Nebraska Dry Bean Commission Hosts Field Tour for U.S. Agriculture Trade

Nebraska Dry Bean Commission Hosts Field Tour for U.S. Agriculture Trade

The Nebraska Dry Bean Commission hosted a field tour for Ambassador Gregg Doud, Chief Agricultural Negotiator in the Office of the United States Trade Representative on Sept. 2nd and 3rd in the Nebraska Panhandle. Gov. Pete Ricketts, Steve Wellman, Director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, and Congressman Adrian Smith, third district of Nebraska, joined Ambassador Doud.

The visit was an opportunity for the ambassador to have a first-hand look at dry bean production and the economic impact the dry bean industry has in the Panhandle. This visit also provided Gov. Ricketts, Director Wellman and Rep. Smith of the importance of pursuing new markets for Nebraska dry edible beans with Ambassador Doud. NDBC members met with Ambassador Doud and discussed the United States-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) and Japan trade agreements, along with the upcoming United Kingdom trade negotiations.

The ambassador also observed sugar beet harvest and had discussions with Nebraska Corn Board and Nebraska Wheat Growers Association members. Dry bean processor representatives and Nebraska Extension were present to share information about the historical export market, local crops, and the 2019 tunnel collapse / canal breach that affected more than 100,000 acres of crops under the Goshen and Gering-Fort Laramie irrigation districts.

In 2019 Nebraska ranked as the number one producer of great northern dry beans, number two in pintos and light red kidneys and number four overall in dry bean production. Dry beans are grown in 20 counties in Nebraska, accounting for $151 million to the regional economy and $158.4 million to the state economy.

Nebraska Dry Bean Commission
Photo 1. (L-R) Dave Dietrich, New Alliance Bean; John Maser Jr, producer; Val Jansante; Nebraska Ag Director Steve Wellman; Congressman Adrian Smith; Governor Pete Ricketts; James Maser, producer; Lynn Reuter, Nebraska Dry Bean Commission; Ambassador Gregg Doud; Brian Kaman, Kelley Bean; Trey Forsyth.
combines harvesting dry beans
Photo 2. Dry bean harvest in Scotts Bluff County using a Pickett specialty dry bean combine and a traditional combine.

Photo Credits: Gary Stone