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Summer ends at Sunrise Acres

09/30/2010 @ 10:04am

Hello from Sunrise Acres. Summer was slow in coming this year and now it’s gone!

Here on the farm the growing season is rapidly coming to a close. With the late spring the alfalfa and pasture hay harvests have concluded after three cuttings. Normally we would get four but with the heavy dews and short days of fall, another cutting will not be attempted. Instead the fields have been watered and are awaiting an application of herbicide.

On the alfalfa fields Roundup will be applied to kill everything. (Except the gophers, unfortunately.) After the spray has been absorbed by the plants, Carol will disk and plow the fields. The plan now is to plant a crop of winter wheat in time to irrigate it up before the water is shut out of our irrigation canals in October. We both look forward to turning the gophers world upside down with a plow!

The pasture field will be sprayed with a selective herbicide to kill the alfalfa, clover, and other broadleaves. The grass that is left will be worked with a brillion (a type of rolling harrow) and spike toothed harrow to knock down old gopher mounds. The alfalfa roots are a preferred food source of the burrowing gophers. Our hope is that by killing off the alfalfa, the gopher pressure will be lessened. I’ll let you know how that theory works out. We would still love to stock our pasture with our own cattle but with beef prices what they are,  renting out the pasture will be a more likely scenario.

Finally, the corn fields have looked great all season and payday is getting closer. The ears have filled well, dented, and have begun drying out. We contracted about half for a good price and will watch the market before selling the rest. The temptation is always to try to hit the peak of the market but usually one ends up selling on the downhill side.

In my travels for Agri-Lines Irrigation I have been enjoying the progress of harvest in our productive valley. Onion trucks filled with yellow, red, and white onions are making their way towards the packing and storage facilities.

Potato harvest is in full swing and the quality looks great. I am amazed at how much progress has been made in equipment in the ten years that I have been out of full time farm production. A few days ago I was able to watch as personnel from Doug Gross Farms near Wilder unloaded large ten wheel trucks of potatoes dug in nearby fields onto a sorter and reloaded the potatoes onto even larger semi-truck trailers for transport. This process takes the bulk of dirt and field debris from the potatoes, saving the processing plant valuable time and preserving quality. Doug is justifiably proud to carry on the Gross tradition of growing famous Idaho potatoes. Trust me, he knows where the best french fries come from!

With hops, beans, sweet corn seed, and a multitude of other crops being harvested I could go on for another thousand words. The Treasure Valley of Idaho is truly blessed to have the rich diversity of agricultural production it is famous for.

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