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New Crops News, Spring 1991, Vol. 1 No. 1

Dry Edible Bean Commercialization

Activities continue on the development of dry edible bean production in Indiana. Currently, most dry bean supplies processed in Indiana originate in the Western Region of the United States. Michigan is the leading supply region in the Great Lakes Region. Changing economic conditions in the industry continue to favor production expansion in the Midwest. Recent studies in the New Crop Center indicate that Indiana is in a strong market position to greatly expand dry bean production, if suitable varieties can be developed for achieving necessary yields under Midwestern conditions.

Brooks Foods, located in Mt. Summit, Indiana, currently purchases large quantities of dry beans for processing into chili mixes. In 1990, the company lead a collaborative field research initiative to test and select dry bean varieties for local production. These field tests generated exceptionally promising results. The highest performing variety selections from the 1990 field tests will be grown on a pilot commercial basis in 1991 by growers in the Mt. Summit area. Study findings indicate current supply/price/demand conditions in the dry bean industry could result in 15,000 acres of new crop production for Indiana, if the 1991 pilot production is successful. This level of dry bean production would represent nearly $4.5 million in new crop revenues for Indiana producers.

Glenn Sullivan
Department of Horticulture
Purdue University
West Lafayette, IN 47907-1165


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