Gardening and Agriculture in Idaho

Posted by Hughes Group Blog Team on Friday, May 11th, 2018 at 4:52pm.

 

Barley

Idaho is one of the top barley producing states in the country, it grows a diversity of both malting, feed, and so on. However, over 75% of Idaho’s total barley yield is malt, with a larger part being two row for a higher level malting and brewing. High quality malting barley is in continuous demand by malting industry. The consistent supply of the top quality has brought the following companies to Idaho: InBev Anheuser-Busch, and Great Western Malting inteGrow Malt.

Spring barley is a vital crop in Idaho and usually has about 900,000 acres harvested yearly. 60 percent of the total state barley production happens in eastern crop reporting district. The highest yields per acre happens in the southwest and south central districts. 70 percent of the state’s crop is irrigated from the Snake River.

Beans

One of the world’s best and most disease free is Idaho’s seeds for dry edible beans and garden beans. The success is due majorly to the unique climate, in addition to the strict quality control measures that are in place. Due to the arid climate and high tech irrigation Idaho produces dry edible beans that are continually disease free. Commercial markets want the edible pintos due to the bright, light color of them.

The production of Idaho dry beans happens along the Snake River Plain from south central to southwestern Idaho. This is due to the amount of water that is available for irrigation and the climate is favorable. 80 percent of dry beans grown in Idaho comes from South central. The other 20 percent is grown in southwestern Idaho.

Fruit

Idaho’s leading fruit crop is the apple which produces about 60 million pounds annually. All sorts of apple types are grown such as Gala, Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Red and Fuji. Pin Lady and Honeycrisp type apples have seen an increase in popularity as the market expands. The fruit grown in Idaho is primarily grown in a region with a warm climate, a cross section of southern Idaho which has a history of extended growing season. Apples, apricots, cherries, peaches, plums, pluots and table grapes all prosper here in the warm days and cool nights which adds to the high sugar content.

Hay

Idaho’s hay is recognized for its high protein content. It is marketed for horse and dairy operations worldwide. For production of hay that is certified organic, Idaho has been recognized as a number in the U.S. and recognized to be the second largest alfalfa hay producing state in the U.S.. Alfalfa amounts to more than 80 percent of the total of Idaho’s hay crops. Idaho harvests about 4 million tons of hay yearly. Idaho’s dry climate and high elevations provide ideal drying environment. There are several alfalfa seed companies that have facilities here in Idaho and that develop higher ranking seeds genetically tailored to Idaho’s weather.

Mint

The third largest producer of mint is Idaho. It has been grown by farmers commercially since the 1960s. Peppermint is planted in the majority of the acres; however, spearmint grows equally in Idaho’s rich soils and dry climate. Idaho’s 17,000 acres of mint turn into more than two million pounds of mint oil. The mint oil is then sold in national and global markets. It is used to be ingredients in things like confections, gum, toothpaste, mouthwash, and pharmaceuticals.

Nursery

One of the top 10 Idaho crop sectors is nursery and greenhouse production. 75 percent of the nursery sales are from field grown nursery products and having greenhouse obtaining the rest and balancing everything out. The products range from bedding plants and sod to shrubs and trees.

Oilseeds

Oilseeds are one of Idaho’s fastest growing crops. The main crops that are grown in Idaho are but not limited to canola seeds, flax seeds, mustard seeds, rapeseed, safflower seeds and sunflower seeds. Idaho’s canola production is ranked fourth in the nation. Two seeds that have seen a considerable growth in the health food division for their future anticarcinogenic properties and omega three vital fatty acids is the flax and mustard seeds.

Onions

More than 25 percent of the nation’s yellow onions are produced here in the Treasure Valley and in Malheur County, Oregon. More specifically Idaho farmers prefer to grow Spanish Sweet onions. This variety gives a more mild flavor which makes it more desirable for home cooks, food services, and manufacturers. The only onion storage region in the United States is the Idaho Eastern Oregon production area. Daily inspections are done daily by the Federal Inspection Services and they inspect to certify that the onions are up to par, maturity, pack and size needed to meet superior quality. There are approximately 30 or more packing sheds that store, pack and sell onions.

Lentils and Peas

The Nation’s lentil and dry pea harvest centers around Northern Idaho. The area’s unusual farming and technique for quality control gives these legumes’ a steady size and color which makes them popular for canning and packing overseas. Due to the farmers functional and nutritional benefits, the demand for Idaho’s flours and starches that are used in food processing is on the rise. Idaho has over 40,000 acres dedicated to chickpea production and due to this large amount, it makes Idaho one of the U.S.’s top chickpea producing states. It helps to meet the commands of those who make hummus and other snack food.

Potatoes

Much like many of the above products, Idaho is a top producer in the potato production and leads the nation. Idaho produces almost one third of all the potatoes in the United States. 100 million hundredweight of potatoes are grown by Idaho’s farmers yearly over more than 300,000 acres. Fertile volcanic soils, cool evenings and warm days make it ideal for tuber sets and making a potato with a high solid count which is the secret beyond the fluffy bakers and firm french fries. The most well known type of potato that is grown in Idaho is the Russet. Idaho grows more than thirty variety of potatoes including Fingerlings, Reds and Yukon Golds.

Seed

Idaho’s seeds are well ranked and are shipped to over 120 countries. They are shipped to every continent but Antartica. 70 percent of the hybrid sweet corn seed that is grown in the world grows in Idaho. Plus a leading producer of seeds for vegetables such as carrot, lettuce, onion, and turnip. There are minimal disease and insects because of the high desert plains, cool winters, and stringent regulations.

Sugarbeets

Known as the second ranked nationally for their sugar beets is Idaho. Idaho provides 20 percent of the total sugar beets in the United States. The fourth most valuable crop in Idaho is the sugar beets. They are grown in the irrigated sections of the Snake River Valley in southern Idaho and treated in plants that are located in Paul, Nampa and Twin Falls. The plants treat the sugar beets and turn them into the granulated sugar, powdered sugar, liquid sucrose and much more.

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