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Planting time for carrot fields

by: Photo By Susan Matheny - Carrot starts are dumped into the planter.

Jefferson County farmers and crews were busy planting carrot fields last Friday on Deschutes Drive and at several locations south of Madras and in the Culver area.
   At S&L Farms (Siegenhagen and Light) on Deschutes Drive, the field was machine-planted by farmworkers riding on tractor-pulled equipment. Workers plant carrot "stecklings" or starts into holes created by the tractor in front. Other tractors then cover the rows with dirt and roll it down.
   The field was planted with "Imperator" starts, a hybrid carrot that produces the short snack carrots which are popular for relish trays and to buy in bags at the grocery store.
   Central Oregon Seeds Inc. field representative Bruce Martens said the company is planting 650 acres of carrots this year, slightly down from last year's 700 acres.