2011 Harvest Will Be Challenging
A cool, wet spring challenged farmers throughout the Pacific Northwest this year. The unseasonable weather lingered until mid-June, setting planting back by several weeks thus limiting the number of acres planted. Acreage was also limited by pressure from competing crops commanding high prices.
“Here in the Columbia Basin, the high demand for wheat and grain corn limited total acres available this year,” said Randy Tastad, Field Manager for National, Moses Lake. Crop harvest in the area is 10-14 days late. The Willamette Valley will also see a late harvest. “Green beans will start about July 20th”, noted Wayne Parker, Field Manager, Albany. “April was one of the wettest on record; the field group is still hard at work to get the remaining acres planted.” In the Woodland, WA area, the “Columbia River is so high that the water table is up to where you can’t even work the ground”, said Greg Wilson, Field Manager, Chehalis. “We really fought to get everything planted this spring.”
To address these factors, “our field operations are working closely with our sales department to communicate expected harvest dates and supplies. Our inventory will be tight, along with most of the industry”, Ed Rosenbach, VP-Operations noted. “Still, we’ve been harvesting for 99 years. National is up for any challenges the season might give us.”