Last year, when irrigation water shut off in September, soil meters located throughout Mike Williamson’s orchards helped him see that he would not need to tap into emergency wells to provide water to his fruit trees and vineyards. They would survive until fall rains arrived.  But this year, with drought conditions here and discussion of irrigation season ending in August, Williamson, the co-owner of Williamson Orchards and Vineyards in Caldwell, is concerned once again that that he will face tough choices to help his crops survive.  Many Idaho farmers are facing drought for a second year in a row at a time when production costs have increased drastically due to inflation from pandemic-driven supply chain issues, as well as supply chain issues caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Drought conditions, rising production costs worry Idaho farmers