Nobody is asking Boise City Council members to don their overalls, but they are mulling over what prices to set for commodities grown on the city's Twenty Mile South Farm—a 4,000-acre farm on South Cloverdale Road where biosolids from the city's two main wastewater treatment plants are trucked in four times a day to be recycled as soil supplements.
The biosolids are distributed to the fields, which grow alfalfa, corn, winter wheat and small grains. Much of the crops are ultimately sold to regional farmers for silage and livestock feed.
But before the city's bounty is to be sold, officials need to set their commodity prices for 2014.
For example: alfalfa, which is grown on more than 1,500 acres of the city's farm, can run as high as $125/ton for premium quality all the way down to $25/ton for poor or damaged crops. Winter wheat is grown on 890 acres, oats are raised on 50 acres and corn silage comes from more than 1,000 acres.
And the revenues from the commodities are no small drop in the bucket. According to city documents, Twenty Mile South Farm has "produced record revenues for three consecutive years, peaking at $3.48 million (gross) for the 2013 crop season."