Northwest farmers plant wheat in dust, hope for rain
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