northwest agriculture

Weeds. Nobody wants them. But, lately, the subject has taken over everything in rural Sherman County — the talk around town, email servers, even the local high school gymnasium.

At issue is whether a large organic farm, Azure Standard, is letting its weeds spread onto neighboring property — and whether the government should do something about it. Neighboring farmers say the weeds have crept onto their fields, costing them time and money to control the problem.

The weeds include rush skeleton, Canada thistle, morning glory and whitetop.

Mark Goebel / Flickr

The British pound fell to a 30 year low after the vote. The euro also faltered while the U.S. dollar strengthened. Having a higher valued dollar is not all bad, of course – especially if your summer includes European adventure plans and you want to save some cash on vacation. 

The limbs of Central Washington’s cherry trees are heavy with ripe fruit. In Moxee, crews are scrambling to bring in a harvest while the skies are clear and the weather is dry.

Frozen vegetables are a staple in many diets, so a huge recall of them has us peering at the packages in our freezers.

On Tuesday evening, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced an outbreak of the deadly Listeria monocytogenes bacteria — and frozen vegetables and fruits are believed to be the cause.

In Northwest farm country, tiny blueberry buds are already starting to plump up. But cold snaps could kill them. To save more of those fruit-bearing buds, blueberry farmers are currently waging an epic battle against frost.

T&R Farms

Driving through farm country, you often hear about the price of wheat or potatoes. But you don’t always think about the price of passing on the farm. One family in Pasco is working through these issues now.

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Rice is a staple in many people’s diets. But you may not know that rice paddies are one of the biggest sources of global methane emissions — a potent greenhouse gas. Now, researchers have found a way to nearly eliminate methane emissions from rice paddies.

When it comes to greenhouse gases, methane is a major contributor to climate change. It is 20 times more efficient at trapping heat than carbon dioxide.

Researchers estimate that up to 15 percent of global human-caused methane emissions comes from growing rice.

A fresh agricultural foe has orchardists bulldozing and burning cherry trees across Washington and Oregon.

Orin Blomberg / / FLICKR Creative Commons

A plan to ensure there’s plenty of water for the Yakima Valley is one step closer to moving forward. A bill that aims to bring drought relief to the agricultural area would provide federal funding for water projects. But not everyone is on board.

President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack Tuesday hailed a pending trade deal called the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The deal would span 12 countries in the Asia Pacific region including Canada and Mexico.

Harvest is revving up at Washington’s apple orchards. But this year the fruit they’re picking is smaller -- and there is less of it.

Flickr user Jetsandzeppelis

Pesticides are often sprayed on Northwest crops like apples, grapes and cherries. And those toxic chemicals can pose major health risks to people who work in the fields. The Environmental Protection Agency announced new rules Monday to protect farm workers from pesticides.

Courtney Flatt / EarthFix

The plight of greater sage grouse is at the top of mind for ranchers, conservationists and politicians across the West — so much so that one ranch in southeastern Oregon has put a wildlife biologist on its payroll.

The Northwest’s mild winter and warm spring has been good for blueberries. And now Washington and Oregon are on-track to harvest record crops this year.