U.S. dry bean markets find themselves in relatively unfamiliar territory as prices continue to reach for the sky in reaction to a small 2011 crop, strong prices for other field crops, and moderate demand. The October 2011 U.S. dry bean production estimate was trimmed to 19.6 million hundredweight (cwt)—down 38 percent from a year earlier and the smallest crop since 2004’s weather-shortened crop. Although yield is projected to be up 1 percent to 17.44 cwt, harvested area for the 2011 dry bean crop is currently expected to be 1.12 million acres — the lowest since 1921. Harvested area is expected to be lower than a year earlier for each of the 18 States included in the estimate, with industry leader, North Dakota, down 52 percent.
Also see: Dry Edible Bean Production Has Dropped Sharply