Environment | Oregon

Northwest Farmers Plant Wheat In Dust, Hope For Rain

Northwest News Network | Oct. 4, 2012 7:43 a.m.

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The National Weather Service says the Northwest will likely see below normal precipitation through December. Photo by Scott Butner via Flickr

The National Weather Service says the Northwest will likely see below normal precipitation through December. Photo by Scott Butner via Flickr

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

Copyright 2012 N3. To see more, visit http://www.nwnewsnetwork.org/.

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