Agriculture

Food Prices
5:01 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Egg Prices Rise As New California Regulations Kick In

Some grocery stores, including this one in Salem, are warning customers of higher egg prices.
Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 4:38 pm

Get ready to shell out more money for eggs. Some Northwest stores are warning of higher egg prices as new regulations on hen houses take effect in California next month.

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Port Delay
4:12 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

'They're All Perishable': Idaho Farm Products Languish At Ports

Cranes at the Port of Seattle
Michael Adams Wikimedia

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 3:03 pm

Farmers in Idaho say hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of beef, potatoes, apples, cheese and other products are languishing in storage because of problems at West Coast ports.

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Northwest Exports
7:03 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Northwest Exporters Eye New Opportunities In Cuba

Credit Clyde Robinson / Flickr

Northwest farmers and orchardists are among the potential beneficiaries if the U.S. and Cuba normalize their relationship and the trade embargo ends. They're better among many still trying to sort out what President Obama's announcement Wednesday of changes in Cuba policy mean for them.

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Port Delays
7:29 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Port Slowdowns Keep Northwest Farm Exports Stuck On The Ranch

Drex Gauntt says much of his 2014 hay crop is still under the shed on his farm and he hasn't been paid for it because of delays at Western sea ports.
Credit Anna King / Northwest News Network

A slow down at Western ports is now aggravating farmers across the Northwest. Produce processors are laying off production line workers. Apples are backing up. And the summer’s premium hay is stacked in sheds not moving.

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Pesticide Restriction
8:50 am
Wed December 3, 2014

How One Complaint Reveals The Flaws In Oregon’s Pesticide Regulation

Helicopters help spread weed killer after logging to effectively regrow trees, but people in Gold Beach, Oregon say they were poisoned by the pesticides.
Credit AP Images

    

Forest owners in the Northwest use helicopters to spray weed killer after logging. It is an effective way to kill plants like blackberry and alder that compete with the next crop of tree seedlings. But it is controversial.

Last year people near the coastal Oregon city of Gold Beach claimed they were poisoned. State officials and timber lobbyists blamed that incident on mistakes by the pilot. But sometimes, communities report drift even when timber companies appear to be following the rules.

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Port Slowdown
5:31 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Northwest Apples, Hay And Potatoes Caught Up In Port Slowdown

A slowdown in operations at ports up and down the West Coast could have long-term consequences for Northwest agriculture if the problems aren’t resolved before the holidays.
Credit jkbrooks85 / Flickr

A slowdown in operations at ports up and down the West Coast is choking off the flow of apples, Christmas trees, potatoes and other Northwest products to foreign markets. Exporters say the delays could have long-term consequences for Northwest agriculture if the problems aren’t resolved before the holidays.

In Washington, fruit shippers have reported sending refrigerated trucks full of apples from this year’s historic crop to the port of Seattle, only to have them sit there for days.

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Washington Apples
8:05 am
Mon November 10, 2014

When It Comes To The Apple Club, Washington's A VIP

Sydney Kuhn owns Kuhn Orchards in Cashtown, Pa. "We've actually had customers at market ask us about SweeTango," she says. "And we explain that it's a club variety, and we are not part of the club, so we cannot grow that apple."
Credit Dan Charles / NPR

Monday morning, NPR ran a story about the changing apple market - specifically, about "club" apples, exclusively-branded apples that only some groups are allowed to grow. You probably know a few of these club apples already. The Honeycrisp is the best-known. And more and more club apples are showing up in stores across the country: the Jazz, the Envy, the Ambrosia. These new apples could even some day push out traditional varieties like the Red Delicious.

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Fruit Pickers and Cell Phones
7:06 am
Tue November 4, 2014

How Cell Phones Are Shaking Up The Farm Labor Market

At Seven Seas Farms in Outlook, Jose Ortega takes a call during his lunch break.
Credit Rowan Moore Gerety / Northwest News Network

When Eduardo Cruz awoke to the sounds of rain outside his home in Yakima on a recent morning, he didn’t have to wait long for a cell phone call from the orchard manager where he works picking apples, an hour away in Mattawa.

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Northwest Agriculture
7:35 am
Wed October 8, 2014

As Red Delicious Declines, Growers Make Bets On The Next ‘Hit’ Apple

Rob McCormick picks a Red Delicious from a tree in his orchard.
Rowan Moore Gerety Northwest News Network

Grower Rob McCormick stoops to examine a knotty tree trunk in an apple orchard in Selah, Washington. “You see right here?” he says. “These had been Red Delicious. Then we cut this down to a stump and grafted in the Galas.” 

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Water Rights
6:35 am
Wed August 20, 2014

North Idaho Set To Begin Negotiations Over Water Rights

Lake Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.
Credit Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

The state of Idaho is preparing to establish water rights in the northern part of the state. It's a relatively water-abundant area, not prone to the sort of conflicts that have erupted elsewhere like Oregon's Klamath Basin. But as Jessica Robinson reports, the negotiations could have implications for flows across the border to Washington.

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