Dry Conditions For Idaho’s Dryland Farmers

May 30, 2012

Last year, farmers and ranchers in southeast Idaho had a hard time getting crops in the ground because of persistent wet weather.  This year they’re facing the opposite problem, as weeks have passed without substantial rainfall.

University of Idaho agricultural economist Paul Patterson says irrigated areas in the region are faring well because of water left in storage from last year.  But dryland farmers, whose croplands aren’t irrigated, are less fortunate.  Those south of the Snake River in Power, Bannock and Oneida Counties appear to be hardest hit.

Patterson says that if dry conditions prevail, losses could mount.  “Potentially it could certainly run into hundreds of thousands or on the bigger farms even millions of dollars,” he said.  “It has a significant impact, and not only on those farmers, but also in the local communities because when the farmers get hurt, that’s money that doesn’t get spent through the community.”  Click here to continue reading...