U.S. farmers this year produced a bountiful crop of dry beans.
This year's crop of beans such as kidneys, navies, garbanzos and pintos totaled nearly 28.7 million hundredweight, up 17 percent from 2013. The increase was even more pronounced in North Dakota and Minnesota, which produce about 40 percent of the nation's crop.
Officials say there was a big jump in bean acres prompted by projected lower prices for soybeans last spring when farmers were making planting decisions.
The large crop could push down market prices for farmers. It could do the same for prices in the grocery store — but officials say any potential cost reductions for consumers might be gobbled up by shipping problems in the Northern Plains caused by a shortage of rail cars.