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David Sparks Ph.d Columbia Snake River
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Idaho Ag Today
Date: May 14, 2019

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The city of Boise recently hosted a get together for a rapidly increasing Group of outdoorsman and conservationists known as the Backcountry Hunters and Anglers. Their membership numbers have exploded over the last year and very much on everyone's agenda are issues relating to conservation and the environment. I know one issue which is of great concern is the movement of salmon and steelhead through the The Columbia/Snake River system and dams along the system are known to negatively affect spawning and migration of these very important species. On the other side of that equation comes agriculture which relies on The Columbia/Snake River system to export wheat among other important crops.

The Idaho Wheat Commission released some important facts and figures concerning the Columbia/Snake River system and its impact on Idaho agriculture. The Columbia River system transports 53% of all US wheat to overseas markets.

The Columbia/Snake River system is the nation's single largest wheat export gateway, transporting 53% of all US wheat to overseas markets. 11 states export through the Columbia snake River system. The snake River dams alone accounted for 10% of all US wheat exports. There are 17 hydroelectric plants on the snake River and its tributaries. 46.4% of Idaho's power comes from the clean electricity of hydropower made possible by the dams. 1.7 7,000,000,000 kW hours of electricity were used for irrigation in 2017. 40,000 local jobs. Idaho growers produce one million 1,000,000 bushels of wheat annually and half of that crop is barged down the river and exported. The river system keeps Idaho wheat prices and supply competitive across Idaho and around the world.

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