Just as I’ve been warning – Planting delayed in the spring, then harvesting hampered in the fall.
The early wave of low temperatures last week froze crops throughout Idaho, threatening onion and potato crops along with sweet corn seed and dry beans.
This is no small problem, because Treasure Valley produces over 60% of the world’s temperate sweet corn seed, and, along with eastern Oregon and the Magic Valley, about 95% of the world’s dry bean seed.
With last week’s uncharacteristically cold weather — lows in the 20s and low-30s — up to one fifth of the valley’s sweet corn seed and 15% of the dry bean seed could be lost.
“The world market may see a shortage of sweet corn,“ said George Crookham, CEO of Crookham Company in Caldwell, Idaho.
Canyon County is one of the top five seed production areas in the world, according to the Idaho-Eastern Oregon Seed Association.
Planting delayed in the spring, then harvesting hampered in the fall
Don Tolmie, production manager for Treasure Valley Seed Company, said dry beans were affected by the cold because planting started later this spring.
There were about 15 days of cold weather around the time dry beans are planted in May, said Tolmie. “That stopped us from planting anything until first 10 days of June.”
Because of the late planting, many beans were still in the ground waiting to mature last week, said Tolmie. If beans are not able to endure the cold, they will deteriorate in the pod.
Same with onions and potatoes
In Eastern Idaho, about 15% of the state’s potatoes were still in the ground when it froze last week, said Shawn Boyle, president and general counsel of the Idaho Grower Shippers Association.
Boyle said potato farmers also saw unseasonably cool temperatures this spring, and were behind schedule this year.
“We will be throwing away a lot of bad ones this year,” Boyle added.
“This is not typical and, in fact, most people would say the last time we had a situation like this was 1985,” Boyle said.
The Idaho Grower Shippers Association is seeking a disaster declaration.
Thanks to Dennis DeLaurier for this link
(Dennis is author of https://