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Early deep freeze has local farmers scrambling

Posted: 12:16 PM, Oct 10, 2019
Updated: 2019-10-10 14:16:21-04
Uncertain future has farmers taking own lives

BOISE, Idaho — An early deep freeze has Idaho potato and onion farmers rushing to harvest crops -- or hoping the buried vegetables will survive the frozen nights this week.

Idaho Potato Commission spokesman Travis Blacker says an estimated 15 to 20 percent of Idaho's potato crop remained in the ground Wednesday. The Idaho Department of Agriculture says onion growers are in similar straits -- and are working overtime to finish the harvest. Other crops at risk include sweet corn and dry beans.

Blacker says harvesting during freezing temperatures can hurt the quality of the potatoes, and rushing can lead to accidents.

Six on Your Side’s Chief Meteorologist Scott Dorval said our unseasonably cold autumn weather pattern will continue for awhile. “The latest strong storm system from Canada is bringing near-record cold temperatures into Idaho. At least two more nights of sub-freezing temperatures are likely across the valley,” he said.

(Associated Press contributed to this story)