. Attendees were able to visit our booth 2-3 times each day of the conference. We had a different presentation each day to entice attendees to visit our booth each day. Presentation topics included: Meet a Bean Grower, Beans for Every Lifestyle, and Bean Cost and Sustainability. For Meet a Bean Grower we played a recorded interview between Kaci and Leann Schafer. The other two presentations were done live by Kaci and Adam. We were able to provide attendees with resources including Northarvest and Bean Institute websites.

We were also able to sponsor a pop-up session titled “From Spreads to Stews: Elevating the Everyday Bean” that starred Chef Johnny Graham demonstrating two bean-inspired recipes. We set up a cooking day in advance of the conference to record Chef Johnny preparing the dishes.

As a sponsor for GPF, we were able to provide several pieces of content for attendees as well as receive email addresses for over 900 attendees and sponsors. Our content included a sponsored snack recipe of black bean protein snack bites and three educational material links for the GPF website that attendees can continue to access all year. The links we chose were: https://beaninstitute.com/foodservice/, https://beaninstitute.com/beyond-bean-basics/, and https://beaninstitute.com/recipes/.

Other publicity for beans during the conference included mention of white beans being the next big vegetable, the inclusion of aquafaba rather than whipped cream in a plant-forward cocktails session, and the author of the Cool Beans cookbook being highlighted in a Meet the Author session.  

Final reports from the conference showed over 80 attendees visited our booth, over 70 attended our sponsored pop-up session with Chef Johnny Graham, and nearly 20 attendees clicked our “call to action” button to visit BeanInstitute.com.

GPF 2022 will take place April 5-7 at the CIA at Copia in Napa, CA.