Wolf Population Increase & Small and Part-Time Farmers
The wolf population in Idaho is at it's highest level since 2010. The numbers reflect a decline in wolves killed by hunters and trappers. The latest data from the Idaho Fish and Game Department shows a growth of 13% or approximately 770 now reside in Idaho. The highest number of wolves was recorded at 856 back in 2009. The numbers have increased this past year due to a decline of almost 100 wolf kills by hunters. If populations were to dwindle to just 150 animals it would then be back on the federal endangered species list.
We hear a lot about giant factory and mega farms but the small farm has been the backbone of the ag industry since the beginning. Groups like Farm Credit have programs that help both the small and the part-time farmer according to extension agent, Jay Harper.
HARPER: They have some programs that they've developed for young and beginning farmers. They've tried to educate their young and beginning farm borrowers on ways to enhance their business skills and in return for that they lower the interest rates that those kinds of borrowers get. They also reach out to their part-time farm borrowers for land purchases, equipment purchases, building construction, operating loans and so on - and they really like to have part-time farmers in their loan portfolio.
That's mainly due to their off-farm income that improves risk.
That's today's Northwest Report. I'm Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network of the West.