Galen Lee and Matt Dorsey farm in the Treasure Valley. They say this year’s weather presented unique challenges during the harvest season.
BOISE, Idaho – Idaho is home to nearly 25,000 farms and ranches, making it the third largest agricultural state in the west, according to the Idaho Department of Agriculture.
But the size and abundance of the yield that Idaho farmers can grow depends on the weather. The end-of-season harvest is not ideal for farmers, but whatever the weather, they remain optimistic.
“You take care of what Mother Nature throws at you,” said local Idaho farmer Galen Lee.
Galen Lee and Matt Dorsey farm in the Treasure Valley. According to them, this year’s weather was a unique challenge for this harvest season.
“This delayed the harvest by ten days to two weeks in many cases from what we would normally be on the calendar,” said Lee. “Some guys planted different plants for lack of water.”
“For most crops, you’ll probably see a third crop loss,” said Dorsey.
KTVB meteorologist Bri Eggers also said 2022 was drier than normal.
“In January, December – winter slowed down so much that we didn’t have rain, so I think then we really started to worry about the water,” Eggers said, “and then spring came and we got all of that cool, wet spring weather that we really needed it through January and February. So spring lasted all June. ”
But then summer struck.
“We started very wet and cold so the crops didn’t want to start growing, they wouldn’t come out,” said Dorsey. “When it got so hot, they didn’t want to grow either. They just wanted to, you know, stop and shut up. ”
This summer was extremely hot; so much so that it ended up being the second hottest summer in Boise history, Eggers said. The record was also set for the most three-digit days ever, with 27 days of weather above 100 °.
“This year we had a bit of later maturity for many of the crops,” said Lee. “The onions were going to be harvested later, the grain was going to be harvested later. The beans came later. My maize silage was later. “
Bad weather also means less money for farmers. Dorsey said they hope for a 10% return on what they spend to raise their yields for most of the years. But this year was a different story.
“This is all it costs to grow plants,” said Dorsey. “Well, you know, this is right on top of the loss.”
“The conclusion will be quite tense this year,” said Lee. “It’ll be profitable, probably at best for most of the things I do.”
Lee said it was only part of the job and yet it remained positive.
“We’re growing crops here,” he said. “We work with Mother Nature and whatever she throws at us, we take it, we work with it, we deal with it and we move on,” said Lee.
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