Westco Growers Produce Bumper Dry Bean Crop

Despite having a severe drought, Nebraska dry edible bean crop turned out much better than anticipated. Westco General Manager David Briggs says this year's crop yielded better than average.

Historically, Western Cooperative growers produced on average 20 bag beans, which is the equivalent to 35 bushels per acre. Today 40 bushel beans or 24 bags to the acre is now the average. This year, Westco averaged 28 bags to the acre - across the board. Briggs says that's 15 - 20 percent higher than a average year.

Despite having a weak global economy, Westco's edible bean business did well in 2012. Briggs says half of their crop is shipped throughout the world.

Going into 2013, Briggs says the biggest concern remains the on-going drought. If the North Platte Valley watershed doesn't receive adequate snowpack, Briggs says that will cut productivity especially on those farmers that rely on surface water for irrigation. If the region receives only 30 to 40 days of water that will definitely hurt crop yields and in turn the local economy.

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