Bean Day 2013 provides insight for this years' crop - Scottsbluff Area News, Sports, and Weather

Bean Day 2013 provides insight for this years' crop

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Western Nebraska is one of the nation's leading producers in several dry bean varieties.

The Nebraska Dry Bean Grower Association brought in some of the regions leading experts for 'Bean Day 2013' to explain what's in store for the year ahead.

"We have the state climatologist, and Coleman Smith from the Bureau of Reclamation," explains Jeff Nichols, President of the Nebraska Dry Bean Growers Association. "Should be able to tell us what the water storage in Wyoming is at for levels and predictions. So that should do a little help with some planting for the year."

Al Dutcher, Nebraska's State Climatologist, gave growers a brief summary of how mother nature will affect this years bean crop. "If you want a sample forecast, it's this; March and April. As they go, so goes the weather."

On the research side of things, Panhandle Extension Educators were eager to share some of their most recent findings. Carlos Urrea, a dry bean breeding specialist, has cultivated some very high yield variants of dry beans.

"And those have a pretty high yield potential, and they can be used," says Urrea. "And we can be selling these beans to different countries around the world."

One of the most important things growers learned today is about the rising costs that they can expect for the 2013 dry bean season.

"I would say there are a lot of different things that influence the production costs," says Agricultural Economist Jessica Johnson. "Between 2012 and 2013 we're seeing between a 6 to a 13% increase in production costs for dry beans."

 Johnson says that spike comes from land prices, along with increased herbicide and seed prices. "There's always a tradeoff between every commodity and I would say beans are as viable as they can be. If producers do their best to reduce their costs as much as possible, as well as market their products as efficiently as possible."

All in all, growers listened to eleven specialists from a variety of backgrounds to help them make their 2013 harvest as successful as possible.

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