Dan Wheat

Central Washington Reporter
Wheat, Dan

Growers get tips on Cosmic Crisp apple

- Growers need to think about the best tree structure for robotic picking, a researcher says.

Grower likes new potato digger

- A potato grower enjoys his new self-propelled digger that he believes is among very few of its type in Washigton’s upper Columbia Basin.

USDA approves genetically modified Fuji apple

- The USDA has approved a Canadian-developed Fuji apple, genetically modified to reduce browning when sliced, after approving GM Golden Delicious and Granny Smith apples from the same company in 2015.

First phase of large Washington winery nears completion

- A large new winery, located near the center of Central Washington, is nearing the end of its first $10 million in development to serve its own vineyards and those of others.

National hay growers honor Eckenberg

- The National Hay Growers Association paid tribute its president Bob Eckenberg last week by meeting in Pasco, Wash., and touring his hay press plant 60 miles to the north in Mattawa.

Group of growers start new fruit company

- Five partners have started a new tree fruit packing company, Pine Canyon Growers, in Orondo, Wash., north of Wenatchee.

Quest for robotic apple picker continues

- Researchers continue to pursue development of robotic apple pickers they say could be commercially available in three to five years.

Nurseries propagate millions of Cosmic Crisp apple trees

- Central Washington tree fruit nurseries are budding close to 4 million of the new Cosmic Crisp apple trees for 2018 planting, a top nursery says.

West Coast hay growers look for market bottom

- Inventory still clogged from the port slowdown, quality issues and low milk prices are all keeping hay prices down. Opinions differ on whether market bottom has been reached.

Immigration, labor toughest political issues facing many in agriculture

- Presidential candidates offer agriculture a mixed bag on immigration. Hillary Clinton favors legalizing farmworkers but is unlikely to improve guestworker programs. Trump is more likely to improve those programs but not leg...

DNR to auction farmland owned by trust

- Farmland surrounded by development and prime for residential development in Pasco, Wash., will be auctioned in November by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources.

West Coast exporters feel shipper bankruptcy

- Whether West Coast exporters use Hanjin Shipping or not, they will be impacted by the shipper’s bankruptcy, a freight forwarder says.

Yakima reservoir levels low but adequate

- Reservoirs providing water to nearly 464,000 acres of farmland in the Yakima Basin are expected to finish the irrigation season next month at around an 80 percent drawdown, which is slightly below normal.

Ninth Circuit OKs class action in employment case

- A class action lawsuit against a southern Washington farm for allegedly turning away job seekers and failing to tell them of higher paying jobs may proceed in federal court.

Larger apple crops predicted for many countries

- Northern Hemisphere apple producers expect large crops this fall, likely making the new sales season more challenging for Washington growers.

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...