Dan Wheat

Central Washington Reporter
Wheat, Dan

Huge apple crop pushes bin production

- With a huge Washington apple crop, producers of wood and plastic apple bins say they are making more but decline to reveal production levels. KapStone, the region's main cardboard box manufacturer, had no comment.

Stemilt picks a new apple

- One of the nation's largest tree fruit companies, Stemilt Growers Inc., has hooked up with the University of Minnesota for rights to grow and manage a new apple variety it's sure will be a winner.

Washington apple harvest starts final leg

- Washington apple harvest enters the home stretch with more selective picking than normal because of a huge crop. Harvest started Aug. 1 and will finish about Nov. 15.

Mathisons renew effort to gain more cherry ground

- It seemed dead in February, but now the Mathison family is making a new attempt to get public lands for cherry orchard expansion in prime cherry and wildlife country south of Wenatchee.

Carlton fire victims file claims

- Landowners who lost homes and property last summer in Washington's largest wildfire have filed claims against the state alleging negligence.

Republican ranchers square off in congressional race

- For the first time in 20 years there's a close race in Washington's 4th Congressional District and it's between two Republican ranchers.

Irrigators, state launch water improvements

- The Methow Valley Irrigation District and Washington Department of Ecology are improving river flows for fish and the district and town of Twisp are more certain of water with a project that ends years of disputes.

Apple Commission reps wary of GMO apples

- Genetically modified Canadian apples may soon be approved by the USDA and Food and Drug Administration for production and sales in the U.S. Overseas promoters of Washington apples say that will make their jobs more difficult.

Mexico dumping claim may be next apple challenge

- The Washington apple industry wants to sell more apples overseas because it's harvesting its largest crop on record. But it's been kicked out of China and Russia and now problems are brewing in Mexico, its No. 1 export mark...

Mexican trucking pilot expires

- A three-year pilot program of allowing Mexican trucks to deliver goods in the United States has expired and the Department of Transportation has not said what's next.

First Cosmic Crisp growers picked

- Washington State University has chosen the first growers to grow Washington's new Cosmic Crisp apple but they won't be planted until 2017.

Apple crop looks even larger than expected

- Washington's huge apple crop is getting even larger. The key to a good year-long season is keeping shipments moving even at somewhat lower prices, sources say.

Domestic apple consumption edges upward

- U.S. apple consumption has been flat for year, but there's some indication that may improve. That would be good as the industry deals with a huge crop and loss of some overseas markets.

Researcher helped bring IPM to tree fruit

- The leader of the Washington State University Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center is concerned about the future of integrated pest management as he eyes retirement.

Companies ramp up apple tray production

- Keyes Fibre Corp., the top producer of apple trays in the nation, has added its first new molding machine in seven years to increase production.

Rooster stows away underneath SUV

- An archeologist was surprised to find her rooster at her job site after she drove 112 miles and two hours to get there.

Work continues on Stemilt pond project

- Irrigation districts south of Wenatchee, Wash., finally were getting a project done this week to give them water during times of low Columbia River flow. The project was thwarted in April by lack of permits and in May throu...

Rain helps bolster river flows

- Low flow in the Wenatchee River caused the first water restrictions in several years, but rain may change that. Growers are more concerned with finding pickers.

GMO test slows hay exports to China

- U.S. hay exporters are watching an important growth market, China, dry up following tests that showed trace amounts of GMO alfalfa in shipments. Officials from the USDA, China and GMO developer Monsanto are meeting to discu...

Spud harvest underway in Washington

- Potato growers are busy at about the half-way point of their annual harvest in Washington's Columbia Basin. One grower says too hot a July hurt his yield.

Hover wants state to keep grain inspections

- Bud Hover, director of the Washington Department of Agriculture, told the Washington Association of Wheat Growers how his department worked to keep grain flowing during a labor dispute. He says growers need to support renew...

Manager retires with association

- Washington's tree fruit future is bright but there are no guarantees, says an industry leader retiring after 42 years as his association shuts down.

Wash. farmer, daughter on ‘Survivor’

- He survived decades as a Washington farmer. Now Dale Wentworth and his daughter, Kelley, find out if they can survive on the CBS reality show "Survivor."

GMOs face the test in Hawaii

- Syngenta is one of the big five global seed companies doing GMO and pesticide research and development in Hawaii. They are involved in a statewide and national debate over GMO crops.

EEOC sues Washington fruit grower over firing

- An East Wenatchee tree fruit grower has run afoul the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for allegedly violating law by firing an employee because she was pregnant.

Washington apple harvest in full swing

- Washington growers are nearing the half-way point of harvesting their largest apple crop in history. So far good weather has helped but most everyone could use more pickers.

Large apple crop holds down processing prices

- Early indications in Michigan are that this fall's large apple crop is holding down prices growers will get for apples processed into pies, sauce and juice.

Wash. irrigators await water fix

- Irrigation districts south of Wenatchee, Wash., await low Columbia River flow to install pipes to ensure water for orchards during drawdowns. Repairs to a Wanapum Dam crack, which precipitated the irrigation problem, reach ...

New tree fruit association operating

- Washington's tree fruit industry has consolidated four trade associations into one coinciding with the traditional Sept. 1 start of the new apple crop sales year.

Pacific Northwest pear forecast increases

- The Pacific Northwest pear crop is about 1.5 million boxes larger than forecast in May but still smaller than last year's record which should offset loss of exports to Russia.