Acreage guesses for White Pea (Navy) beans are beginning to roll out after the USDA’s Prospective Planting intentions report of March 31st. Niche crop analysts, punters and pundits alike are putting their best guess forward.
Extrapolations and or interpolations of the US numbers suggest Navy (White Pea Bean) acres could be down between 10 and 12% while all dry beans market classes might be up 3% over a year ago.
Industry followers also indicate that acres in Canada maybe down but, by a higher percentage – perhaps as much as 30% lower than a year ago. A number of factors have been sighted for this: the overall commodity price collapse, the lack of pricing opportunities last fall to generate cash flow, profitable choices of alternative crops such as IP soybeans and in some cases traditional field crops showing better returns to risk in the cost of production analyses.
Regardless the reasons, if all transpires as indicated North America will plant its 3rd lowest acreage in the past 10 years. At 345,000 acres across North America, 2009′s number will be only slightly higher than 2004 when there were 340,000 acres. The 2009 number will be higher than, what might be the all time low but certainly the recent memory low of 301,000 acres established in 2003.
For the moment the market is content with its supply and demand analysis that suggests a burdensome carry-over of between 1 to 2 million bags (hundredweight) and an acreage of 350,000 +/- will be enough to produce an adequate supply. The optimum planting window is still 60 days off – much can happen between now and then.