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Potato, onion, sweet corn farmers rush amid early freeze

By The Associated Press | Updated - Oct. 10, 2019 at 12:47 p.m. | Posted - Oct. 10, 2019 at 10:51 a.m.

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) — An early deep freeze has Idaho potato and onion farmers rushing to harvest crops or hoping the buried vegetables will survive the frozen nights this week.

Travis Blacker with the Idaho Potato Commission says an estimated 15% to 20% of Idaho's potato crop remained in the ground Wednesday. The Idaho Department of Agriculture says onion growers are in similar straits and working overtime to finish the harvest. Other crops at risk include sweet corn and dry beans.

Blacker says harvesting during freezing temperatures can hurt the quality of the potatoes, and rushing can lead to accidents.

National Weather Service meteorologist Bill Wojcik says a low pressure system from Canada is causing the high winds, low temperatures and snow. He says Boise's temperatures were about 20 degrees below average on Wednesday.

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