February 2013

this issue

Ag power

How farms form the backbone of North Idaho

Making it count

What you need to know about the Economic Census

Kootenai County jobs update

Wins and losses on the local employment scorecard

Idaho wages spark debate


SHAWN GUST/Press Under watchful eyes, bluegrass stubble burns on the Meyer farm last summer on the Rathdrum Prairie. SHAWN GUST/Press Tim Freeburg is among the North Idaho farmers who, for several reasons, are growing more wheat and less bluegrass.

Bluegrass blues

Seeds of discontent alter agricultural landscape



there's smoke, there's bluegrass. That's been a North Idaho truism punctuated late every summer for many years, as billowing walls of dense smoke testify that farmers have set their fields of Kentucky bluegrass stubble ablaze, sparking both controversy and nutrients that will help the next year's crop flourish. But lately, bluegrass growers have been sending different smoke signals. The August skies will likely be clearer because some bluegrass growers have cut back on that crop in favor of more profitable - and peoplenourishing - crops like wheat, peas, lentils and garbanzo beans. see BLUEGRASS, 3

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