Dan Wheat

Central Washington Reporter
Wheat, Dan

Removal of weed from Columbia requires review

- The federal government must review the removal of flowering rush, an invasive weed, under environmental laws before the plants can be yanked from new sites along the Columbia River in Oregon.

Think tank links H-2A with human trafficking

- A new report from a policy think tank links the H-2A agricultural guest worker program with human trafficking.

Forklift certification, CORE credits offered at 2014 Ag Expo

- The Willamette Valley Ag Expo will offer a variety of classes again theis year, include a session on forklift safety and CORE pesticide classes.

Early water crucial for cover crop success

- A cover crop demonstrtation project in south-central Idaho has taught project leaders and farmer cooperators many lessons that can benefit growers.

Odessa irrigation update to be featured at CBDL meeting

- The Columbia Basin Development League holds its annual meeting in Moses Lake, Wash. Nov. 6.

Major food processor coming to Pocatello

- Amy's Kitchen, a major supplier of organic convenience food products, will open a 500,000-square-foot food-processing faciity in Pocatello in December.

U.S.-EU trade agreement could benefit agriculture

- A trade agreement being negotiated between the United States and European Union could benefit U.S. farmers and ranchers in a major way, according to the U.S. Trade Representative's office. U.S. farm groups have varying take...

Pacific Northwest pear crop estimate grows

- The Pacific Northwest pear crop is larger than expected and off to a good start in sales and prices. Some growers likely will make more money on pears than apples this year.

Study shows potential for manure for beets, spuds

- Data shows mixed results for manure applications before potatoes and sugar beets in the second year of a long-term rotational study involving manure.

Portland daily grain report

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

Vets operate on spotted owl with broken wing

- If the wing heals well, the bird may be released back into the wild population, which is listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act.

Panera misses Street’s 3Q forecasts

- Panera shares have fallen 3 percent since the beginning of the year. In the final minutes of trading on Tuesday, shares hit $171, a climb of slightly more than 7 percent in the last 12 months.

Northern Idaho corn-maze attraction closes early

- Witnesses say the teenager was dressed as a zombie when he emerged from his hiding place and ran toward a modified school bus carrying paintball players. Witnesses say he tripped and fell in front of the rear tires.

USDA to spend $4 million on honey bee aid in five states

- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says the aid through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program builds on $3 million in fiscal 2014.

California drought takes bite out of rice harvest

- This year rice farmers only planted 420,000 acres — 25 percent less than last year — because of water restrictions, according to the California Rice Commission.

Tilth Producers of Washington marks 40th anniversary

- Tilth Producers of Washington was founded 40 years ago to promote small-scale organic farming.

Pulse crop production down as prices rise

- Yields for lentils, chickpeas and green peas in Washington and Idaho were down signifciantly this year but because of production challenges in other areas as well, prices are on the rise.

Periodic storms may continue in Northern Calif.

- A persistent parade of storm clouds has spritzed Northern California while areas south of Sacramento remained dry. The pattern is expected to continue at least until early November, even as El Nino conditions are anticipate...

Judge orders Sakuma to let guests visit workers

- A Skagit County Superior Court judge ruled Tuesday that Sakuma Bros. Farms violated labor and tenant laws by restricting visitor access to worker housing.

Judge believes DOL should return ‘hot goods’ money

- A federal judge recently heard oral arguments in the U.S. Labor Department's "hot goods" case against farmers.

Measure 91 would also legalize hemp in Oregon

- Besides marijuana, Oregon voters will also decide whether to legalize growing hemp in the upcoming election.

Decriminalizing marijuana would protect national forests

- Illegal marijuana grows are damaging our national forests. Legalizing marijuana will help stop that from happening.

Pollinator task force backs pesticide reporting system

- An Oregon pollinator task force has completed a report to the state legislature with proposals to improve bee health.

Down dairy markets took ‘silvering lining’ with them

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

Tickets on sale for Dine Around Oregon dinner at Expo

- Dine Around Oregon, a part of the annual Willamette Valley Ag Expo, will again spotlight Oregon-grown foods this year.

Northwest Agriculture Business Center gets USDA grant

- The Northwest Agriculture Business Center has received $200,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to further development of local markets for farmers and ranchers.

House Dems again seek vote on wildfire bill

- U.S. Rep. John Garamendi, D-Calif., has been joined by House of Representatives Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi in calling for Speaker John Boehner to schedule a vote on a bill that would protect forest management in the fed...

Washington Grain Commission assessments will drop by 48 percent

- The Washington Grain Commission will receive about $4 million in assessements this year because of a smaller crop and lower prices, says CEO Glen Squires.That's down from about $7.6 million last year.

Study to probe farm kids’ allergies

- Microbes on farms with livestock are believed to stimulate stronger immune systems and make kids less likely to develop allergies.

Economist: Investigate margin protection program now

- While the new Margin Protection Program for dairy is debuting in a financially good year for dairymen -- thus gaining little interest -- one dairy economist says producers shouldn't delay working through the program's techn...

Portland daily grain report

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

California drought nourishes fake grass sales

- The synthetic turf industry is booming as Californians look for ways to reduce water consumption.

Poland gains apple access in Canada

- Poland has gained access to Canada for its apples but it may not hurt Washington exports there.

Pro rodeo leaders listed

- A listing of the top professional rodeo performers.

Oregon again testing per-mile road taxes

- Drivers will be charged 1.5 cents a mile, with their distances tracked through one of several options, including a daily diary, GPS system or odometer device.

Commercial market for western juniper studied

- A USDA rural development grant may expand the market for juniper lumber, which might be good for threatened sage grouse.

Confusion over drought maps prompts UC workshop

- A drought workshop offered by the University of California-Davis on Nov. 7 will include information about how climatologists can put together the U.S. Drought Monitor, which can affect ranchers' disaster relief payments.

Western hay market report

- Demand light to moderate in the Columbia Basin as some exporters are looking for GMO-free supplies.

West Coast grain markets

- Bids for U.S. 1 Soft White Wheat delivered to Portland in unit trains or barges during October were $9.75 to 16.75 cents per bushel higher, from $6.8175-7.0675, mostly $6.9350.

California egg prices

- Asking prices for next week are 1 cent higher for Jumbo, 3 cents higher for Extra Large and unchanged on the remainder of sizes.

National slaughter, feeder and stocker report

- On Thursday afternoon fat cattle trade busted loose in a big way as live prices again hit record highs in the Southern Plains and Nebraska with live prices $5-6 higher at $170.

Selected regional livestock auctions

- Stocker and feeder cattle were $1-2 lower at the Toppenish Livestock Auction in Moses Lake, Wash.

National wool and sheep summary

- Slaughter lambs were steady to $10 higher, except at New Holland, Pa., $10-20 lower. Slaughter ewes were steady to $5 higher.

NFL player extols dairy’s benefits at Idaho middle school

- Former NFL cornerback Marcus Trufant made a surprise visit to an Idaho middle school Oct. 24 and spoke to students there about the important role dairy products can play in physical performance.

Idaho Milk Products opens tech center

- Idaho Milk Products of Jerome, Idaho, has added a technical center to its growing milk protein business and held a grand opening Oct. 24 to celbrate its five year mark.

Idaho scholar studies farming in literature

- An Idaho State University associate lecturer recently completed a dissertation analyzing contemporary literature pertaining to agriculture. He hopes the research will prepare him to return to his grandfather's old Idaho far...

New tree fruit group nominates board

- The temporary board of the new Washington State Tree Fruit Association has nominated a slate of candidates for a new board some of whom are the same. Others can run.

Idaho students get ‘big picture’ look at world ag

- Three students from Rocky Mountain High School in Meridian, Idaho, attended the World Food Prize this year and the school's ag education teacher said the event has been a great way to show students the big picture of agricu...

Apple growth boosts demand for skilled technicians

- Flush from record apple crops and strong markets, packing firms have invested in new lines that feature robotics and computer imaging, allowing them to pack more fruit with the same number of people.

Grant helps promote Washington wines in Canada

- The top markets for Washington wines include Japan, Germany, Denmark and Sweden. China and South Korea also are emerging markets.