Dan Wheat

Central Washington Reporter
Wheat, Dan

Columbia Snake River System lock closure set for December 2016

- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to close the Columbia River to traffic for 14 weeks for repairs starting in December 2016.

Obama immigration action may be dead, labor leader says

- A federal appeals court has upheld an injunction against the president's executive action on immigration. A Washington state farm labor leaders says it's probably dead.

Fight over Clean Water Act rule enters new phase

- The fight over EPA's Clean Water Act rule is likely to heat up on the political and legal fronts now that the regulation is final, experts say.

EPA issues its final water rules

- EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said the rule will only affect waters that have a “direct and significant” connection to larger bodies of water downstream that are already protected.

Water rule won’t burden farmers, EPA administrator says

- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator Gina McCarthy said the finalized Clean Water Rule unveiled May 27 will not place new burdens on farmers.

Welcome Idaho rains also raise crop disease risk

- A prolonged period of wet weather has raised concerns about disease pressure in Southern Idaho farm fields among some growers and crop experts.

Ag groups push House for fast track authority

- Most U.S. ag organizations are urging House members to pass Trade Promotion Authority after the Senate's passage on Friday night, contending TPA is critical in free-trade agreements and the pending Trans-Pacific Partnership...

Iris yellow spot virus detected in volunteer onions

- Oregon State University researchers have detected the iris yellow spot virus in volunteer onions in Eastern Oregon. The virus hasn't shown up in this year's crop yet but it's expected to soon.

Portland daily grain report

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

Senators urge funding for sage grouse conservation

- The senators want the Appropriations Committee to fund programs that include cooperative efforts with landowners.

Nevada county foots $250,000 legal bill in road fight

- Environmental groups say the federal government has no authority to cede control of the road that runs along the Jarbidge River.

U.S. pavilion at Italian expo seeks to be catalyst in food security discussion

- The Expo venue brings together more than 140 nations along with non-governmental organizations and corporations.

Seattle food truck thief likes chicken

- The truck's owner is unsure why anyone would steal her truck since it had the name of the business printed all over it.

Hormel buying meat producer Applegate Farms for $775M

- Applegate Farms says it doesn’t use GMO ingredients, feeds its animals a vegetarian diet, treats them humanely, and doesn’t use antibiotics, hormones, or artificial ingredients or preservatives.

Rice, nuts fuel ag boom in N.E. California, study finds

- Agriculture has boomed in northeastern California in the last 10 years and now accounts for 17 percent of all economic activity in the Sacramento Valley and northern Sierra Nevada region, according to a California State Uni...

Roza District likely to turn water on again June 1

- It looks like Washington's Roza Irrigation District will begin providing water to farmers again on June 1 but a possible May 29 water forecast update could delay that.

GMO control area proposal revived

- A proposal to create "control areas" for heightened regulation of GMOs has been resurrected in the Oregon legislature.

WSU proceeds with McFerson consideration

- It's not a done deal, but Washington State University is working on a contract to hire the manager of the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission as director of the WSU Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center.

Some fear SJ Valley ag could go the way of timber industry

- Some growers in the San Joaquin Valley are beginning to see comparisons between their industries and timber, whose decline was hastened by protections for the Northern spotted owl. Others point out that the return of rains ...

EQIP funds offered for drought areas

- Funding is available for farmers and ranchers impacted by drought.

Conservation forms due June 1 to be eligible for crop insurance benefits

- Producers must file conservation program compliance forms with the USDA's Farm Service Agency by June 1.

Appeals panel won’t lift hold on Obama immigration action

- A three-member panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court's temporary injunction on President Obama's executive action to grant temporary legal status to millions of illegal immigrants.

McCain honored for energy efficiency following plant upgrade

- McCain Foods has received an award for power savings following a recent renovation of its Burley plant.

Potandon’s spud promotion truck set to roll

- Idaho-based Potandon Produce has its own version of a traveling potato truck intended to promote the consumption of spuds.

Chicago dairy prices far above global levels

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

Rains might add extra days to Owyhee Project water season

- A recent string of rainstorms has improved the water supply situation in Eastern Oregon, but farmers who get their water from the Owyhee Project still face a tough water year.

Selected Western hay prices

- Demand good for new crop high testing Alfalfa, light to moderate on other grades in the Columbia Basin.

West Coast and national grain prices

- July wheat futures ended the reporting week on Thursday, May 21, higher as follows compared to May 13 closes: Chicago wheat futures were 7.75 cents higher at $5.22, Kansas City wheat futures were 14.50 cents higher at $5.57...

California shell egg market

- Asking prices for next week are 46 cents higher for Jumbo and 58 cents higher on all other sizes.

National slaughter, feeder and stock cattle report

- Yearlings sold fully steady to $3 higher with instances $5 higher as advance continues to be on heavy yearlings over 800 lbs.

Selected Western livestock auctions

- Stocker cattle less than 600 lbs. were firm to $10 higher in a light test at the Toppenish, Wash., Livestock Auction.

National wool and sheep report

- Feeder lambs were steady to $15 higher.

Portland daily grain report

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

Idaho bird deaths linked to vole poison

- The Idaho State Department of Agriculture is leading an investigation into Eastern Idaho snow geese deaths linked to a rodenticide farmers used this winter to control an oubreak of voles.

Northwest farmers wary about Obama’s expected water rule

- The rule has also drawn criticism from property rights groups and praise from environmentalists.

California looks Down Under for drought advice

- “The outstanding feature of the California drought is the way in which it’s been allowed to become incredibly serious, with — from an Australian perspective — an absolutely pathetic and nominal s...

Taco Bell, Pizza Hut drop artificial ingredients

- Taco Bell says it will take out artificial colors, artificial flavors, high-fructose corn syrup and unsustainable palm oil from its food by the end of 2015.

New Mexico onion crop looks stellar

- New Mexico produced about 306 million pounds of onions in 2014.

Latest in food-track tech: Swipe a code, meet your fisherman

- Gulf of Maine Research Institute and Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association are cooperating to develop the tool.

Lee’s Sandwiches recalls 213,000 pounds of meat

- Chicken, beef and pork products were recalled by the Garden Grove-based company from its restaurants in Arizona, California, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon and Texas.

Newsletter helps grass seed growers keep tabs on ergot

- Detection of ergot spores in grass seed crops can help growers minimize the disease’s yield impact and avoid unnecessary fungicide applications.

Monsanto protest includes Hawaiian group

- The Maui group was joined by Neil Young, who performed a song from his upcoming album called “The Monsanto Years.”

Some Iowa farmers upset with government’s bird flu response

- More than 25 million chickens, turkeys and ducks have been killed in Iowa, and it has taken time to find places to dispose of their carcasses.

Train-the-trainer IPM workshops set

- Researchers are planning two three-day workshop on integrated pest management.

Wheat industry leader plans to retire from farming

- Longtime Colfax, Wash., farmer and Washington Grain Commission board member Randy Suess has announced his intentions to retire from farming this fall after harvest.

Ecology official accepts challenge of leading ag department

- Incoming Washington State Department of Agriculture director Derek Sandison has worked with farmers in Central and Eastern Washington on water-supply projects.

Apples to flow between U.S., China

- It likely will take time to reach any volume, but greater trade of apples between the U.S. and China is being allowed after years of efforts.

High winds whip fires at ag byproducts plant

- High winds whipped fires that burned agricultural byproducts and a nearby field at a plant in Tracy, Calif. The smoldering remains were expected to be totally extinguished by May 23.

Senate clears White House-backed trade bill

- A total of 48 Republicans supported the measure, but only 14 of the Senate’s 44 Democrats backed a president of their own party on legislation near the top of his second-term agenda.

West Coast dockworkers union ratifies 5-year contract

- Longshoremen have approved a deal with the association representing ports, ending a labor dispute that has hobbled operations at the ports.