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Drought causing concern for Magic Valley farmers

Posted at 5:43 PM, May 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-03 14:43:34-04

BUHL, Idaho — Farmers in the Magic Valley are concerned for the coming summer months as Idaho continues to battle drought.

Many local farmers are adjusting their fields and planning for dryer conditions in the summer. On April 29, Gov. Brad Little approved a drought emergency declaration for 34 counties in Idaho — including both the Treasure Valley and Magic Valley counties.

According to the National Integrated Drought Information System, over 1.3 million people are affected by drought in the state of Idaho.

Related: Water Committee expects serious drought


John Klimes is the owner of Agrarian Harvest in Buhl and said the hotter months ahead will affect all agriculture.

"The water shortage will effect all of us. The hotter we are, the more water that the crops use and if we don't have that water then the crops and yields suffer," said Klimes.

Wildfires are another point of concern as Idaho fights through drought.

Related: Oregon Gov. Kate Brown declares drought emergency in 4 more Oregon counties

"We have to worry about Oregon wildfires, California wildfires, as well as Idaho wildfires because of the smoke particulate matter in the air. And so the dryer you are, the bigger the fires that you have and it will affect our ability to produce," said Klimes.

Cost of input has also risen from shipping and packaging to cost of fertilizer and equipment.

"Our input costs went up 200% so we are losing money. We've put all of this money out there and we're crossing our fingers hoping that that we will have a decent harvest," said Klimes.

For more information on Idaho's drought, click here.