farming

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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Agricutural mistakes
6:53 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Careful Wheat Farmers, Seed Purveyors Say Mistakes Still Happen

Uniontown, Wash., area farmer Frank Wolf.
Credit Anna King

There’s been a lot of speculation but few answers so far about how genetically modified wheat ended up in an Oregon field.

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Northwest Farmers
4:53 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

Northwest Asparagus Comes A Tad Early

Anna King Northwest News Network

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 4:51 pm

PASCO, Wash. – Northwest farmers are beginning to harvest the first asparagus of the year this week in southeast Washington. That’s a tad earlier than usual. And after last year's farm-labor shortage, growers across the region are keeping an eye on how many asparagus workers show up for the harvest.

At the Middleton farm stand near Pasco, Washington asparagus – both purple and green – is selling by the pound to passersby. Bins of fresh asparagus are brought here right off the fields. Workers come and go. At the helm is Laura Middleton.

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Rural Idaho Economy
4:37 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

Early Economic Recovery Leaves Rural Idaho Behind

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 5:59 pm

New numbers out Monday show Idaho's rural areas experienced the post-recession years very differently from the state's cities. While places like Boise and Pocatello were on the mend, economic output in rural communities in Idaho declined.

At first glance, Idaho's rural counties appeared to be making an economic recovery with the rest of the state. But Idaho’s Department of Labor says when you take inflation into account, the output of goods and services from rural Idaho actually declined by $90 million in 2011.

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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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