Bean Day Brings Pertinent Information to Growers


NDBGA President Dan Hinman, left, does raffle with help from Lesli Howell, NDBGA office manager/Bean Bag editor

By Chabella Guzman, PREEC communications

The 2024 Nebraska Dry Bean Day was held on Feb. 13, with a variety of speakers and a research panel discussion at the Gering Civic Center.

“We had a representative from the Nebraska Department of Ag (Hilary Maricle, deputy director), ‘A Legume a Day,’ a bean blogger, and Bill Boyer (KNEB weather), a weather representative,” said Dan Hinman, Nebraska Dry Bean Growers Association president. Maricle discussed the trade trips the department has made. She also discussed where the department is looking to expand the export market worldwide.

With planting season approaching, Hinman said, “We’re looking at what the weather’s going to be, what kind of patterns we can expect.”  Bill Boyer, market manager/weather analyst, KNEB/Nebraska Rural Radio, gave a “2024 Weather Outlook.” He said La Nina looks to return this year, but when exactly in the spring it will hit and for how long it will last are still unknown variables. Boyer also noted the North Platte River Basin snowpack looks to be in good shape. 

While the Wyoming Bureau of Reclamation didn’t attend the meeting, it is beginning to release its monthly snowmelt forecasts for the North Platte River Basin. “It’s a little early, but we have good storage in the reservoirs, and we don’t see an allocation this year,” said George Finnegan, Wyoming Bureau of Reclamation civil engineer. While the recent snowfalls have helped, Finnegan said they still have less than average snowpack. 

The growers heard from Chelsea Didinger, a blogger for “A Legume A Day” and a recent Ph.D. graduate from Colorado State University. She discussed her bean outreach project, recipes, and what consumers seek when planning meals. 

The NDBGA also held its bean donation, where vendors and growers bring in dry beans or canned beans. “We pick an organization in the valley, and this year, we’re donating to the Scottsbluff Soup Kitchen Board. We thank all the growers for supporting it. It’s been a really good thing we do for the community.”