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Extension Notes: Prairie area crop tour set for June 30

Spring is here in full force. It is drier than normal after a mild winter. Everyone is wondering how this will affect crops. Are we in drought? Well, it might be a little early to call it that, but most everybody agrees that we could use some rain, and the sooner, the better.

Washington State University has recognized that Washington State is in a drought and has created the WSU Extension Drought Website at,

This site will provide research-based weather publications, drought updates, useful links, as well as news on drought-related issues. Topics covered include conservation tips for the home and garden, irrigation management, forestry, crops and livestock.

Now that crops are mostly in the ground, farmers are working on field scouting, weed control, fencing, repairs, and generally getting ready for the busy summer. The summer crop tour season is just around the corner and we hope you will include a tour or two in your plans. Locally, the Prairie Area Crop and Conservation Tour is on June 30th. It starts at 7 a.m. in Craigmont at the City Hall with a hosted breakfast. Everyone is welcome, just call the Extension Office to let us know you are coming. We will also have a Prairie Area Cover Crops Tour on July 28th. A bit further afield, the University of Idaho has Weed, Precision Ag, and Parker Farm Crop Tours on June 18, July 8 and July 9, respectively. Please give me a call if you’d like details.

We have alfalfa variety trials on the prairie at two locations, one each in Idaho and Lewis counties on the farms of Joe Baerlocher and Mart Thompson, respectively. These plots are usually harvested before our tour date.

If you would like to take a look at these alfalfa varieties in the field prior to harvest please give me a call at 937-2311. I will provide location information and plot maps.

Ken Hart, University of Idaho Extension Educator, Lewis County, 937-2311,

Here are a few notes in regards to what is happening around the area:

Farmers and ranchers across north central Idaho have been busy planting spring crops, fertilizing and controlling weeds.  There have been some reports of winter wheat plants being lost due to frost heaving over the winter.  Farmers have had to reseed these areas with spring wheat.

Most ranchers that spring calve are done calving and are branding, vaccinating their calves at this time. Most producers are turning cattle out onto pastures. The grass is short in many areas due to dry conditions and freezing temperatures some nights.

The crops and forages across the region are in need of rainfall.  

Jim Church, University of Idaho Extension Educator, Idaho County, 983-2667,


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