Dan Wheat

Central Washington Reporter
Wheat, Dan

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.

Ancient waves of grain

- August is heavy wheat harvest in the Pacific Northwest. But there is one grower who charts a different path — growing an ancient ancestor of modern wheat.

Record Washington apple crop forecast

- The Washington apple industry is forecasting a record 140.2-million-box crop. A three-month harvest is just starting. Having enough pickers and enough good weather for harvest are concerns. So is disruption of markets becau...

Apple commission increases export promotions

- The Washington Apple Commission has increased apple export promotions 15 percent to help sell this fall's crop, which is expected to be large.

Cold Train suspends service, blames rail congestion

- A refrigerated rail service from Washington to the Midwest and East has shut down after four years.

Russian ban hurts Washington apples

- Loss of Russia as an export market puts the squeeze on the Washington apple industry to find other buyers for about $12 million worth of apples.

Labor association resumes H-2A efforts

- The Washington Farm Labor Association will resume trying to bring hundreds of guestworkers from Mexico to Washington to help in apple and pear harvest but remains wary of the process.

Didier top vote-getter in U.S. House primary

- Clint Didier, a Pasco rancher, former NFL football player and Tea Party Republican, finished Tuesday's primary election ahead of former state Department of Agriculture Director Dan Newhouse. The two face each other in the N...

Pacific Northwest cherries aim for record

- Cherry growers in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah and Montana are closing in on the finish of a probable record crop and a season of good prices.

Ranchers begin long road to recovery

- Residents of Washington's upper Methow Valley were almost three weeks into dealing with the largest fire in state history when a new fire took more homes.

Orchards fight Little Cherry Disease

- Kyle Mathison Orchards is just one of several orchards fighting Little Cherry Disease around Wenatchee, Wash. Tree removal and replanting is the main means of combat.

H-2A visa processing halted for pickers

- The U.S. State Department has quit producing visas for pickers to come to Washington state from Mexico on the eve of the start of harvest of an anticipated record apple crop.

Fourth cherry chopper crash in four years

- Fatal helicopter crash is fourth in four years drying cherries in Central Washington orchards.

Fire claims hundreds of homes, cattle

- The largest wildfire in Washington history is mostly contained but losses are still being tallied and the number of dead cattle alone is estimated at 700 to 1,000.

‘Gut-wrenching’ losses in wildfire

- Fires in Washington's Okanogan County have burned thousands of acres of rangeland, killed livestock, left ranches and orchards without power for irrigation and destroyed homes.

Washington fires burn rangeland, singe orchards

- Fires in Washington's Okanogan County have destroyed thousands of acres of rangeland, left ranches and orchards without power and killed livestock.

Houses, orchards damaged by Washington state fires

- The Carlton Complex Fire in Washington's Okanogan County spread rapidly July 17, destroying homes, damaging orchards and causing hundreds of people to flee as it reached the towns of Pateros and Brewster on the Columbia Riv...

DeVaney heads new tree fruit association

- The executive director of the Yakima Valley Growers-Shippers Association has been chosen to head a new Washington State Tree Fruit Association in September that will replace the Growers-Shippers association and three others.

Wildfires burn north Central Washington

- Seven wildfires are keeping firefighters busy in north Central Washington and causing the evacuation of 860 homes in the vicinity of Leavenworth and Plain.

Group urges support for besieged berry farm

- Supporters of a large Skagit County, Wash., berry farm say it has been unfairly targeted by union activists and that other farms should come to its aid.

Coalition calls for immigration reform

- Business and agricultural organizations urged Congress to act now on immigration reform during press events in Washington, D.C., and around the nation.

Mills Canyon Fire held in check

- The Mills Canyon Fire between Wenatchee and Entiat, Wash., has slowed but could grow again, depending on weather. Lightning caused numerous other small start ups in Oregon and Washington.

Washington fire closes state highway

- The Mills Canyon Fire near Entiat, Wash., has grown to 6,171 acres, closed a state highway and caused the evacuation of 109 homes, but officials are optimistic it won't expand greatly.

Wildfire spreads north of Wenatchee

- A wildfire started from a house fire shortly after noon July 8 about 20 miles north of Wenatchee, Wash., and rapidly spread to 5,000 acres.

Compost company to accept Seattle waste

- A Quincy manure composting farm sees Seattle yard and food waste as an opportunity to return nutrients to farm land and grow its business.

Spotted wing drosophila pressure eases

- An Asian fruit fly, spotted wing drosophila, is down in number so far this season in Central Washington which probably indicates a lighter year.

Apple commission boosts export efforts

- The Washington apple industry is planning to spend more on export promotions given expectations for a huge fall crop. It hopes China accepts Red and Golden Delicious again.

PNW cherries hit record June shipments

- Cherry growers in the Northwest have logged the best June in years as weather has cooperated in producing a large, good-quality crop.

Large U.S. apple crop looming

- Early estimates of the apple crop in apple producing states indicate it will be a large one which may pressure harvest, sales and prices.

Kit tests available for Little Cherry Disease

- Little Cherry Disease may be increasing or just being noticed more in north Central Washington, experts say. A new test kit can help growers know if their trees have the virus.

Stemilt Hill irrigation water iffy at times

- Water for thousands of acres of orchards south of Wenatchee remains tentative at times as irrigators await the right window for a fix.

California eyes lighter pear crop

- California will begin picking a lighter pear crop July 7 and it promoting its Bartlett as the first harvested in the nation each year.

WSDA hunts for wine grape pests

- The Washington Department of Agriculture is on the hunt for several species of moths and a couple other pests that could wreak havoc with the state's wine industry.

Chelan Fresh tests new apples

- A major Washington apple marketer, Chelan Fresh Marketing, is testing a small apple from New Zealand sold in convenient snack-portioned tubes and another variety that's an offspring of Honeycrisp.

Northwest hop acreage keeps climbing

- Long-term supply of hops for large brewers may be questionable as varietal production for small breweries keeps growing.