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Top Stories of the Week

Tale of two harvests in Idaho vineyards

Winegrape production in Idaho will be down significantly this year because of a bitter cold snap last November, but vintners say grape quality is excellent. More

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Potato truck returns to Idaho from fourth tour

The Idaho Potato Commission's Great Big Idaho Potato Truck is back in Idaho to wrap up another national tour. More


Airspace change threatens to disrupt Christmas tree harvest

An airspace designation change threatens to disrupt Christmas tree helicopter harvests around Salem, Ore., but a solution may be at hand if federal... More


Wolf-plagued Washington rancher caught in the middle

Northeast Washington sheep rancher Dave Dashiell says he's not sure which way he'll go — with his livestock or his involvement in the state's... More

This Week's Top Headlines

CPoW drops out of wolf advisory group, wants it abolished

A cattle group drops out of Washington's wolf advisory group and calls for its abolition. Another group, the Washington Cattlemen's Association, says the advisory group is finally beginning to make progress. More

WSU to dedicate new plant growth facility

Washington State University will toast the opening of its plant growth facility with an invitation-only ceremony Oct. 17. WSU associate dean and WSU Extension director Rich Koenig said the ceremony will honor a three-way partnership between the university, the Washington Grain Commission and USDA... More

University of Idaho ag college chooses new dean

Michael Parrella will take over as dean of the University of Idaho's College of Agricultural and Life Sciences on Feb. 1. Parrella comes to UI from University of California-Davis. More

Idaho, Oregon onion prices higher, bulb size smaller

Onion growers in southwestern Idaho and Eastern Oregon are more optimistic about this year's crop than they were in 2014 because of higher prices. But onion size is expected to be down due to a nine-day heat wave earlier in the season. More

ConAgra cuts 1,500 jobs; moving HQ from Omaha to Chicago

The changes should create about $200 million in cost savings, with more than half of that realized by the end of fiscal 2017, according to ConAgra. More

Bumper crop produces record olive oil yields in California

Growers of olives for oil in California are seeing a big crop this year for the alternate-bearing fruit. The California Olive Oil Council expects a yield of a record 4 million gallons of oil. More

USDA proposes more scrutiny for biotech wheat field trials

The USDA is considering requiring permits for growing biotech wheat, which is more rigorous than the current system of notifying the agency of field trials. More

Dry weather leads to higher protein levels in some wheat

The effects of drought persist for the Washington wheat crop. Washington Grain Commissioner Dana Herron is recommending farmers switch from soft white wheat to red wheat, in which high protein is rewarded. More

Comments sharpen Washington’s debate over manure lagoons

Washington Department of Ecology compiling comments on a tentative proposal to regulate manure lagoons. More

Bluetongue cases increase among wildlife, livestock

Bluetongue virus has been found in 42 animals, including white-tailed deer and livestock, according to Washington State University's College of Veterinary Medicine. More

Wolf panel discusses ‘wolf-friendly beef’

A "wolf-friendly beef" label for meat from cattle raised under wolf protection measures and ways to help a rancher who lost a lot of sheep to wolves were discussed by Washington's wolf advisory group. More

Federal bill demands report on suspension of grain inspections

Federal legislation calls on U.S. Department of Agriculture to explain why grain inspections at Port of Vancouver were suspended in 2014. More

No increase in Washington minimum wage next year

Even though Washington has had the highest minimum wage in the country for years, on Jan. 1, California and Massachusetts will reach $10 per hour. More

Eastern Oregon farmers adapt to deal with years of drought

Four years of drought conditions have caused growers in Eastern Oregon who get their irrigation water from the Owyhee Project to alter their farming practices. More

Pig virus that struck U.S. likely came from China, USDA says

Investigators determined that the tote bags called Flexible Intermediate Bulk Containers “best fit the criteria established for entry into the United States, rapid and wide spread across the country, and introduction onto individual farms.” More

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