Western hemisphere bean crops suffer under heat, drought

The hot, dry weather in the American Northern Plains is advancing the dry, edible bean harvest across the region.

Reports from northeastern North Dakota say the lack of rain has caused some plants in that area to drop leaves, according to the Northarvest Bean Growers Association. It also said grasshopper populations are increasing.

In Minnesota, yields are reported as highly variable.

The U.S. Drought Monitor reports the driest areas of North Dakota are in the northeast and north-central regions, with other areas reported as abnormally dry.

In South Dakota, fields and pastures in the northern regions are facing severe drought, while central and north-central areas are abnormally to moderately dry.

Meanwhile, the United States Dry Bean Council reports key bean-growing states in Mexico saw reduced planting for the spring-summer cycle. Early estimates suggest almost 30 percent of beans were not planted in the states of Zacatecas, Durango, Chihuahua and San Luis Potosi, due to lack of moisture. The bean council said a lower yield is likely and expects to release its full production forecast later this month.

As well, bean crops throughout central America are expected to be well-below averages following a summer of high temperatures and low precipitation. Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador are especially hard hit.


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