Dan Wheat

Central Washington Reporter
Wheat, Dan

More plaintiffs join suit challenging anti-corporate farming law

- They want a judge to declare unconstitutional the nearly century-old law that aims to protect the state’s family farming heritage by barring large corporations from owning agricultural operations.

Climate change taking toll on American pika’s Western lands

- The range for the mountain-dwelling herbivore is decreasing in southern Utah, northeastern California and in the Great Basin that covers most of Nevada and parts of Utah, Oregon, Idaho and California, the federal agency con...

WDFW: 4 more wolves in Profanity Peak pack shot

- Washington wildlife managers have now shot a total of six wolves in the Profanity Peak pack in Ferry County.

Washington fire sparks suit over federal firefighting powers

- An environmental group has sued to invalidate a federal rule that allows fire incident commanders to suspend environmental rules.

Initiative has something for everyone not to like

- Another plan to tax the "other guys" surfaces, this time in Washington.

When neighbors go to court

- Living on land zoned for farming means accepting farms and farm operations as neighbors.

Strong dollar challenging U.S. agricultural industry

- There’s no arguing that international trade is critical to farmers’ ability to feed the planet’s more than 7 billion inhabitants.

Why is Farm Bureau missing in action?

- State and county organizations need to make their voices heard on land designations.

Idaho contract ag labor licenses up

- The Idaho Department of Labor reports a dip in the unemployment rate and increasing numbers of contract farm labor providers getting licensed.

To attract consumers, beef producers should try a little grass-fed tenderness

- Some researchers think fat marbling, which USDA beef grades are based on, isn't what consumers are looking for.

Cloning beef cattle for meat quality sparks debate

- A West Texas meat science professor is cloning cattle to attain top USDA beef grading status, but is that what consumers want?

Hackers halt hunting, fishing license sales in some states

- Washington state has suspended selling hunting and fishing licenses and Idaho has suspended online sales because of hacking into a vendor's computer system.

Christmas tree production down as market stabilizes

- Oregon's Christmas tree sales dropped dramatically over the past five years, according to NASS.

Portland daily grain report

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

Oregon congressman to Obama: Designate Owyhee monument

- Rep. Earl Blumenauer is the only member of Oregon’s congressional delegation to openly ask Obama to create an Owyhee National Monument.

FDA: Listeria found in Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams kitchen

- Jeni’s shut down twice last year after listeria was found in a pint of ice cream in Nebraska and in Jeni’s kitchen. A second finding on a kitchen floor occurred later that year.

Researchers get $1 million to study Utah Lake algae blooms

- A massive algae bloom closed Utah Lake this summer, sickening people and leaving farmers scrambling for clean water during some of the hottest days of the year.

Wildfire doesn’t dampen Yellowstone centennial celebration

- The fire in Grand Teton National Park has shut down a route leading to Yellowstone’s South Entrance.

California lawmakers approve extension of climate change law

- SB32 sets a new goal to reduce emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.

Missouri lawmakers to hold hearing on illegal herbicide

- Some farmers planted a soybean variety resistant to dicamba, and a new herbicide meant to be applied to that variety hasn’t been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Thai farmers launch sting operation to stop elephants

- Farmers are deploying bees as a new line of defense, exploiting elephants’ documented fear of bee stings.

Woman drives SUV through grocery store

- Police say the woman then drove the SUV through the store entrance, up and down an aisle, and out the other side.

Ag groups say Coba’s experience, style will be hard to replace

- Oregon ag groups praise Coba's work and management style as department director.

Farmers seek legal fees from GMO ban supporters

- Farmers who successfully challenged Josephine County's GMO ban want supporters to pay their legal fees.

ODA’s Katy Coba named Oregon COO

- Oregon Director of Agriculture Katy Coba has been named director of the Department of Administrative Services and COO.

Idaho sorghum to be used in ‘paper’ products

- A planned $90 million project near Parma in southwestern Idaho will use sorghum produced by local farmers to create paper products for the food industry. It will also use cow and other agricultural waste to create biogas an...

Speakers say unlocking biochar’s potential will aid agriculture

- Speakers at a biochar conference at Oregon State University extol the technology's application to agriculture.

ODFW: Calf found in pond had been attacked by wolves

- The Meacham wolf pack is blamed for attacking a calf in Oregon's Umatilla County.

Drought, labor costs concern table olive growers in down year

- Drought and rising labor costs are still concerns for growers as California's table olive production is expected to be 17 percent below last year's bumper crop.

Rangeland wildfire forces evacuations in Eastern Idaho

- The human-caused fire reported Sunday about 7 miles east of Idaho Falls is making wind-driven runs to the north and east.

USDA projects 38,000-ton hazelnut crop

- Oregon is projected to forecast 38,000 tons of hazelnuts this year, up 22.5 percent from 2015.

Road to Yellowstone National Park entrance closed by fire

- A fire in Grand Teton park made a 5-mile run on Monday, forcing the closure of a 10-mile stretch of road leading into Yellowstone’s South Entrance.

Farm safety top priority with farm tourism on the rise

- State and federal experts aremeeting with Connecticut farmers to discuss ways they can better protect public health, animal health and their businesses as they open their farms to the public.

Immigration a longstanding political problem, experts say

- Immigration experts say the problem took root at least 30 years ago, when President Ronald Reagan signed a 1986 immigration law that has become known as the “Reagan Amnesty.”

Audit: Forestry department stretched too thin

- The audit says the forestry department is fighting more severe fires with about the same number of employees it had 20 years ago.

APHIS, researchers continue GE wheat probe

- The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service continues to analyze the recent discovery of genetically engineered wheat in a fallow field in Washington State.

Hood River basin’s water reservations renewed

- Water reservations in Oregon's Hood River basin, which allow for new water rights development, have been renewed for 20 years.

USDA to buy $20 million worth of surplus cheese

- USDA's $20 million purchase of cheese to assistant dairy producers isn't expected to have much impact on milk prices.

Harvest links Oregon farmers to flour mills of Asia

- In Oregon's Columbia Basin counties, dryland wheat is the only crop option. But those sparsely populated counties have a simple focus: "Feed the world."

Idaho judge dismisses case against business tax credit

- A tax reimbursement credit that was passed by the Idaho Legislature in 2014 with the support of farm groups has survived a court challenge by a company that claimed it harmed their business by helping a competitor.

Idaho growers pleased with spud yields, quality

- Idaho growers are pleased by the size and quality of their spuds as harvest starts, but University of Idaho officials warn them not to stop spraying for potato psyllids until their vines are killed, based on the discovery o...

Researchers test tillage systems in dry beans

- University of Idaho researchers are studying weed control and yield in conventiona tillage, strip tillage and direct seed in dry beans.

Cleanup company paying Ecology penalty after fire

- An environmental cleanup company is beginning penalty payments for hazardous waste violations in connection with cleanup from a fire at a farm chemical company.

Mint farm among recipients of Ecology fines

- One of the largest mint producers in the nation has been fined again.

Seattle grain exporter to pay $699,000 to settle lawsuit

- A Seattle grain terminal has agreed to pay $699,000 to settle a citizens lawsuit, alleging the company spilled grain into Elliott Bay.

Cheese prices up; butter slips

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

U.S. dairy herd largest since 2008

- Dairy cow numbers are the highest in the U.S. since 2008, driven by economies of scale, record milk prices in 2014 and the availability of heifers.

Organic seed supply lags demand as industry grows

- A new report shows that the state of the nation's organic seed industry has improved in the last five years but it also says significant work still needs to be done to improve the quality and availability of organic seed.

Regulators prepare water diverters for stepped-up reporting rules

- Officials from the California Water Resources Control Board held a workshop and "information fair" to prepare landowners for new regulations for reporting diversions that could take effect as soon as Jan. 1, 2017, depending...

Study analyzes Basagran application rates in dry beans

- A repeat trial on Basagran in dry beans by University of Idaho researchers this summer is showing some inconsistency with earlier trials.