On a beautiful day back in October, we caught up with Snake River Sugarbeet Growers Association board member Granville Eckert. To get to Granville’s farm, you head straight up a hill and when you reach the top there is beautiful farm ground as far as the eye can see.
Granville farms over 4,500 acres in Buhl, Idaho. In 1956, his dad took the ground out of sage brush. The family operation currently grows sugarbeets, corn, barley, and wheat. They currently have 3 generations on the farm including his son, Mike and grandson, Hayden.
He has been part of the local grower’s associations for more than 50 years. For as long as he can remember, he has been dedicated to improving the industry. An industry that he hopes is sustainable for future generations.
With rising input costs impacting ag producers across the country, Granville wonders how it will be sustainable and if they can make it pencil going forward. According to the American Farm Bureau, fertilizer prices alone have increased as much as 300 percent compared to a year ago. It isn’t just fertilizer costs that have increased but fuel, labor, and equipment as well. Prices have increased but they are not keeping up with the dramatic rise in production costs.
For now, Granville plans to keep his pencil sharp and ensure his operation is making the best decisions possible to ensure profitability moving forward. He now has extra pressure to grow the best crop possible to make it work. Luckily, they have had a smooth harvest this fall which Granville comments is his favorite time of year. All farmers look forward to seeing the fruits of their labor.