State Legislature

Michigan’s dry bean industry heads to Lansing

dry beansAs part of the International Year of Pulses, Michigan’s dry bean industry will take over the Capitol Wednesday for a special celebration of Michigan Beans.

Joe Cramer with the Michigan Bean Commission tells Brownfield the industry is meeting with state legislators and the Michigan House Ag Committee to share the benefits dry beans bring to the state.  “Right now we believe somewhere between a third and half of all of the beans produced in Michigan are exported.”

Cramer says discussions with policy makers will range from the school lunch program to transportation.  “We’ve got a few challenges with our highways and our railroads.”  He says, “Michigan being a peninsula state there’s really one good exit and that’s to the south.”  He says the dry bean industry’s economic impact in Michigan is approaching $300 million annually.

Cramer says Michigan’s dry bean acreage is about 50 percent black beans followed by navy beans, small red beans, and also includes light red kidney beans, white kidney beans, cranberry beans, and adzuki beans.

Michigan is the nation’s second largest producer of dry beans and largest producer of black beans, cranberry beans and small red beans.

The United Nations declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses. Pulse crops include peas, lentils, chickpeas and dry beans.

AUDIO: Interview with Joe Cramer



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