Meridian--After a late start, wheels are back rolling in Idaho fields. Heavy rains had stalled sugar beet plantings…at one point just 4 percent of the 2019 crop was planted, but with 5 days of dry weather last week, that number shot up to 70-percent, other crops are catching up.
“Mother Nature decided to give us a little bit more rain this spring, we enjoy the rain but it kind of slowed us way down on planting. Usually in this valley we are starting around the 15th to start beets, we actually got a few acres in, but then the rains came,” said Neil Durrant of the Big D Ranch.
After a record snowpack season, water shouldn’t be a problem this year. Temperatures have been cool and that’s slowed flooding, until the next hot day. Some lowland areas are still experiencing flooding and high water, but dryer weather is in the forecast:
“The weather kind of broke there for a few days,” according to Galen Lee of Sunnyside Farms. “Farmers were able to get out into the fields and go. We were kind of pushing the window a little bit get the planting in, but we were doing it. We had to get the beets in so they can mature and grow. When the weather breaks, you take off and go with that planter, sun up to sun down if you got blue skies, you got to get the beets in the ground.”
From the Palouse, to the Upper Snake River Valley farmers got the fertilizer in, most of the seed is in, but crops are still two weeks behind schedule, they’ll stay behind schedule until the sunshine and heat combine to get the 2019 crop back on track.