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Top Stories of the Week

Despite drought, California almond acreage rose 6 percent in 2015

SACRAMENTO — The drought has done little to slow the growth of almond acreage in California, as the more than 1.1 million overall acres planted in 2015 was 6 percent more than the previous year.

Of last year’s total plantings, 890,000 acres were bearing and 220,000 acres were... More

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Washington wolf managers present ideas for lethal-control policy

Washington wildlife managers Wednesday suggested ways to motivate ranchers to use state-approved tactics to prevent wolf... More


Mexico may revisit apple tariffs

YAKIMA, Wash. — Mexico may decide the future of its temporary tariffs on Washington apples in early June.

The nation could end the... More


EPA’s involvement in What’s Upstream ran deep

A little more than a month ago, What’s Upstream was an obscure political advocacy campaign backed by Environmental Protection Agency money,... More

This Week's Top Headlines

Commodity groups seek freedom of information exemption for checkoff boards

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Several agricultural organizations have gotten language included in the pending fiscal year 2017 House Agricultural Appropriations Bill asking USDA to exempt research and promotion boards funded by grower checkoff fees from federal public records law.USDA... More

Water outlook in Eastern Oregon continues to improve

ONTARIO, Ore. — Farmers who depend on the Owyhee Reservoir will receive more irrigation water in 2016 than they have the past two years combined.As a result, they are planting more high-water — and more lucrative — crops such as corn, sugar beets and onions, which... More

Washington FFA members gear up for annual convention

ROSALIA, Wash. — Rosalia High School sophomore Collin Pittmann’s hard work all comes down to this.Pittmann will compete against other students from across the state in the prepared public speaking career development event at the Washington FFA state convention May 12-14 in... More

Grazing limits sought for unoccupied bull trout habitat

Medford, Ore. — Environmentalists want to limit cattle grazing along Oregon’s Sprague and Sycan rivers to protect bull trout habitat that the threatened species doesn’t actually occupy.Despite the fish’s absence, environmentalists have asked a federal judge to.. More

Oregon Wheat Commission considers budget, research funding

Decreasing wheat acreage over the past couple years poses some complications for the Oregon Wheat Commission as it puts together its 2016-17 budget.Meeting at Oregon State University’s Hyslop Farm on April 25, commission members approved a proposed budget that attempts to balance... More

New state officers bring humor, passion to California FFA

FRESNO, Calif. — California FFA’s newly elected state officer team promised the more than 5,000 students attending the organization’s state convention that they’ll put plenty of passion and energy into the coming year.The slate of new officers announced April... More

H-2A delays cause worker shortages in 20 states

Federal agency delays in processing visas for foreign guestworkers who tend and harvest America’s food crops are fast approaching crisis proportions, all but guaranteeing crops will rot in fields this year, the American Farm Bureau Federation says. Delays are causing worker... More

New AVA created for Northwestern Idaho and Eastern Washington

BOISE — Wineries and grape growers in Northwestern Idaho and part of Eastern Washington now have their own American Viticultural Area, which is a specific grape-growing region that is federally recognized as unique.The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau has approved a... More

Study: Fewer farmworkers migrate, aggravating labor shortage

The agricultural labor shortage has less to do with the shrinking population of farmworkers than with its changing work habits, a new economic study found.Since the late 1990s, the proportion of farmworkers who regularly migrate from place to place has decreased from about 50 percent to... More

CDFA’s Ross urges FFA members to think of the future

FRESNO, Calif. — State Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross told 5,000 FFA members here that California’s agriculture-related industries will need their energy and innovations in the challenging years to come.Ross cited water shortages, food safety concerns and global... More

ISDA Japanese beetle treatment area cut in half

Capital PressBOISE — An Idaho State Department of Agriculture Japanese beetle eradication program has reduced the Ada County population of the invasive pest by nearly 90 percent, and the agency plans to cut its treatment area in half this season, officials say.For several... More

Cowboy practices what he teaches

Growing up the son of a working cowboy, Jim Keyes thought he’d be a cowboy all his life, and he did a little of it when he was first married — until he realized “you can’t make any money,” he said.But years of watching his dad practice low-stress cattle.. More

Lawsuit over Oregon wolf delisting ruled “moot”

An environmentalist legal challenge against Oregon’s decision to remove wolves from the state’s endangered species list has been dismissed due to legislation passed earlier this year.Wolves were delisted by state wildlife regulators last year, but three environmental groups.. More

Judge: Anti-GMO activists illegally concealed donors’ names

OLYMPIA — An anti-GMO organization violated Washington’s public disclosure law by concealing the names of more than 7,000 donors who contributed in 2013 to an initiative that would have required food makers to label products with genetically engineered ingredients, a judge ruled... More

Rancher says he’s a conservation-easement convert

TWIN FALLS, Idaho — As a fifth-generation rancher in Oregon’s Jordan Valley, Bob Skinner was adamantly opposed to conservation easements.But the former president of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association and a long-time director for the Public Lands Council had a change... More

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