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Northwest Wheat Harvest Starts Up, Likely A 'Bin Buster'

Monday marked the start of the Northwest’s bin-busting wheat harvest. Last year was big, but this year’s wet winter and spring has poured on the yields.

Damon Filan manages Tri-Cities Grain on the banks of the Snake River. He takes grain up to 100 miles away, and all his farmers say they are looking at a record year.

“Could be one of the biggest [crops] that the Pacific Northwest has raised,” Filan said.

Filan said prices are up too. Montana and the Dakotas are in drought, so their yields are down. And that’s raised payouts on the big three types that Northwest growers raise. Some are up $1 per bushel just in the last month.

About 300 semi-trucks per day dump grain at Filan’s outfit at the peak of harvest. That’s 16-hour shifts for about six weeks.

Filan said he has already ordered extra combines, trucks and barges to get all this golden grain downriver to Portland—then across the globe.

Crop experts say this year's Northwest wheat crop is expected to be a ''bin buster.''
Anna King / Northwest News Network
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Northwest News Network
Crop experts say this year's Northwest wheat crop is expected to be a ''bin buster.''

Copyright 2017 Northwest News Network

Anna King calls Richland, Washington home and loves unearthing great stories about people in the Northwest. She reports for the Northwest News Network from a studio at Washington State University, Tri-Cities. She covers the Mid-Columbia region, from nuclear reactors to Mexican rodeos.