Wet spring hampers Malheur County planting campaign

By Pat Caldwell

The Enterprise

VALE – Every growing season is a gamble but this year the odds may be even worse for area farmers as wet weather and the lingering impact of winter storms collapsed the traditional planting window.

“There are still some onions that haven’t been planted yet,” said Stuart Reitz, the cropping systems agent at the OSU Extension Service.

Some sugar beets are yet to be planted as well.

The late planting season scenario stands in contrast to 2016, when weather conditions created ideal yields for onion producers.

Row crops are a major part of Malheur County’s economy.

According to U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics, Malheur County contains 204,769 acres of cropland and the average farm is 967 acres. There were 1,113 farms in the county in 2012.

Reitz said spring rains are partly to blame for delayed planting.

Timing is . . .