Black beans, sometimes called black turtle beans, are hugely popular in Latin American and with fans of cajun and creole cuisines. From salads to rice, burritos and fajitas, demand for the small, shiny bean is creating opportunities for bean growers across Canada.
On this episode of the RealAgriculture Edible Bean School, host Bernard Tobin looks at how the black bean, which at one time was predominately grown in New York state, is now found in fields in Alberta, Manitoba, and Ontario.
Hensall Co-op’s origination manager Wade Bickell says major black bean production is now found in Michigan and North Dakota and with help from plant breeders, the crop has now evolved into a good fit for Canadian growing regions.
Production challenges in Mexico in 2023 also present opportunities for northern growers, adds Bickell. “They’ve had a production problem in 2023. And I think that that’s going to carry over into this 2024 crop. And demand for black beans is increasing in North America and around the world.”
In the video, Hensall field marketer Dave Louwagie also shares black bean agronomy and production advice for growers. He discusses the importance of fine-tuning planting populations and row spacings; and how variable rate seeding can help control disease and seed costs.
Louwagie addresses the need for black beans, and all edible classes, to be planted into warmer soils and why growers need to keep an eye on the forecast before starting planting. There’s tips for weed control and the need to control white mould as well as harvest insights on crop desiccation and how proper combine settings can enhance crop quality.
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