Dan Wheat

Central Washington Reporter
Wheat, Dan

Cleanup company paying Ecology penalty after fire

- An environmental cleanup company is beginning penalty payments for hazardous waste violations in connection with cleanup from a fire at a farm chemical company.

Mint farm among recipients of Ecology fines

- One of the largest mint producers in the nation has been fined again.

Newhouse may join Trump ag committee

- It appears that no one from the Pacific Northwest is on Donald Trump’s agricultural advisory committee and it’s unknown if anyone from the PNW is on Rural for Hillary, which is not directly affiliated with the...

High country wheat harvest a family show

- The Polson family is among many on Washington’s Waterville Plateau doing what they always do this time of year — reaping their share of millions of bushels of wheat.

Pesticides pose low risk for honeybees, WSU says

- In real-world settings, a class of pesticides known to harm honey bees poses little risk, WSU researchers say.

Tight labor supply pushes wages upward

- September is peak of pear harvest in Washington and mid-September to mid-October is peak of apple harvest. But already labor is tight, and with a large apple crop it could get tighter.

PNW reps urge action on Columbia River Treaty

- Pacific Northwest lawmakers again urge the State Department to get moving on negotiating a new Columbia River Treaty with Canada.

AgroFresh expands its apple, pear service centers

- A leader in produce freshness is opening new centers in Michigan and Italy to help growers keep apples and pears fresher longer.

Company forges ahead with GM apples

- A Canadian company will test market a small amount of genetically modified Golden Delicious apples this fall and may soon gain approval of GM Fuji.

Washington water supply better than expected

- Despite a few heat spikes, moderate temperatures have keep Washington’s water supply in good shape. Some individual water rights are curtailed but irrigation districts are doing well.

Larger apple crop causes price worries

- Washington’s fresh apple crop is forecast 15 percent larger this fall from last year which may pressure prices downward.

Western Innovator: Keeping apples fresh in storage

- A USDA plant physiologist, Jim Mattheis, has revolutionized apple storage with his career-long research into the use of a molecule to slow apple ripening.

Russian import ban crunches world apple market

- It’s been two years since Russia banned Western food products. It put a hole in global apple exports and accelerated oversupply. Washington state’s apple industry has felt the hit but not nearly as much as Pol...

Grower pushes premium sweet corn

- Mark Kallstrom is finding a niche with his sweet corn, which he sells wholesale and to local markets and in direct retail at his own stands.

WAFLA says 2016 wage survey better than last year’s

- A Washington farm labor association praises the state Department of Employment Security’s efforts on an upcoming wage survey but says issues remain.

Farmer and his family growing Royal produce

- Santos and Zenaida Guadarrama are closing in on 20 years of operating a 12-acre vegetable farm near Royal City, Wash., providing produce to farmers’ markets in Wenatchee and Moses Lake.

PNW cherry harvest enters final stretch

- Cherry growers in the Pacific Northwest have enjoyed relatively good weather and fruit quality, but crop compression kept prices and grower returns low in mid-season.

Growers worried by packer’s bankruptcy

- Gold Diggers Apples Inc., a small, grower-owned cooperative on the U.S.-Canadian border, is in bankruptcy. Growers are concerned about getting paid.

Feds increase immigration-related fines

- Federal departments have increased a number of fines for violations of immigration and foreign guestworker regulations, the WAFLA farm labor association warns.

California’s fresh pear crop estimated to be down 8 percent

- Conversion of acreage to wine grapes, fire blight disease and demand by canneries all are contributing to California’s continued decline in fresh pears.

Noncitrus fruit production down in 2015

- The latest USDA NASS report on U.S. noncitrus fruit shows production down 4 percent and value down 2 percent in 2015 from the previous year.

California forecasts smaller apple crop

- The California apple industry has been declining for years but that could be turning around, the director of the state’s apple commission says.

Dairies reducing nitrogen, EPA says

- The EPA says three dairies are making progress three years into an agreement to address nitrogen levels contributing to groundwater contamination. It’s costing the dairies millions of dollars.

Number of Hispanic farm operators continues to grow

- From poverty and early death of his mother in Mexico, Jesus Limon became an orchard owner in Washington state. Hispanic farm owners are increasing but slowly because of lack of capital and marketing.

PNW cherry harvest moving well

- Packouts are rebounding after June 18 rain damage and Pacific Northwest cherry volume will remain heavy the next two weeks with supply fairly even with demand.

Washington leads again in blueberries

- For the second year in a row, Washington leads the nation in blueberry production. About 70 percent of the state’s crop is processed and 30 percent sold fresh.