MERIDIAN--This was a common site this spring across Idaho, farmers planted a lot more dry beans. Its all because rising dry bean prices on the commodity market, farmer and broker Neil Durrant:
"The bean market is actually doing really well. With the pandemic, people started going back to their basics, back to the beans and supplementals, and getting a cheap protein source. The prices went up high and the disasters we had last year went through the United States, helped," said Durrant.
Dry beans are this year's crop, according to the USDA pintos, which drive bean prices, were selling at $38-40 range last week. That’s doubling the price from last year:
"Throughout the United States and the short supply we've had, we have burned through all the product and all the inventory we had and beans are scarce to come by right now," said Durrant.
Idaho now ranks 5th in dry bean production, 1st in seed production in the nation, and with these prices and the current shortage, they’ve planted 65-thousand acres, up 38 percent from last year, according to the USDA.
"People are hoarding beans throughout the US and the world? Yes, everyone is wanting them, I get calls all the time to see if want beans. We actually sold out of the beans we had and if I had more beans I could move them but we are sold out," added Durrant.
On the eve of this year's dry bean harvest, farmers hope prices will hold and they can double their money. And that the beans might make up for flat market prices of their other crops,