Aid sought for great northern bean growers

By: KLKN Newsroom

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP)  Nebraska's governor has asked federal authorities to bolster a sagging market by buying 25 million pounds of great northern beans.

Gov. Pete Ricketts said in a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture earlier this month that such a purchase for federal food programs would help growers and processors deal with an oversupply. The oversupply has been blamed on a strong U.S. dollar that made the beans more expensive globally; the West Coast dock workers strike; disruption by the Islamic State of transportation routes to the Middle East; and the Russian trade embargo.

Dean Keener is president of the Nebraska Dry Bean Growers Association, and he says the requested federal purchase wouldn't fix the problem but would help clear inventories to make room for the 2015 harvest.