Idaho Harvest Will Be Early

Published online: Aug 24, 2001
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Water shortages could push part of Idaho's annual fall potato harvest up by one or two weeks as some irrigation canals have been turned off.

According to PGI, one canal in Bingham County is now dry and growers are applying Reglone to encourage bulking prior to digging.

Other canals will be turned off for a period of time in late August or September so growers can save water for applications just prior to harvest.

This has left some tough management decisions for growers. According to PGI some ground pumpers who could end up in a water war as the Department of Water Resources plans to curtail deep-well pumping.

The Department believes that some areas with deep wells are drawing from the underground aquifers that naturally seep water back into the Snake River in the American Falls and Hagerman areas.

The Department is making a determination now as to how many wells near the river will have to be turned off or slowed next year to protect senior water rights based on those inflows.

While no one knows how this will play out, if the Snake River system does not get an adequate snow fall this winter, there could be a lot of ground taken out of production.

The Department will send out notices by Sept. 1 for next year's water curtailment