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Dryland farmers face drought

By: Jake Putnam
Published in Video on  June 14, 2021

Craigmont--Camas Prairie farmer Tom Mosman runs a large farm outside of Craigmont, he’s spraying canola and says this crop is in trouble, they’ve had very little rain this spring.

"We had some decent, deep moisture, but...I seeded this canola on the 17th of April. We've got less than a quarter of an inch of rain since then," said Mosman.

They average 22 inches of rainfall in the rolling hill country…this year just a fraction of normal, and although the fields look lush, the canola is stunted, dull and not growing.

"Well, the drought is killing us, but these cold nights like the night before last. Everything is slowly coming out of the ground. There's still moisture in the ground for these spring crops but if we don't get rain soon and stop freezing at night, it isn't going to be pretty," added Mosman.

What's plan B? "Wait for next year?"

But Mosman says they can't give up on the crop, they have to bring the crop in to meet insurance safety net requirements.

"When you're a dryland farmer, you get what you get and typically we're 80 bushels, 70-80 dryland wheat. Which is pretty good for dryland wheat. Last year it rained all of June and we had a great crop. This year if we average 40 or 50 we'll be doing good. And the price of wheat has gone up, everyone has Federal Crop Insurance any more so that helps," said Mosman.

With wheat and canola prices through the roof delivering a crop this year means good money…But farmers say, no crop is disastrous. For the Voice of Idaho Agriculture, I'm Jake Putnam

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