Hay Prices Surge, But Idaho Potato Growers Worried - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Hay Prices Surge, But Idaho Potato Growers Worried

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) - Last year's high hay prices has many in Idaho's agricultural community optimistic about 2012.

Idaho Hay and Forage Association Executive Director Rick Waitley told the Post Register that prices are at an all-time high, with the market averaging about $240 to $260 a ton.

Waitley credits the market to increased demand from Idaho cattlemen and dairymen, higher out-of-state demand and a good spring cutting in 2011. For prices to remain high in 2012, Waitley
said growers will need a good first cutting this spring.

Potato prices dropped last year, down from record highs in the 2010. They stabilized slightly above average at year's end.

Still, potato growers and state and federal agricultural officials are worried about new infestations of the potato cyst nematode. The microscopic wormlike pest was found in three fields last year near Shelley.

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