Agriculture

Testimony On Wolf Bill Includes Story Of Attack

Mar 22, 2013

A public hearing Wednesday on a bill to allow people the right to protect livestock and pets from wolf attacks included the story of a very close wolf encounter near the town of Twisp.

Oregon Takes Aggressive Approach To Water Pollution

Mar 8, 2013

The Oregon Department of Agriculture is taking a more aggressive approach to stop water pollution from farms. Instead of waiting for complaints to come in from the public, the state is going to begin looking for polluters.

Photo by Aaron Kunz / EarthFix

An Idaho legislative committee Tuesday approved a bill to encourage teams of ranchers who would volunteer to fight rangeland fires. EarthFix reporter Aaron Kunz explains.

Photo courtesy Idaho Potato Commission

You've heard of fake designer handbags and imitation Apple stores. Well, the state of Idaho is worried about knock-off potatoes. Idaho is trying to block a trademark on the word “IDAHO” in Turkey. The state sees it as a potentially costly threat. But as Jessica Robinson reports, controlling the global brand is no easy task.

The 9th circuit court of appeals will hear arguments Monday in Seattle in a pesticide lawsuit. Three environmental groups want to force the Environmental Protection Agency to ban a pesticide used on some Northwest crops. Amelia Templeton of EarthFix Reports.

Photo by Anna King / Northwest News Network

Northwest winemakers are trying to whet-the-whistle of China's emerging middle class. Demand for wine is growing significantly there. And that’s drawn Chinese business delegations, restaurateurs and tourists to our region. There even may be a reality TV show that would feature Northwest wineries. Correspondent Anna King begins our story in Walla Walla, Washington.

Southern Oregon County Will Consider GMO Ban In 2014

Jan 11, 2013

In November, voters in San Juan county Washington banned genetically modified crops. Now Southern Oregon’s Rogue Valley could follow suit. A proposed GMO ban just qualified for the 2014 Jackson County ballot. Amelia Templeton of EarthFix reports.

USDA

Many Northwest growers are left out of the partial extension of the U.S. Farm Bill included in this week’s fiscal cliff legislation. The new law largely covers conventional agriculture and not the organics, specialty crops and conservation programs that our region’s farmers are known for.

Wikimedia

It’s not just the so-called "fiscal cliff" that Congress is trying to resolve Monday. A tentative agreement on what’s been dubbed the "dairy cliff" is aimed at avoiding a government-induced spike in the price of milk.

NW Wheat Growers Hope For Resolution At Grain Terminals

Dec 28, 2012

Northwest wheat growers are hoping for a swift resolution to a labor dispute that could keep their grain from reaching the world market. Grain terminals remain open in Portland, Vancouver and Seattle, even though the terminals' owners have implemented a contract offer unionized longshoremen rejected. Jessica Robinson has more.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

Northwest agriculture advocates are more optimistic Congress will take up the issue of immigration after a forum this week in Washington, D.C. The effort is getting support from a surprising mix of organizations.

Dog Fur Knitting New Craft, Old Northwest Tradition

Nov 27, 2012
Northwest News Network

As the cold winter weather rolls around, you may pull your warm wool sweater from the back of the closet. But these days, some people are knitting sweaters out of a different animal: dogs. It's a new craft movement that is actually part of a very old Northwest tradition.

OSU Professor Proposes Rangeland Reserves

Nov 15, 2012

An Oregon State University professor is calling on federal managers to reduce livestock grazing on public range land. He says the combined effects of climate change and grazing can damage the soil and water. Amelia Templeton of Earthfix reports.

Durant Family

Groves of olive trees might bring to mind for you sun-soaked Mediterranean or Californian landscapes. But in the last 10 years, a few Northwest growers have significantly ramped-up their production of domestic olive oil. They harvest just in time for the holidays.

Most of us may be enjoying the fall sunshine, but Northwest wheat farmers are instead wishing for a little rain. Correspondent Anna King caught up with one Northwest wheat grower in the vast Horse Heaven Hills near Prosser, Washington.

WSU

Farmers of genetically engineered crops are dramatically increasing their use of herbicides. That’s according to a new study out of Washington State University. Researchers say farmers are spraying more in response to the rise of so-called “superweeds.”

Alpha Male Wolf In Wedge Pack Killed, Ending State Hunt

Sep 27, 2012
ForestWander / Wikimedia Commons

Washington wildlife managers say the hunt for a pack of grey wolves is over. A state marksman killed the alpha male of the pack Thursday in far northeast Washington. The department has killed a total of seven wolves from the Wedge Pack since August.

Northwest Fire Season Overlapping With Hunting Season

Sep 27, 2012
Dennis Stern / USFS Gila National Forest

Evacuation notices around the Northwest have subsided as fire crews beat back the threat of wildfire to homes and subdivisions.

Wolf Kills Create Blowback For State, Conservation Group

Sep 26, 2012
Northwest News Network

Washington wildlife officials killed three more grey wolves near the Canadian border Wednesday . That brings the total kill to five this week. The state’s decision to take out an entire wolf pack is causing blowback for state wildlife managers, and for one environmental organization that supported the action.

Daily Inter Lake / FWS

The group that's asking Oregon voters to ban the use of gillnets along the Columbia River says it's suspending its ballot measure campaign. The sponsors of the measure say they're instead backing a separate effort by Oregon’s governor to do essentially the same thing.

Anne Burgess / Wikimedia Commons

Washington state apple farmers have the second largest crop in history but too few pickers to get it all in this harvest. A worker shortage means there won’t be enough people to get the fruit off the trees quickly enough.

State officials have called off orders to kill four members of a wolf pack in Northeastern Washington. Ashley Ahearn reports.

Oregon Drug Enforcement Administration

The state of Oregon is on the lookout for fraudulent fertilizer. State regulators say it’s a growing problem for indoor gardeners. The Oregon Department of Agriculture recently cracked down on a California company that it says was selling a potentially harmful product.

Firefighters have mostly contained the Holloway fire, a massive blaze on the Oregon-Nevada border. But Amelia Templeton of Earthfix reports there is still no clear solution for the cattle left homeless by Oregon’s summer fires.

Photo by Courtney Flatt / EarthFix

A small ranch in southeastern Washington is the site of some big disputes playing out between environmental regulators and farmers.

The question: How much control can the government have over pollution from agricultural runoff?

As part of EarthFix and Investigate West’s series on the 40th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act, Courtney Flatt takes a look at a court case that could determine how strictly the state regulates polluted rainwater runoff.

Photo by Anna King / Northwest News Network

Drought that’s sizzling the rest of the nation has largely left the Northwest states alone. Furthermore, the Midwest’s farmers’ misfortune is actually benefiting farmers here. That’s because grain prices are raising because of the Heartland’s decimated yields. Correspondent Anna King has this report from central Washington’s grain country.

Wheat stubble, grain elevators and whole lot of wide open – that’s Connell, Washington.

Northwest States Ask Public To 'Squeal' On Feral Pigs

Jul 23, 2012
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Washington, Oregon and Idaho are joining forces to track populations of feral pigs across the Northwest. These “hogs gone wild” can do massive damage to the landscape. And wildlife agents want to know where swine are on the move. They’re even launching a so-called “swine line” for people to call with sightings.

Railex

A company that ships Northwest produce to East Coast markets by rail plans an expansion that will benefit the region's wineries. Railex has reached an agreement with Ste. Michelle Wine Estates to build a massive wine storage warehouse in southeast Washington.

Photo by Anna King / Northwest News Network

It’s not news that Washington is producing record amounts of blueberries this year. It happened last year. Next year will likely break another record and the year after that too. The real news is: Where is the fruit going, and why is it still so expensive? Correspondent Anna King explains.

Photo courtesy USDA

A recent discovery in an Idaho potato field has Northwest spud growers worried. Researchers this week reported that insects from the Twin Falls area tested positive for bacteria that cause “zebra chip disease.”

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