Crop plantings behind schedule due to wet spring

Rain has saturated fields and caused delays.

CANYON COUNTY - After a beautiful blue sky start to the week and month of May, we have got another storm heading our way. But that's been the pattern lately, and while it might be getting annoying to some of us, it's a real problem for farmers.

We've been waiting for the weather to get back to normal after a snowy winter and wet start this spring.

Sid Freeman has been farming in the Treasure Valley for more than 50 years. He says he has never quite seen a year like this. Usually, this time of year his fields would already be seeded.

“Mother Nature will make us or break us," Freeman said.

So far this year, the weather is not cooperating.

"We're two to three weeks behind on some of these plantings," Freeman said.

In farming the saying goes, when you're one week late in the spring, you're two weeks late in the fall.

"The further back you go into the fall the more adverse weather conditions you start running into during harvest," Freeman said.

Freeman says on a typical harvest year, they'll start planting crops like onions, radish seeds, and sugar beets by mid-March, but this year's rain has resulted in saturated fields. They haven't been able to get out until the beginning of April.

"It shortens up the window for these crops to get mature," Freeman said.

Increasing the risk of what their crop could look like come harvest season.

"If you are unable to get that crop to reach full maturity, the quality of your crop is going to suffer and you may or may not be able to sell that crop," he said.

Resulting more in what Freeman believes is a low-quality production, rather than lack-there-of production.

"We're still going to get a production out of it, but whether the quality is such that it's marketable or not you know, that's yet to be determined," Freeman said.

However, just as Mother Nature has broken many farmers, she can also get them back on track.

"If we could have that 75 to 90 degrees, 24-hour period, that would be absolutely perfect," he said.

Freeman says normally they're already irrigating like crazy, but this year that haven't even had to start because of how wet this season has been. However, they do plan to start watering their fields next week.

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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