George Stewart

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Full Issue

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Tho a new crop in Utah, field beans promise to become of considerable importance. By this, it is not meant that Utah will soon be a leading bean-producing commonwealth. Nevertheless, the next few years will witness a rapid development of the bean-growing industry.

Their leguminous characteristics make beans a valuable crop in rotation systems. This is particularly true now that the virgin condition of our soils will soon disappear where it has not already done so. Beans are adapted both to dry-farming and to irrigation; their growing season is relatively short, permitting the fall planting of wheat after their harvest; they require labor when our principal crops are not demanding it most strongly; finally, they are a high-yielding cash crop that can be handled almost entirely by machinery. All of these considerations are vital.

There is not great danger of an immediate over-production of beans, and hence the likelihood of poor demand and low price is not menacing, for the present at least. Because meat and meat products become scarcer every year, their prices mount higher and higher. As a result, there is a growing demand for a source of cheaper protein foods. Beans and peas are about the only sources of such foods that can be developed with readiness. Beans are a major army food, because of their concentrated food values and because they are easily shipped. Pound for pound they are nearly as valuable as moot and do not demand such care in refrigeration and retailing. Beans can replace half--perhaps more--of meat in the diet and at much lower cost.