Dan Wheat

Central Washington Reporter
Wheat, Dan

Calif. farm groups fret over groundwater bills

- Farm groups are lined up in opposition to a pair of bills in the California Legislature that would give the State Water Resources Control Board broad new powers to oversee groundwater use statewide.

Ham sells for $2 million at charity auction

- The ham provided by Broadbents B&B Foods in Kuttawa weighed 15.89 pounds, selling for $125,865 per pound.

Almanac predicts colder winter, hotter summer

- The New Hampshire-based Old Farmer's Almanac predicts a “super-cold” winter in the eastern two-thirds of the country. The West will remain a little bit warmer than normal.

Cleanup follows heavy storms in Phoenix area

- An intense storm causes flash floods in parts of Arizona, leaving farmers and others struggling to recover.

A place where research meets agriculture

- The U.S. Department of Energy has a rich history of contributing to the advancement of agriculture and continues helping the industry today.

Calif. bond would set $100 million for water-use efficiency

- California's $7.5 billion water bond proposal would provide $100 million for water use efficiency projects on farms and in cities.

Wash. state OKs killing wolves in vicinity of sheep

- The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is allowing Hunters, Wash., rancher Dave Dashiell and staff to kill wolves in the Huckleberry pack that approach Dashiell's flock of 1,800 sheep. Wolf attacks have continued fo...

‘Challenging’ wheat harvest seen for Southern Idaho

- Wheat has sustained heavy damage throughout Idaho due to continuous rain storms in August.

Rail bottleneck continues for farmers

- Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad has become a bottleneck for farmers trying to get their crops to market.

Renew efforts for Idaho’s water future

- Because water uses did not become more efficient, the adjudication process did precious little to secure the water supply for the vast majority of Idahoans.

Farmers find neighborliness can have its costs

- A case in Idaho highlights the perils landowners face when encroachments on their private property rights go unchallenged.

Westside wheat, barley among topics of grain gathering

- Communities looking to reinvigorate local grain economies are meeting as part of the Grain Gathering at Washington State University's Mount Vernon Research Center.

Portland Daily Grain Report

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

Hot, dry spring cuts northeast Oregon wheat yields

- Just as things were looking up for northeastern Oregon wheat farmers, Mother Nature turned off the faucet over spring — leaving wheat to shrivel at a time when plants need water most.

Boise man brings out the bacon

- A fair booth offers a decadent version of bacon on a stick: Bacon slathered in Ghirardelli chocolate (dark or white). That was his biggest seller last year. It’s back again this year and sells for $5.25. The menu als...

Washington allows sheep rancher to kill wolves

- Since last Thursday wolves have killed 16 sheep. The latest attack was Tuesday night in the area about 50 miles northwest of Spokane.

Record drought saps California honey production

- The drought is worsening a worldwide shortage of honey that has pushed prices to all-time highs. Over the past eight years, the average retail price for honey has increased 65 percent from $3.83 to $6.32 per pound, accordin...

Drought has state debating unregulated pumping

- Two bills before lawmakers would require some local governments to start managing groundwater withdrawals, and authorize the state to step in if they fail.

Report: Firefighting costs eroding conservation

- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said that accommodating the rapid rise in firefighting costs has harmed an array of conservation efforts.

Washington horse diagnosed with West Nile virus

- A horse in Franklin County, Wash., is the first in the state this year to be diagnosed with West Nile virus.

State fair opens under new management

- Oregon State Fair opens with a new management structure.

Amid footing concerns, FFA cancels horse show

- The FFA horse show at the Oregon State Fairgrounds has been cancelled, as organizers worry about the footing in the horse stadium.

Access issue pits public against private interests

- A look at Idaho law governing public rights-of-way crossing private propety to access public land.

Deals with feds offer only limited legal protection

- Agreements that limit landowner liabilities under the Endangered Species Act can still be challenged by environmentalists.

Arctic grayling fish won’t get federal protections

- Officials said one of the most successful grayling restoration efforts has been in the Big Hole Valley, where a program in place for a decade encourages landowners to voluntarily remove threats to fish habitat.

WhiteWave to remove ingredient from Horizon, Silk

- WhiteWave, based in Broomfield, Colorado, did not immediately detail when the ingredient would be phased out of various products. But in a communication that was shared with The Associated Press, the company said carrageena...

Peanut, almond butter recalled for salmonella risk

- The Lake Success, New York, company said it learned of the contamination risk after routine FDA testing. The Food and Drug Administration said it did not know how many jars of nut butters were recalled. The company would no...

Kern families honored for century in farming

- The University of California Cooperative Extension is honoring 14 families in Kern County, Calif., who've been in farming 100 years or longer.

CCA lauds decision not to list blackbird

- The California Cattlemen's Association is pleased that the state Fish and Game Commission decided not to list the tricolored blackbird as endangered or threatened -- a move farmers and ranchers say could be economically dev...

Portland Daily Grain Report

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

Wildfire near Yosemite threatens 500 structures

- The fire comes as California is in the midst of its third straight year of drought, creating tinder-dry conditions that have significantly increased the fire danger around the state.

Oregon Farm Bureau seeking photos for calendar

- The Oregon Farm Bureau is seeking photographs for its 2015 calendar.

H-2A visa program working again

- The Washington Farm Labor Association says it is able to get H-2A guestworker visas again to help Washington's apple and pear harvests after weeks of problems in getting visas from the U.S. State Department.

Snake River dredging plan out for public comment

- The Walla Walla, Wash., district of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers puts its sediment management plan for the lower Snake River out for public comment Aug. 22.

New Mexico chile gets certified-product safeguards

- The program builds upon on existing law that makes it illegal to advertise any product as New Mexico chile unless it’s actually grown in the state. An independent auditor will certify whether restaurants, salsa maker...

Railroad says it’s trying to catch up with demand

- Rail capacity issues in the Pacific Northwest and Northern Plains mean less railcar availability for farmers expecting large harvests. The Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway is working to address the problem, a spokeswoma...

Idaho dairy exports gain ground

- Idaho's dairy exports are on a fast track in the first half of 2014, outpacing the same period a year earlier by 52 percent.

BNSF responds to Cold Train shutdown

- Burlington Northern responds to the closure of a refrigerated car line in Quincy, Wash., whch announced it would shut down due to a reduction in services.

Court rules in elevator’s favor in biotech dispute

- The Syngenta biotech firm cannot force the Bunge grain elevator company to accept its Agrisure Viptera variety of genetically engineered corn, a federal appeals court ruled.

Butter, cheese soaring; powder plunging

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

Drought, heat take toll on almond sizes, weights

- The harvest of early almond varieties is under way in California, and growers say the sizes and weights of some nuts are down. Drought, heat and disease pressure are seen as contributing to the troubles.

Buffer agreement awaits judge’s approval

- Federal regulators have finalized a deal with environmentalists regarding no-spray pesticide buffers around waterways.

Water, labor, taxes challenge Idaho’s dairy growth

- The growth of Idaho's dairy industry is running up against challenges, incuding water availability and access to immigrant labor.

LaMalfa urges Senate, Obama to act on border bills

- A congressman who sits on the House of Representatives' agriculture committee is calling for President Barack Obama and the Senate to act on border security legislation that recently passed the lower chamber. Rep. Doug LaMa...

Freeze in Turkey complicates hazelnut trade

- Oregon hazelnut growers could benefit from a freeze that damaged Turkey's crop, but international markets carry additional complications.

Idaho barley sustains ‘catastrophic’ losses

- The Idaho Barley Commission is seeking to help growers cope with "catastrophic" damage due to a wet August.

Official: Planned wind farm OK without tax credit

- There is ongoing debate in Washington over whether to renew the production tax credit.

Drought pushes up food prices

- All energy prices were down 0.3 percent and this helped offset a 0.4 percent rise in food costs, which have been pushed up by adverse weather including a drought in California.

Wildfire near Yosemite threatens 500 structures

- The fire comes on the heels of another blaze around Yosemite this summer and last year’s Rim Fire, which raged for two months across 400 square miles of land including part of Yosemite National Park.

Washington has first 2014 case of West Nile virus

- The state Department of Health says the Walla Walla County man, who is in his 20s, was likely exposed near his home and he was hospitalized.