Ontario Dry Bean Contracting Strong

With soybean prices relatively weak, Ontario producers are apparently turning to edible beans as a new-crop alternative.

In the latest update of his crop hotline, Real Agriculture agronomist Peter Johnson reported that 2020 edible bean contracts are essentially now all sold out – much earlier than is usually the case.

“Several people in the industry telling me, ‘wow, I can’t remember when I wasn’t out trying to get more edible bean contracts in February. And we’re all booked up.’ And that just tells you that people are not happy at all with soybeans.”

Johnson admitted himself that soybean prices are not terribly exciting compared to other crops, including both wheat and corn. For the 2020 harvest, most southern Ontario elevators are posting a soybean price of $11.49 to 11.54/bu. In comparison, elevators were at $4.82 to 4.87/bu on corn and $6.70 to 6.75/bu for Hard Red Winter wheat as of Thursday.

Scott Cottendon, Food Products Manager, Edible Beans and Organics, The Andersons Canada Ltd. (formerly Thompsons Ltd.) confirmed in an email Thursday that his company has finished contracting in all classes of beans except whites. However, he said there was no major flurry of activity, instead describing the level of contracting since late 2019 as steady and constant.

He noted that dry bean values have stayed relatively steady while other crops have declined over the past six weeks. For white beans, Cottenden said The Andersons is currently contracting at C$38/cwt.

However, both Cottendon and Johnson warned growers may find edible bean seed supplies tight given last year’s poor harvest weather in most of the major production areas, including Washington and Idaho where most of the seed comes from.

Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.

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