Every year has challenges for farmers across the Pacific Northwest.  But, 2022 has put more challenges before Idaho producers than typical, that according to Idaho Farm Bureau Federation President Bryan Searle.  He said weather has been more difficult than normal, with an extremely dry winter and early spring, giving way to wet and cool conditions, with some locations experiencing flooding.

In addition, he pointed out that the trade picture is all over the map, with challenges not only at destinations, but also at west coast ports.  He said those two issues alone make it very difficult to anticipate what the future will look like.

“But as of today, I think there’s a demand, there’s a shortage somewhat of crops, our crops are behind, we don’t know what that’s going to produce.  But, out the gate that says in my mind that production could be off some.  So, straight across the board there’s just a high demand for every crop that’s grown here in the state.”

When it comes to the balance sheet, Searle says farmers have a lot of questions there as well.  He said while the prices for several commodities are high, so are the input costs which he worries will eat into any profits.

“We’re still going to apply some fertilizer and chemicals, but the biggest part is already invested in these crops, and they were extremely high, so the hope is the return on the other end both in production and in price will benefit us, and we’ll be able to keep our head above water.”

Searle noted while there are many challenges, many of the farmers he’s chatted with are hopeful for a good crop, good harvest and a receptive clientele.