farming

Flood, Fish, and Farmers
5:14 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Flash Floods Create Unusual Problem For Farmers, Fish

An example of a salmon screen that has become muddy due to recent flooding.
Credit Danny Didricksen / Earthfix

Flash floods this August swept mud, debris, and ash through north central Washington. All that gunk has created an unusual problem for farmers and migratory fish.

Farmers usually install screens on the end of irrigation pipes to prevent clogs. Those screens also keep fish from being sucked out of the water and into farmers’ fields. But fish screens do little good when they get inundated with debris and mud.

Danny Didricksen is with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. He said crews have been working non-stop to help unclog fish screens.

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Farming in Heat
6:03 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Hot Weather A Mixed Blessing For Farmers

This summer's hot, dry weather has been a mixed blessing for Northwest farmers.
Credit Oregon Department of Agriculture

This summer's hot, dry weather has been a mixed blessing for Northwest farmers.

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NWPR Books
3:59 am
Tue May 20, 2014

'Third Plate' Reimagines Farm-To-Table Eating To Nourish The Land

A view of Dan Barber's Stone Barns Center field and barns in Pocantico Hills, N.Y.
Nicole Franzen Courtesy of Blue Hill Farm

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 2:56 pm

Perched on a farm along the Hudson River is Dan Barber's award-winning restaurant, Blue Hill at Stone Barns. The food that's harvested on the farm year-round is what is served to diners daily.

But this champion of the farm-to-table movement noticed that farming and consuming foods locally still wasn't all that sustainable.

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New Fertilizer
7:40 am
Mon May 19, 2014

A Better Stink: Why New Fertilizer Uses Food Scraps Instead Of Fish Goo

Eric Peterson is a produce clerk at the Redmond, Wash. PCC, he loads some leafy greens into the Harvester.
Credit Rae Ellen Bichell / KPLU

When you think organic you probably visualize crisp, sweet-smelling veggies and fruit. But it turns out that fresh food is often grown in some pretty foul fertilizer. In fact it’s so bad it’s been known to make farmworkers gag. Now, as correspondent Anna King found out, there’s one new sweeter-smelling organic option developed right here in the Northwest.

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Cherry Harvest
4:23 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Washington’s Third-Largest Cherry Crop Queued Up This Season

Northwest sweet cherry growers say this season they'll likely pick their third-largest haul ever.
Credit Anna King / Northwest News Network

Northwest sweet cherry growers say this season they'll likely pick their third-largest haul ever. That's 20 million boxes full. But there’s plenty that can happen to cherries even the day of harvest.

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Northwest Farms
5:26 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Fewer Northwest Farms, But They’re Bigger And More Valuable

Calves at a dairy operation in southern Idaho.
Credit Peggy Greb / USDA

The number of farms in the Northwest is dropping. That's according to newly released federal farm data. But there's more to the story. The average size and value of Northwest farms are going up.

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Alfalfa Crop
6:06 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Alfalfa Growers Hope to Harvest More Green This Year

Drex Gauntt grows some of the earliest-harvested alfalfa in the Northwest near Burbank, Wash. Hay prices this year have him smiling.
Credit Anna King

Many Northwest alfalfa growers had a rough year with bad weather last summer. Rain can leach nutrients out of drying hay and rot away any profits. But this year, hay markets are primed if growers can duck the storm clouds.

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Asparagus
8:19 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Northwest Asparagus Growers Trying To Delay Harvest For Better Prices

Northwest asparagus growers are just starting to harvest spears in the warmer sites around Pasco, WA. The green points are the first crop harvested in spring.
Credit Anna King

Northwest asparagus growers are just starting to harvest spears in the warmer sites around Pasco. The green points are the first crop harvested in spring. But this year farmers say they might not get the best prices.  That’s because Mexican and Californian spears have flooded the market.

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Farming
3:47 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Northwest Women Farmers Gather To Strategize Land Management

Women farmers met this weekend in Vancouver, WA, Idaho Falls, ID and Corvallis, OR to share strategies for managing their land. Amelia Templeton reports Washington State University organized a video conference in a dozen cities across the Northwest to help women farmers connect.

According to the latest census data, women make up about 20 percent of farm operators in Oregon and Washington and just 12 percent in Idaho. Their numbers have fallen since the 2007 census.

Lorrie Conway grew up on a farm. Now she runs a small goat dairy in Camas, WA.

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Farmer Privacy Concerns
6:38 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Idaho Bill Banning Secret Video Of Farms Moves Ahead

What critics call the “ag gag” bill is a reaction to a 2012 video that showed workers abusing cows at a farm near Twin Falls.
Credit Martin Pilát/Flickr

A measure that seeks to bar animal rights activists from making undercover video in Idaho dairies is moving ahead in the state House. What critics call the “ag gag” bill is a reaction to a 2012 video that showed workers abusing cows at a farm near Twin Falls. Farmers say they need protection from what they call “vigilante” tactics.

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