Dan Wheat

Washington Reporter
Wheat, Dan

Apples still top crop in Washington

- For more than a decade apples have been Washington’s top value agricultural commodity and that continued in 2017 at $2.43 billion of the state’s total $10.6 billion in farmgate value.

Part of Methow Valley under apple maggot quarantine

- The northern part of Okanogan County’s Methow Valley is being added to the Washington State Department of Agriculture’s apple maggot quarantine to try to slow spread of the pest that’s already in some c...

Apple crop estimate takes big drop

- Washington’s apple crop looks like it’s 10.8 percent smaller than estimated two months ago. Fruit set was lighter than first thought due to cool weather during bloom and pollination. The smaller crop should gi...

Washington ranchers struggle with fire recovery

- Twenty ranchers in northcentral Washington are worried about recovery from the state’s largest wildfire they say didn’t receive much public attention because it happened so fast.

Hay exporters worried about China

- While quality and prices have been good this season, West Coast hay exporters are concerned how long Chinese tariffs will damage sales.

WSU, Australia partner on ag robotics

- Washington State University and Australia’s University of Technology Sydney have formed a new Joint Center for Agricultural Robotics.

Pacific Northwest tree fruit industry likes USMCA

- The new USMCA is good for Pacific Northwest tree fruit in that it maintains duty free access and clarifies valid use of sanitary and phytosanitary restrictions, an industy leader says.

New hop farm touts German kiln, cooling

- The newest hop farm in the Yakima region of Washington is proud of a German system, efficient in heating, cooling and conditioning for quality hops.

Legislation delisting gray wolves passes House committee

- The U.S. House Natural Resources Committee has passed a bipartisan bill delisting gray wolves in the 48 contiguous states.

Tariff mitigation announced for almond growers

- Almond growers have until Jan. 15 to apply for 3 cents per pound in retaliatory tariff relief from USDA.

Judge puts grizzlies back under ESA, bans hunts

- A federal judge says the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service errored in delisting Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem grizzly bears in 2017. He restores their listing and bans hunts.

Hop stocks up 16 percent from a year ago

- The supply of U.S. hops, mostly used for making beer, has been increasing for more than two years but the rate of increase maybe beginning to slow.

Apple Commission increases China promotions

- With China’s apple crop down 28 percent, the Washington Apple Commission sees an export opportunity despite tariffs.

Apple Commission to apply for tariff relief

- The Washington Apple Commission will apply for addtional export promotional dollars as part of the Trump administration’s tariff relief. Industry also says 2018 crop is picking short of expectations.

Trade war casualties add up for U.S. ag

- ---- summary to come....

Farmworkers reject UFW in long-fought election

- Farmworkers at California’s largest peach and stone fruit farm reject representation by the United Farm Workers Union by a 5 to 1 margin in ballots counted five years after they were voted.

Federal ag labor bill sits in wings

- A U.S. House bill to address farm labor shortages remains in doubt after failing to get a vote in July. Some groups continue to work for it. Others are not.

Oneonta Starr Ranch more than doubles organic apples

- By adding a new supplier to its organic program and getting more fruit from another, Oneonta Starr Ranch Growers, of Wenatchee, Wash., is more than doubling its inventory of organic apples this season.

New bill seeks to delist gray wolves

- Members of Congress from three states, including Washington, have introduced legislation to delist gray wolves as threatened or endangered in 48 states.

Wyoming, Idaho grizzly hunts stay on hold

- A federal judge has extended his temporary restraining order on grizzly bear hunts in Wyoming and Idaho another 14 days.

North Cascade grizzlies apparently on hold

- An aide to U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Wash., says he doesn’t believe there will be any federal decision on North Cascade grizzly bear reintroduction this month.

Washington fruit export pioneer honored in Asia

- His father was the first exporter of Washington apples and he became the first into Asia. Dalton Thomas, retired president of Oneonta Starr Ranch Growers, Wenatchee, Wash., received an award at Asiafruit Congress in Hong Ko...

Judge puts Idaho, Wyoming grizzly bear hunts on hold

- A federal judge in Missoula, Mont., delayed grizzly bear hunts in Idaho and Wyoming for 14 days while he considers whether the bears should be protected again.

Western Innovator: From Australia to Wenatchee

- He was an innovator in Australia and now as the newest research entomologist at the Washington State University Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center, in Wenatchee, Tobin Northfield is eager to work on pest challenges.

Quincy hosts farmer consumer awareness day

- It all began when a farmer heard a caller on the Paul Harvey radio show say price-gouging farmers weren’t needed because food comes from grocery stores. Thirty-seven years later, the Quincy Farmer Consumer Awareness ...

Pacific Northwest pear forecast increases

- Harvest has started and the forecast of Pacific Northwest fresh pear production is up 1.3 million, 40-pound boxes from what it was in June.

Far from home: The H-2A guestworker

- Antonio de Jesus Bailon is just one of the growing thousands of foreign guestworkers from Mexico harvesting U.S. crops. Growers say despite good pay it’s work Americans don’t want to do.

Utility district raises cryptocurrency power rates

- A Central Washington public utility district has increased power rates for cryptocurrency miners and other evolving-industry firms, starting next year, while a neighboring utility continues to study the issue. Both utilitie...

Mexican trade deal encouraging, Newhouse says

- A preliminary U.S.-Mexico trade deal looks to eliminate tariffs, increase transparency and prevent phytosanitary measures from being used as non-tariff trade barriers, says U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Wash.

Smaller U.S. apple crop forecast

- The U.S. Apple Association, meeting in Chicago last week, forecast this fall’s apple crop at 6 percent less than last year’s crop. Growers fear tariffs will hurt exports. A Washington marketer heralds exceptio...

$86 million sought for cherry tariff damage

- Members of Washington’s congressional delegation have asked USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue for $86 million in tariff damage for Pacific Northwest sweet cherries.

Tree Fruit Research Commission hires new director

- A researcher and project manager for the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission has been hired as the commission’s new executive director, a key position supporting the industry.

Unhealthy smoke slows fruit picking

- Apple and pear pickers are coping with excessive smoke from wildfires polluting skies of Central Washington. Some pickers are not going to work. Others are working shorter hours and some wear masks.