IDAHO Craig Kelley of Rangen Commodities represented the Western Bean Dealers Association, which covers the State of Idaho, known for its garbanzo and pinto production. “We actually planted early, so everything looks really good as far as crop conditions,” says Kelley. “It’s just that we didn’t get enough of it planted.” Planted bean acres are down 27% overall this year. Due to competing crops, expected pinto production is down 50%. “Corn and malt barley were offered at a better price at the time of planting,” explains Kelley. “Small reds and pinks were a little bit more attractive on price; I think that’s why there is a small increase there. Almost everything else is down.” Part of the acreage loss is also attributable to the severe drought conditions present in Idaho, where fields are irrigated. In Chicago, Kelley presented pinto yields of 20.5 bags per acre. “In Idaho, we can yield higher than that. Pintos can do up to 30, sometimes 40 sacks per acre. Our climate warrants a higher yield, but we are being conservative this year because it’s so dry.”
With pinto acreage down, prices are on the rise. “We are already seeing an increase in the out-market price for pintos due to the fact that we are down on acres here and North Dakota planted late. We could experience a lack of supply at harvest. Prices are going up every day on pinto and black beans.”
Additionally, carryover was only reported for pintos; as of mid-July, pinto carryover stood at 10,000 cwt and, Kelley says, this is rapidly dwindling. “Idaho has a good export market for pintos,” says Kelley, “but given the lack of supply, I expect the export market will be down significantly.” Lastly, Kelley notes that his figures include seed acreage, not just commercial acreage.
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