Agriculture

Northwest Cherry Harvest
7:24 am
Wed March 18, 2015

Northwest Cherry Crop Could Set New Early Record This Year

The recent warm weather jump-started cherry orchards to bud out. But early tender fruit blossoms can cause sleepless farmers.
Anna King Northwest News Network

Originally published on Tue March 17, 2015 3:44 pm

The region's recent stretch of warm weather means Northwest sweet cherries will likely be going early to market this year.

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Bird Flu
6:38 am
Mon February 9, 2015

Bird Flu Unlikely To Fly Out Of The Northwest Anytime Soon

Credit U.S. Department of Agriculture

Washington state agriculture officials are preparing for the scenario that highly-contagious bird flu will be in the Northwest -- maybe for years.

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Bird Flu
3:17 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Agriculture Officials To Kill Up To 5,000 Birds In Washington State Due To Avian Flu Outbreak

In this file photo Randy Wilson with the USDA holds a duck just after testing it for avian flu in Kennewick, Wash. on January 12, 2015.
Anna King Northwest News Network

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 5:18 pm

Government agriculture officials will kill up to 5,000 ducks, geese, chickens, pheasants and turkeys due to a bird flu outbreak at a hunting operation Washington's Okanogan county.

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Bird Flu
7:18 am
Tue January 13, 2015

The Hunt Is On For Bird Flu In Washington

In Kennewick, Wash., Leslie Linderoth and Phoebe Smurthwaite, 13, hold thier Bantam chicken after USDA officials tested it for avian influenza.
Credit Anna King / Northwest News Network

China is now on the list of countries that have shut down trade for U.S. poultry products after discoveries of avian flu in Washington and Oregon. Now, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and state officials are testing flocks near the latest outbreaks in southeast Washington.

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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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