Northwest News
9:04 am
Mon October 7, 2013

Labor-Starved Pear Farmers Buckle Under Bumper Crop

Some of this season's Comice pear harvest is rotting in Pacific Northwest orchards because there aren't enough workers to pick it.
Deena Prichep for NPR

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 10:12 am

It's always a bit sad to say goodbye to summer corn and tomatoes, and settle into fall.

There are consolations, though — like the new crop of pears. Over 80 percent of America's fresh pears are grown in the Pacific Northwest, and this year's harvest is slated to be one of the biggest on record.

But some of the fruit is rotting in the orchards because there aren't enough workers to pick them.

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GMO Alfalfa Concerns
4:25 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Washington State Testing For GMO Alfalfa

Gary D. Robson Wikimedia

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 4:20 pm

Washington agriculture researchers are investigating whether genetically engineered alfalfa was growing where it wasn’t supposed to in the eastern part of the state.

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Klamath Water Crisis
6:54 am
Mon July 22, 2013

Trinity River Water Could Save Klamath Fish, But California Farmers Need It Too

Water struggles in the Klamath Basin are spreading to the Trinity River. Managers at the federal Bureau of Reclamation say by releasing extra water from the Trinity into the Klamath River, they may avoid a fish kill.

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Blueberry Harvest
6:05 am
Wed July 17, 2013

National Blueberry Boom Means Price Bust For Northwest Farmers

Dozens of workers at the Middleton Farm outside of Eltopia, Wash., stoop over chest high rows of bushes. It’s hot, but they’re they’re bundled in hoodies, scarves, hats – anything to shield against the blazing sun.
Anna King

North America’s blueberry crop is so substantial this year that farmers say prices are dropping. That’s after about a decade of rapid expansion of new plantings. Correspondent Anna King has our story from the blueberry fields of southeast Washington.

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Klamath Basin Water
6:39 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Temporary Rules Protect Drinking Water For People And Cattle In The Klamath Basin

The Oregon Water Resources Commission has approved temporary rules that prioritize drinking water for people and cattle in the Klamath Basin.

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Klamath Basin Water
6:35 am
Tue June 18, 2013

Senate Will Discuss Klamath Water Conflict As Irrigation Shutoffs Continue

Cattle graze in a heavily irrigated pasture near the Wood River, an upper tributary of the Klamath. The State is ordering irrigators along the Sprague, Wood, and Williamson rivers to shut down.
Credit Amelia Templeton

This week, water regulators are ordering dozens of ranchers along Southern Oregon’s Williamson River to shut down their irrigation pumps.

It’s the latest round of shutoffs near the headwaters of the Klamath River. The state says it is necessary to protect treaty rights of tribes who live downstream. But the water shut-off jeopardizes a multimillion-dollar cattle ranching industry.

For EarthFix, Amelia Templeton reports.

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Cheatgrass Invasion
7:18 am
Mon May 13, 2013

Study: Cheatgrass Severity Affected By Grazing

A new study out of Oregon State University suggests that overgrazing could be helping an invasive grass to flourish. That differs from previous studies that have found grazing can better manage that plant -- cheatgrass -- which threatens rangeland habitat. For EarthFix, Courtney Flatt has more.

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Dairy Fine
5:19 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Washington Issues First Dairy Fine Under 2009 Law

The state of Washington has fined a Yakima Valley dairy for spreading cow manure on an empty field. It’s not a big fine -- but it’s the first one issued under a 2009 law.

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Heirloom Pesticides
7:41 am
Tue March 26, 2013

Moving 'Heirloom Chemicals' Out Of Farmers' Fields

A cleanup worker shows off a bag of DDT.
Credit Courtney Flatt / EarthFix

Year after year many pesticides farmers use expire or are banned. Often these chemicals pile up in barns and storage sheds until farmers can find a safe way to dispose of them. EarthFix reporter Courtney Flatt visited a pesticide collection center in Wenatchee to find out what exactly happens to the chemicals.

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Wolf Testimony
6:23 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Testimony On Wolf Bill Includes Story Of Attack

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.

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