From the forests lining the Pacific Northwest to the farm fields of the Midwest, to the dirt in Texas, RDO Equipment Co. does business in numerous regions, cities, and communities, and with several types of customers. Depending on the time of year, there’s a lot going on – and it might not be what most would expect.
Harvest on a specialty crop in the Imperial Valley might be peaking in the spring. The chilly winter months likely aren’t slowing down roadbuilding work in southwestern states. And large property owners in Montana often keep their compact machines humming year-round, going from yardwork to snow removal and back.
Here’s a special look at RDO Equipment Co.’s Northwest Agriculture region with the region’s Vice President, Ian Carey. Read on to learn more about agriculture in this area and what’s going on for growers this time of year.
Or, watch the video for highlights from members of the Northwest Agriculture region team.
The Region Overview
The Northwest Agriculture region includes two states and ten stores:
Oregon: Hermiston, Pendleton, and Wasco
Washington: Coulee City, Moses Lake, Othello, Pasco, Pasco Potato Central, Ritzville, and Sunnyside
(With a new store coming soon to Kennewick, WA)
What’s Unique About Agriculture in the Area
The Northwest Agriculture region is situated in the Columbia Basin region, an area extremely diverse in crops grown. According to Ian, “literally everything that could be growing is growing.” In fact, it’s estimated that north of 170 different crops are grown in the region, everything from carrots, onions, and potatoes, to wine grapes, hay, and triticale.
What’s Going on for Growers This Time of Year
Planting typically kicks off as early as the end of February and, for most growers, is in full swing by now. Something interesting about this year’s growing season, according to Ian, is it was looking to be an even earlier #plant19 – up until the first week of February.
“We had been experiencing a mild winter and it looked like we were going to get crops growing even earlier than usual – then we were hit with a ‘polar vortex’ of our own,” Ian recalls, referring to the unseasonably bitter cold temperatures and excessive snowfall many areas of the country experienced in January. “Temperatures dropped to single-digits and we got several inches of snow.”
While the weather pushed back, what would have been an early planting, it ended up beginning at the same time as in typical years.
What’s Next for Growers in the Area?
When one task is underway, many customers are already starting to plan ahead to what’s next. That’s no exception for growers in the Northwest Agriculture region, however, it looks a little different than what most would consider a typical crop cycle.
“There’s so much versatility to our crops so it can make growers’ activity variable,” Ian explained. There are crops that follow a common spring-plant, fall-harvest, repeat cycle, while others might be harvested in April, then a new crop, like corn, may be planted for a later-year harvest. “We often see growers in an ongoing ‘plant-harvest-plant-harvest’ mode.”
Additionally, the Northwest Agriculture region sees variations come from one of its rising industries: orchards. Cherries are commonly harvested in June, apples in August, both ahead of what most would think of as “traditional” harvest time of September.
What’s One Thing Most Likely Don’t Know About Agriculture in the Region
While the first thought that comes to mind when thinking potatoes is, “Idaho!” the Northwest Agriculture region, specifically the North Columbia Basin area, has the highest potato yield per acre than anywhere in the world.
Browse listings to find used agriculture equipment or see new John Deere agriculture equipment for sale.
To learn more about new equipment and technology opportunities from RDO Equipment Co., contact your local RDO Equipment Co. store.