Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Robert Blair's tractor sits idle, waiting for soils to dry out. Blair photo

Insurance Deadline loom large in North Idaho

Kendrick--Robert Blair has fixed, repaired every piece of equipment on the farm, now all he can do is look at the skies and hope for sunshine, he's been waiting for weeks but rainfall every day has ground his farm operation to a muddy halt.

What’s the situation in Northern, Idaho?
Well, it’s wet. Some people are getting crops seeded, shot-gunning wheat, and legumes in. You get an area like Potlatch ridge, we had over a half inch of rain through the weekend and it’s still wet.


How’s it playing out?
Not much has been seeded and the deadline for insurance is coming up. Farmers are looking at different options they can do. It’s windy so we can’t spray Roundup for our wheat. Airplanes are booked up, custom operation rigs are booked up and we’re starting to get into that time crunch.

What's the long-term forecast?
It’s supposed to be warm here today but we’re going to have showers tonight with rain next week it doesn’t get better, they’re calling for cloudy skies with more rain this weekend depending on what forecast you’re looking at. We’re supposed to get up into the 70’s and they’re calling for thunderstorms. The topsoil is drying out but it’s wet underneath, even a four-wheeler is sinking deep into the dirt, we have nothing but mud. Once you get past the crust, that soil will hold water.

That’s creating stress?
We’re fighting a lot of issues up here, we’re trying to farm but it’s just too wet, you go to the higher elevations and the wheat crop is not looking good. We have not had enough warm days and with all the cool rain that we had it’s no wonder the crops are behind too.

Any idea how far behind you are at this point?
Behind that’s for sure, they’re definitely is a major concern up here just to get crops in the ground. I’m hearing that half the acreage up here will not have wheat planted by the weekend and that’s the insurance deadline. In our county it’s roughly two thirds planted

What about contracted wheat?
They won’t be excused from the contracts; they might be able to roll them over, the guys that have grain contracts. You can still put crops in; you just start losing insurance coverage each day after the ending period. So you’re paying a hundred percent of your premium but you are only getting x-percent of coverage each day that you go past the seeding deadline date. If it keeps raining like they are saying and they say rain until the end of June.

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