farming

Guest Workers
4:30 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Northwest Farmers Plan To Bring More Mexican Guest Workers North

Washington Apple Commission

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 4:29 pm

RICHLAND, Wash. – A group of Northwest farmers plans to bring in thousands of legal Mexican guest workers to their fields and orchards this year. Last season many farmers were scrambling to pick their crops because of a worker shortage.

The federal H-2A guest worker program is so cumbersome and expensive, that most farmers haven’t wanted to use it. Employers have to pay for transportation, approved housing and usually more money than the going wage for workers already in the U.S.

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Farm Bill
4:06 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Farm Bill Extension Leaves Out Many In Northwest

Congress also failed to renew government support for organic growers’ crop insurance.
Credit 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.

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Farmer Descrimination
6:08 am
Mon November 12, 2012

Women And Hispanic Farmers Say Discrimination Continues In Settlement

Hispanic and women farmers have been combined in the USDA's final settlement over discrimination in farm loans.
Credit Photo Credit: HispanicFarmerJustice.com

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has a long history of discriminating against farmers who are women, Hispanic, Native and African American. Numerous lawsuits have cost the government several billion dollars. The latest legal settlement is for women and Hispanic farmers who can prove they were discriminated against in the 1980s and ‘90s. But some of these farmers say the deal to make amends for discrimination is itself discriminatory.

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Northwest Wheat Farming
6:20 am
Thu October 4, 2012

Northwest Farmers Plant Wheat In Dust, Hope For Rain

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.

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Genetically Engineered Crops
4:22 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

Study: GMO Crops Need More Herbicide To Fend Off 'Superweeds'

Charles Benbrook is a researcher with Washington State University’s Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources.
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.”

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Washington Farm Workers Case
4:00 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Court Upholds Damage Award In Farm Guest Workers Case

The Temple of Justice on the Washington state capitol campus.
Cacophony Wikipedia

The Washington Supreme Court Thursday weighed in on long-running case that has implications for labor shortages at Northwest farms and orchards. The high court unanimously upheld a costly damage award against a farm labor contractor that brought in guest workers from Thailand.

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Northwest News
9:55 am
Mon September 10, 2012

Washington’s Strong Apple Crop In Danger Of Going Unpicked

Amilia Magno, 23, of Pasco, hefts a heavy load of buckeye gala apples in Broetje Orchards near Prescott, Wash. This year in Washington state farmers say apple pickers are in very short supply.
Anna King


Washington state apple farmers are gearing up to harvest the second-largest crop in history, but it appears there won't be enough workers to get the fruit off the trees quickly enough. The shortage comes as apple prices are high because of crop damage elsewhere in the country. Correspondent Anna King has our report from an apple orchard outside of Prescott, Washington.

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Cattle Displacement
6:15 am
Mon August 20, 2012

Southeast Oregon Fires Displace 20,000 Cattle

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.

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Clean Water Act
6:32 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Clean Water Act: Agriculture Struggles With Temperature

A ranch in the Pahsimeroi Valley.
Photo by Aaron Kunz Northwest News Network

Farming is the single biggest reason rivers are failing to meet standards set by the Clean Water Act. EarthFix Reporter Aaron Kunz visited Idaho’s Pahsimeroi Valley for our series with Investigate West on this environmental law’s 40th anniversary. It turns out the problem isn’t so much what cattle ranchers and alfalfa growers are putting into the water – it’s what they’re taking out.

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Grain Prices
5:59 am
Mon July 30, 2012

Northwest Farmers Cash In On Strong Grain Prices During Drought

Owner Todd Ray, of SS Equipment, says his sales are up 20 percent from about two years ago. He owns ten New Holland tractor dealerships in Washington and Oregon. Ray attributes the uptick to higher commodity prices.
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.

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