Idaho's Beet Crop Planted

Published online: Apr 30, 2004
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Idaho's 2004 beet crop was completely planted this week. Dodging some rough spring weather, including high winds, growers completed planting as early as possible. Many beets were planted in dry soil. While some of these beets received some rain, others remained in dry soil. None were thought to have been irrigated-up as a low pressure system May 11-12 spread precipitation around the beet growing areas of the state. Growers in eastern Idaho were a little fearful of frost the first of this week, as temperatures dipped with a low pressure system. However, most beets are in the two-leaf stage and believed able to survive frost. Weighing heavy on the minds of most Idaho growers this year is irrigation water. Storage totals barely got over 55 percent in the entire Upper Snake River Basin storage system. This will mark about the fourth year in a row growers will deal with drought. Growers with wells will probably come through okay but those on canal water could receive cuts late in the irrigation season. The Bureau of Reclamation, which runs the flow of the Snake River, said this week that diversions are outpacing regular river flow. This has caused the system to go back to priority water rights. Most of these go back to 1905. Those with rights filed later, will be the first ones cut off if conditions continue to deteriorate.