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Farmers begin harvesting grain in Eastern Idaho

Farmers begin harvesting grain in Eastern Idaho

BLACKFOOT, Idaho - This season's harvest of hard white winter wheat came about a week earlier than usual.

Patrick Olsen, of Rich Lane Farms in Blackfoot, has been harvesting winter white for a week now. He's run his family's combine for 12 years, and said so far, this season has exceeded expectations.

"In the last, six or seven years, this is probably one of our better years," said Olsen.

Olsen said he has a good idea what made the difference in this year's crop.

"We got lucky and didn't get any frost when the wheat was heading out," said Olsen. "That substantially helps us with the yield."

Agriculture economist Paul Patterson said the diverse farmland throughout Eastern Idaho means results will vary farm to farm.

"You could talk to some growers and it may be the best year they've ever had," said Patterson. "You could talk to another grower, and it could be the worst year they've ever had."

Dryland farmers are prepared for the latter.

"There just wasn't the moisture in the ground, therefore their yields are really going to get hurt again this year," said Patterson.

Still, Idaho is expected to repeat as the country's No. 1 hard white wheat producer in the country. 

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