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Drought having serious impact on Idaho's wheat crop

Idaho Wheat Harvest
Posted at 9:52 AM, Oct 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-06 11:52:35-04

BOISE, Idaho — Drought has had a serious impact on Idaho's wheat crop this year, with production dropping 32% from last year.

The Idaho Farm Bureau says the numbers are slightly skewed because last year was a record year for wheat yield, at nearly 97 bushels per acre. But this year, the average wheat yield dropped to just under 68 bushels per acre.

The lack of water could mean big trouble for the next growing season unless Mother Nature cooperates.

"We're going into this next growing season with hardly any carryover water, so we need a really good snowpack this year," said Sean Ellis of the Idaho Farm Bureau. "Because if we have another drought like we did this year next year, and we don't have a good snowpack, then you can have major problems."

The Farm Bureau says barley production in Idaho was down 21% compared to last year. Farmers say even when they had sufficient irrigation, warm nights did not allow their crops to recover from the hot days.

Idaho is the nation's top barley producer and fifth in the nation in wheat production.