SPOKANE, Wash. — Are area farmers set to be impacted by cold and wet weather looming over the Inland Northwest this weekend?
It depends on who you ask, really.
"A little bit of cold weather this weekend isn't going to hurt anything," said Marci Green, a Spokane County farmer and former president of the Washington Association of Wheat Growers.
Not all farmers are smiling at the forecast, though.
"Their bigger concern is the moisture, not temperatures," said Green.
According to Green, wet weather could impact ongoing harvests. While most Inland Northwest crops have been harvested already, Green said that she's still aware of some local farmers who haven't reaped their fields just quite yet.
Additional moisture this weekend could delay some harvests that are already late to begin with. Some crops, like wheat, need to be dry before being harvested, Green explained.
"We've had a fairly damp summer and harvest season. And it has definitely made our harvest season go later than it normally would be," Green said. "This year, it kind of stayed cool and damp for several days. So we would have weeks at a time that we couldn't harvest."
For other types of farms that cater to visitors, inclement weather could dampen fall profits.
"We make 70 percent of our income in this one month," said Jason Morrell, owner of Walter's Fruit Ranch in Green Bluff. "We're going to be all set for the people to come out. And if they don't show, it's going to hurt our farm."
Both Morrell and Green noted that rolling along with Mother Nature's punches is simply the name of the game for growers.
"That's farming. It's a risk, and weather is what we have to deal with," Morrell said.
Green said that farmers will hopefully still be able to take advantage of mild fall weather. Remaining work for certain growers include preparing fields for winter wheat.
"We have a lot of work to do before winter actually sets in. Before we have frozen ground and lots of snow," Green said. "Hopefully it's just a temporary cool down and we'll get back to have some nice fall days to get the work done."