2018 harvest w/ tractor.

2020 Dry Bean Production Increases

U.S. dry edible bean production was estimated at 33 million hundredweight (cwt) for 2020, according to the latest Crop Production Summary from USDA. That’s an increase of 59 percent from the previous year for comparable states. Planted area was estimated at 1.74 million acres, up 35 percent from 2019. Harvested area was estimated at 1.68 million acres, up 43 percent from the previous year for comparable states. The average U.S. yield for dry beans for the 2020 season is 1,966 pounds per acre. That’s an increase of 197 from 2019.
The full report, including dry bean area planted and harvested, yield and production by commercial class is available here (starting on page 74).

Potential Biden Administration Picks are Rolling In

Speculation has begun over the possible cabinet picks in a Joe Biden presidential administration. Former North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp is getting most of the attention for the top job at USDA. Both Bloomberg and Politico have named Heitkamp as the likely choice for Agriculture Secretary. Other contenders include Illinois Representative Cheri Bustos, Ohio Representative Marcia Fudge, former Deputy Agriculture Secretary Krysta Harden, the former agricultural negotiator in the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office, Darci Vetter and California Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross.
In addition to USDA, there are other cabinet positions that impact agriculture. The names being highlighted by the national media for the EPA administrator include the chairperson of the California Air Resources Board Mary Nichols, the senior director of the Mom’s Clean Air Force Heather McTeer Toney, Washington Governor Jay Inslee and National Wildlife Federation CEO Collin O’Mara. For the U.S. Trade Representative cabinet post, candidates include California Congressman Jimmy Gomez, former USTR general counsel Jennifer Hillman, former deputy trade representative Miriam Sapiro and McLarty Associates President and CEO Nelson Cunningham.

Dry Bean Plantings Estimated to Rise

According to the USDA Prospective Planting report, U.S. farmers intend to plant 1.37 million acres of dry edible beans in 2020. That is up 7 percent from the previous year’s 1.29 million acres. Planted area is expected to be above last year in all estimating states except California. Minnesota farmers intend to plant 215,000 acres of dry beans in 2020. That is an increase from 210,000 acres the previous growing season. In North Dakota, dry bean planting intentions are also expected to increase with USDA estimates coming in at 650,000 acres. When compared to 2019, that is an increase of 6 percent from 615,000 acres

Dry Bean Scene

Farmers are planning for the 2020 crop. Leeds, North Dakota farmer Eric Jorgenson says despite some challenges, the outlook for dry beans remains positive. Get the details in the latest Dry Bean Scene from the Northarvest Bean Growers Association on the Red River Farm Network.

USDA Forecasts Near Average 2020 Net Farm Income

USDA is forecasting 2020 net farm income to increase 3.3 percent compared to 2019. Net farm income is expected to hit $96.7 billion in 2020, an increase of $3.1 billion compared to 2019. However, USDA expects 2020 net cash farm income to be down nine percent to $109.6 billion. Total direct government payments to the farm are expected to decrease $8.7 billion in 2020 to $14.98 billion. View the report here.

Senate Approves Ag Appropriations Bill

The U.S. Senate approved the Agriculture Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 2020. North Dakota Senator John Hoeven, who chairs the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee, says the legislation makes sure farmers have access to risk management tools and capital. Funds for implementing the 2018 Farm Bill are a part of the bill. Also included is support for crop insurance and direct, guaranteed and emergency loans.