Idaho's 2003 potato harvest is fast winding down, with 95 percent of the crop sold or in storage as of the first of the week.
Those finishing up, are doing so in 70-80-degree F weather. This has made for dry, dusty conditions throughout most of the campaign.
With the irrigation water supply 69 percent fair to very poor, many growers skipped an irrigation to save water stock. Others elected not to irrigate from wells, saving on high electrical pumping bills.
Those growers with sugarbeet contracts were moving from their potato to beet harvest within days. Sugarbeets cannot withstand extremely warm weather. Growers are hoping they will not lose tonnage or sugar percentages because of digging in the unseasonably high daily temperatures.
Weathermen are predicting a cool down on Wednesday as a promised storm front moves through. Thirteen weather-recording stations in southern and eastern Idaho showed no moisture for the month. Of the 13, only two had rainfall totals since March 1 that put them ahead of last year's dry conditions. They were Burley and Twin Falls in southern Idaho.