washington agriculture
9:43 am
Thu October 4, 2012

Northwest farmers plant wheat in dust, hope for rain

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 7:43 am

PROSSER, Wash. – Most of us may be enjoying the fall sunshine, but Northwest wheat farmers are instead wishing for a little rain.

Nicole Berg digs her clean-up-to-now nails into the dry crusty soil on her farm.

About four to five inches down, there still isn’t any hint of past rain.

A few farmers did get some showers. Despite high-tech forecasts, Berg says often knowing when to plant still comes down to a hunch, decades of experience and an old wheat farmer adage.

“On a good year, yes we’d be seeding right now," Berg says. "But I think it’s like three out of ten years the Horse Heavens have a tendency to just dust it in and try and bust our bin.”

“Busting the bin,” means harvesting a bumper crop.

The National Weather Service says now through December the Northwest will likely see below normal precipitation.

Copyright 2012 Northwest Public Radio

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