Dan Wheat

Central Washington Reporter
Wheat, Dan

Protecting crops naturally

- Dani Lightle, a University of California Cooperative Extension orchard crop adviser in Orland, was a science enthusiast as a youngster but far removed from agriculture. Now she's helping growers find natural means to ward o...

Recharging Idaho’s economic future

- As Idaho's aquifer recharge coordinator, Wesley Hipke has the lofty task of helping the state be proactive to ensure an adequate groundwater supply into the future.

Researcher predicts cold hardiness zone shift

- A University of Idaho doctoral student's research shows winter hardiness zones will shift nationwide by 2050 due to climate change, with milder low temperatures allowing new crops to thrive in different regions.

Vinegar company fined for spill in Washington river

- The Washington Department of Ecology has fined Fleischmann's Vinegar Co. for spilling 10,000 gallons of concentrated vinegar into a river.

U.S. farms hiring more workers, survey shows

- The first of two annual U.S. farm labor reports for the year by USDA shows a 2 percent increase in farm workers hired in April compared with a year earlier.

Ranchers say outgoing Idaho Cattle Association leader will be greatly missed

- Wyatt Prescott, who has led the Idaho Cattle Association for the past six years, is leaving that position but still plans to be involved in policy development work for the state's cattle and farming industries

Oregon boarding school will host firefighters this summer

- A boarding school in Southeast Oregon makes its facilities available for firefighting crews this summer.

Bastian new VP for industry relations at United Dairymen of Idaho

- Before joining UDI, Eric Bastian served as vice president of research and development for Glanbia Nutritionals and Glanbia Foods.

WSU crop tour reviews weed needs

- A Washington State University field day in Pullman, Wash., covers weeds.

Portland daily grain report

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

Nevada’s oldest known tree lives on in stories of its death

- The tree turned out to be approximately 4,900 years old, making it the oldest known tree on Earth at the time.

Washington cherry growers have good export opportunities

- Rain and strength of the U.S. dollar hindering overseas buying power cut California cherry exports by half leaving opportunity for Washington exporters.

Feds reject request to lift Snake River fall chinook ESA listing

- The decision cites concerns Snake River fall chinook wouldn’t remain viable without continued protections.

Interstate highway becomes butterfly flyway

- The agreement is meant to improve the habitat and develop a branding campaign to informally name the interstate the Monarch Highway.

Poultry returning to Pennsylvania fairs, farm show, after ban

- Chickens, ducks and other poultry were barred in May 2015 as a precaution to protect the state’s poultry industry against the threat of avian influenza

Researchers seek deadly fungus to protect salamanders

- Fearing the fungus could reach the United States through the pet trade, an army of wildlife biologists with the U.S. Geological Survey, the lead federal agency in the fight, are checking salamanders nationwide.

Kings County won’t appeal California high-speed rail ruling

- Judge Michael Kenny said the 2008 ballot initiative specified only that the state could issue bonds to construct a high-speed rail system and did not prevent modifications to the plan voters were given.

Nebraska pig supplier promises to investigate alleged abuses

- The undercover investigator documented long stretches of time — up to three days — where pigs received no food, leading them to become agitated and hurting each other and themselves.

California to dismiss $1.4M fine against irrigation district

- In a draft order, the State Water Recourses Control Board said Thursday that its prosecutors failed to prove its case against Byron-Bethany Irrigation District.

Long missing frog, turtle species making return to Yosemite

- Over the next three years, thousands of tadpoles and adult frogs will be transported 200 miles to be set free in the park’s lush meadows, alpine lakes and winding Merced River.

Wheat growers organization names new CEO

- Chandler Goule has been named new CEO of the National Association of Wheat Growers.

Bat disease continues to surprise in Washington

- A Washington state veterinarian says it's puzzling, surprising and good that no more bats infected with white-nose syndrome has been found so far.

CDFA permanently raises whey value in milk pricing

- Dairymen say the decision is good but it won't keep dairies from going out of business due to mounting losses.

Ruling hinders Oregon wind energy project

- A struggling wind turbine project on ranchland in Oregon's Harney County was dealt a serious legal setback due to a sage grouse sighting.

WSDA looks at big jump in livestock inspection fees

- The Washington State Department of Agriculture is proposing raising livestock inspection fees to fill a budget hole.

Irrigators step up cloud seeding support

- The Idaho Water Resource Board and Idaho surface and groundwater users have stepped up their efforts to support Idaho Power Co.'s statewide cloud seeding program.

Judge rules softwood lumber checkoff unlawful

- The softwood lumber checkoff, which raises money to promote wood products, was created unlawfully, according to a federal judge.

Wilco, Hazelnut Growers of Oregon propose merger

- Wilco and Hazlenut Growers of Oregon, two farm cooperatives, are considering a merger.

Spokane co-op begins malting local grains

- Spokane cooperative LINC Foods has launched a malting facility to tap into growing brewing interests locally.

Rural school extends invitation to Portland students

- A small school district invites Portland high school students to attend class in the country.

Harvest of a light PNW cherry crop begins

- With Washington cherry harvest starting two week earlier than normal, growers are anxious for good weather as they forecast a lighter crop.

EPA-speak: ‘We have the power’

- When words don't mean what the EPA wants them to, the agency redefines them.

Report says GMOs are safe for people, environment

- Good news for farmers and consumers, bad news for opponents who have full faith in science only when science supports their bias.

Lawmakers need to make sure goods are in the arena

- What’s the bottom line for agriculture with TPP? We’re looking at an expected boost in business just when farms and rural economies need it most. Farm Bureau estimates an annual increase in U.S. net farm incom...

Feds’ permafrost land grab in Alaska has national implications

- Corps makes another land grab — this time in Alaska.

Gorge’s wine success rooted in Wright’s old vine legacy

- If someone writes the history of growing grapes and making wine in the Columbia River Gorge, Lonnie Wright will be in the first chapter.

Ammon Bundy considers civil rights lawsuit

- The Bundys and their co-defendants face a series of felonies for taking over the refuge near Burns, Oregon, for 41 days, including conspiracy to impede federal workers, weapons charges and damage of government property.

Senators’ bill would block mining in Methow Valley

- The legislation would withdraw U.S. Forest Service land in northcentral Washington from potential mining leases.

Former wildlife refuge occupier Ammon Bundy gets a new attorney

- Court documents filed Wednesday show Utah-based attorney Morgan Philpot will be taking over the case.

Portland daily grain report

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

Court upholds $3 million judgment against food manufacturer over pay

- The justices sided with the workers who said Arkansas’ Minimum Wage Act required the company to compensate them for the activities despite an agreement with the union.

Demand plummets for California pollution credits

- The state Department of Finance says revenue from the program was $600 million short of the $2.4 billion anticipated in the current fiscal year.

NRCS plans SNOTEL sites to study mid-elevation snowpack

- USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service plans to build new automated snow survey sites to better understand mid-elevation snowpack, which seems to be disappearing early in recent years.

Alarm sounded over white top infestation in Malheur County

- White top, a noxious weed, has exploded in Malheur County this year and researchers and weed control officials are sounding the alarm and asking for landowners' help in controlling it.

Portland daily grain report

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

Governor sees pattern in Nevada wildfires

- Coming off a fairly wet winter, but not a drought-buster, the Sierra Nevada and the vast expanses of the Great Basin are expected to see fire activity near or above long-term averages.

Cargill plans to keep several operations in Wichita

- Most of the 900 employees that work in its Wichita-based operations are housed in a 10-story building.

Oregon berries come on strong with favorable weather

- Early Oregon strawberry varieties are showing up in stores and roadside stands, with raspberries, blueberries and blackberries coming on.

Backers, opponents argue pros, cons of coal export facility

- The Washington Department of Ecology should rethink a the contribution to greenhouse gases a coal export terminal on the Columbia River would make, a company president says.

Judge orders rancher to repay USDA $65,000 for loan he misused

- Authorities say he received a $76,000 USDA loan administered by the Farm Service Agency to buy sheep and cover expenses for their care. But he sold the sheep without the FSA approval and deposited the proceeds of the sale i...