Dan Wheat

Central Washington Reporter
Wheat, Dan

Cheese market continues to plummet

- Columnist Lee Mielke wraps up the week's dairy news.

Tater Tots appealing to hipsters and home cooks

- Tater Tots began humbly enough as a way to use up left over potato slivers from frozen french fries, which then were a main product of the Ore-Ida company. The Tots’ selling point was that they were crisp on the outs...

Idaho wolf depredation down

- Wolf predation of livestock is down for a second consecutive year in Idaho.

Wet December on tap for California

- Californians can expect a wetter-than-normal December throughout the state, according to the National Weather Service. After that, weak El Nino conditions are expected to boost precipitation south of Sacramento.

U.S. dairy exports slow significantly in third quarter

- U.S. dairy exports slowed significantly during the third quarter of 2014 compared to the first half of the year and they are expected to slow even more during the fourth quarter. However, global dairy demand remains strong ...

New GMO potato avoids USDA regulation

- A new potato that's engineered with gene deletion doesn't have to be regulated by USDA.

WDFW recommends wolf shooter be charged

- The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is recommending a Whitman County farmer who shot and killed a wolf be charged with unlawful taking of an endangered species.

Washington may green light hemp, but fed action uncertain

- A Washington hemp advocate says she will be satisfied if legislators merely authorize testing whether the federally controlled crop can be commercially grown in the state.

Campbell tops Street 1Q forecasts

- The maker of canned soup, Pepperidge Farm cookies and V8 juice posted revenue of $2.26 billion in the period, also surpassing Street forecasts.

Researchers work to help growers with FDA rules

- The FDA's proposed produce safety rule is complex but a lot of groups are gearing up to help farmers wade through them, a researcher told Idaho growers. He also said most farmers won't have a problem meeting the rule's irri...

Maui GMO ban supporters seek to dismiss lawsuit

- The measure was initially set to take effect after officials certified the election results, which was expected late this month.

Portland daily grain report

- Bids as of 9:30 a.m. Pacific time; subject to change.

Kitzhaber’s office says water deal imminent

- If successful, the deal could put thousands of acres of highly productive farmland into full production near Hermiston and Boardman, Ore., with potential economic benefits in the billions of dollars.

Port slow downs bite apple industry

- Already reeling from low prices due to oversupply, the Washington apple industry now is losing important overseas sales due to the longshoremen's union work slow down.

New FDA rules will put calorie counts on menus

- The idea is that people may pass on that bacon double cheeseburger if they know it has hundreds of calories — and, in turn, restaurants may make their foods healthier to keep calorie counts down. Beverages are includ...

Idaho predator hunting derby permit canceled

- The Bureau of Land Management has pulled a permit it had previously approved for a controvertial Idaho hunting derby, based in Salmon, awarding prizes for killing wolves and other predators.

Farms fight DOL bid to broaden ‘hot goods’ case

- A federal judge is scheduled to hear oral arguments on Jan. 13, 2015, about whether U.S. Department of Labor can expand its allegations of "hot goods" labor law violations against Oregon blueberry farms.

Celebrated weatherman: Dry winter, wet spring

- Weatherman Art Douglas, a popular speaker at the Spokane Ag Expo each year, says El Nino may have a dry winter but a wet spring in store for farmers in the West, and may help California farmers facing drought.

Grant helps Oregon company develop biochar product

- The Portland-area firm received funding from two sources to begin making biochar on a commercial basis.

Fruit growers to renew Parma research funding

- A coalition of groups representing fruit growers in Idaho will renew a five-year agreement with the University of Idaho that will provide UI's Parma research station $30,000 a year. The money has helped the station continue...

Opinions differ on impacts of sage grouse deals

- It's unclear whether voluntary conservation agreements signed by farmers and rancher will keep the greater sage grouse from being listed as threatend or endangered.

Oregon blueberry growers set sights on S.E. Asia

- Bryan Ostlund, administrator of the Oregon Blueberry Commission, reported making progress toward opening the Philippines and Vietnam to importing fresh blueberries during a recent trade mission.

Ranchers averse to Boulder-White Clouds monument

- Idaho ranchers who would be affected by a proposed National Monument for the Boulder-Whiteclouds area have spoken out against the concept.

Calif. navel oranges small but flavorful

- As the holiday season approaches, navel oranges from California are smaller than usual because of the drought. But their sugar contents and utilization rates are high, industry insiders say.

Farmland from Academy Award-Winning Director James Moll Now Available via On-Demand Digital Platforms


LOS ANGELES (November 24, 2014) – Academy AwardŽ-winning filmmaker James Moll’s feature length documentary, Farmland, is now available for rent and purchase via On Demand platforms – providing more peop...

Western hay market report

- In the Columbia Basin, export hay not tested this week as exporters face a continued work slowdown at the ports.

West Coast grain market report

- Bids for US 1 Soft White Wheat delivered to Portland in unit trains or barges during November were mostly $6.9925.

California shell egg market

- Asking prices for next week are 41 cents higher for Jumbo, 53 cents higher for Extra Large, 55 cents higher for Large and 33 cents higher for Medium and Small.

National slaughter, stocker and feeder cattle report

- Steer and heifer calves sold steady to $5 higher with instances $8-10 higher on calves throughout the Southern Plains and Northern Plains.

National wool and sheep report

- Slaughter lambs were mostly firm to $10 higher, instances $20 higher at New Holland, Pa.

Selected Western livestock auctions

- At the Toppenish Livestock Auction in Moses Lake, Wash., stocker and feeder steers and heifers were firm to $6 higher, except 550-600 lbs. heifers which were weaker.

Wisconsin dairy farmers to rake in big profits

- Some farms that milk the state average of 117 cows will see profits totaling more than $200,000.

Obama defends moves on immigration

- President Barack Obama said it was important that he act unilaterally to prioritize the deportation of criminals and recent arrivals and spare those who have lived here illegally for at least five years and have roots, incl...

He can’t believe he ate the whole turkey

- Top-ranked competitive eater Joey Chestnut ate 9.35 pounds of turkey meat off the bone in 10 minutes.

Obama immigration plan good, not great for economy

- Along with the Congressional Budget Office, independent economists say growth would be much stronger with a broader overhaul that would more than double the number of illegal workers eligible for legalized status.

Pine beetles may be heading east

- Researchers in Minnesota say the mountain pine beetle, which has devastated wide swaths of western forests, may be heading their way.

Only Congress can fix broken immigration system

- President Obama's executive order temporarily changing the status of perhaps 5 million exceeds the bounds of his Constitutional authority. It's now up to the coming GOP majority to provide a legal, legislative solution.

WSDA working on manure application bill

- WSDA keeps a low profile as it works on a bill to regulate the application of manure on farm fields.

Council pushes prime rib for Thanksgiving

- The Idaho Beef Council has promoted beef as an alternative to turkey for Thanksgiving.

Forester eases seedling transactions

- Bob McNitt is a forester who has launched the Forest Seedling Network, which helps connect growers and sellers of seedlings for reforestation.

H-2A continues rapid growth in Washington

- Use of H-2A visa foreign guestworkers continues to leap upward in Washington state, mainly driven by the state's tree fruit industry.

Plaintiffs ask for summary judgment in ‘ag gag’ lawsuit

- A coalition of animal and civil rights groups that filed a lawsuit targeting Idaho's new Agricultural Security Act have asked for a summary judgement in the federal case. The plaintiffs argue that the material facts in the ...

H-2A wage jumps throughout the West

- The U.S. Department of Labor has set new minimum wages for H-2A visa foreign guestworkers for 2015 that are up substantially for Washington and Oregon and less so in California and Idaho.

Farm labor keeps tightening, industry says

- It's hard to get a real handle on it, but agricultural labor sources say the shortage of farmworkers, particularly seasonal, continues to worsen. A big part of it, they say, is people leaving fields for more appealing work.

Irrigation-clogging weed cleared for removal

- Flowering rush, an invasive species that clogs irrigation canals and intakes, has been approved for removal after federal authorities reviewed the proposal under Endangered Species Act.

Curtailed negotiations may prolong port congestion

- Curtailed negotiations between the longshoremen's union and container terminal operators may prolong congestion at West Coast ports, impeding exports of farm products.

Johnson, Zwainz depart grain commission

- Washington farmers Hal Johnson and Tom Zwainz are departing the Washington Grain Commission at the end of the year.

Potandon sponsors food bank benefit

- Potandon Produce has once agaiin sponsored a Thanksgiving day race to help line the shelves of the Idaho Food Bank in Idaho Falls.

County attorney changes mind on forcing public access

- The Bannock County Commission has once again tabled a vote to forcibly validate a public access to national forest land across private property, including a farm.

New bird flu cluster identified in Netherlands

- At least 25,000 chickens and ducks are being slaughtered on the farms and the ministry said it has also ordered birds slaughtered at a third farm as a precaution.