I guess this is the year for unpleasant surprises in farmer's bean fields. About a month ago areas of some bean fields began turning brown and then black while the other areas were still green. The likely cause was white mold or sudden death syndrome. Then with all the rain beans ready for harvest were standing in water. Now, will the beans get covered in snow?

I was a bit nervous as I checked the forecast this morning when I got to the studio. I was hoping the path of the winter storm had not changed! Not that I wish bad luck for farmers in Montana, northwest Minnesota or North and South Dakota but I was relieved to see the worst part of the storm will miss us. We will receive rain and some snow with little accumulations expected.

In the picture is my bean field last fall. We received about 3 inches of snow on this field that had severe hail damage in the middle of June. Many of the bean plants were cut off or had bruises on the stems. That means the bean plants are likely to lodge or fall over when the wind blows or when they get covered with wet heavy snow. Last year however, the small amount of snow did not cause any damage.

When you get many inches of wet heavy snow as it melts it can pull the beans down to the ground. It is almost impossible to harvest beans that are laying on the ground. Lets hope those in the path of this storm do not receive much snow!