Weather Impacts Local Farmers

October 17th, 2019


Category: Weather

(KLEW News) – Pullman, WA-Now to this year’s harvests and how our weather has been affecting our farmers’ crops.

Some wonder, if they’ll be able to plant for winter.

Heavy amounts of rain and late snow last spring made the ground too wet.

Farmers got into the fields in turn, that pushed the harvest of spring wheat.

“It’s making us late to plant again this fall,” says Drew Howell of Howell Farms.

Already this fall, we’ve seen two snow storms and a lot of rain. Farmers say if crops are too wet they won’t be accepted.

“Moisture content has to be at twelve point five or below,” says Howell.

On any given day, moisture and humidity could change the levels.

“We have to depend upon the weather because it won’t store above twelve point five,” says Howell.

Imagine all your hard work being turned away due to a decimal point.

They are currently harvesting garbanzo beans.

The last part of harvest before the ground is turned over for winter wheat.

If farmers don’t make it to winter wheat, fall harvest is not enough.

“Prices are down across the board garbanzos use to be thirty-two cents and this year they are around sixteen cents.”

The trouble with farming is all unknowns from weather, markets and tariffs.

Wheat and garbanzo beans from the Palouse are sold on the world market,

So U.S trade tariff’s with other nations hurt farmers.

Buyers can import wheat from other nations without the heavy tariff that comes with

U.S products.

“We are producing an unknown quantity of crop for an unknown sale price at an unknown cost,” says Howell.

Farmers we spoke with say planting for winter wheat usually begins around the second week of September. Now they could be anywhere from three to five weeks behind in the season.

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