Published online: May 30, 2013 Irrigation
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Though it's been a dry spring throughout most of the state, Ken Andrus reports grass is abundant on mountain pastures surrounding his Lava Hot Springs, Idaho, ranch, and the valley is "unusually green."


A USDA precipitation report released May 28 confirms agricultural land near the small, southeast Idaho resort town has been an oasis amid an otherwise arid growing region this spring.


Of 24 cities throughout the state tracked in the report, only Lava and Porthill, located in northern Idaho, received above-normal precipitation from March 1 through May 26. During that period, Lava received 4.11 inches, or 0.67 inches above normal, according to USDA. Porthill's 5.36 inches was 1.07 inches above normal.


Elsewhere in Bannock County, in which Lava is located, Fort Hall's 1.65 inches of precipitation was 1.79 inches below normal for the period. Aberdeen, located 76 miles from Lava in prime Bingham County potato and sugar beet country, received just 1.11 inches of rain, 1.48 inches below normal.


Precipitation in Twin Falls, at 1.62 inches, was 1.26 inches below normal. Boise, which received 1.52 inches of moisture, was 1.81 inches behind normal for the period. In Coeur D' Alene, growers received 4.62 inches of moisture, 1.09 inches below normal.


SOURCE: John O'Connell, Capital Press