Dan Wheat

Central Washington Reporter
Wheat, Dan

Speaker urges fight for private property rights

- A former Reagan administration official urges defense of private property rights and says Reagan showed the way.

Real immigration reform must come from Congress, Farm Bureau official says

- It's good that the president is focused on immigration reform but real solutions can only come from Congress, an American Farm Bureau Federation official says.

Carlton Fire: Ranchers, growers face long recovery

- Four months after the largest wildfire in Washington state history burned 256,000 acres, caused one death and millions of dollars in loss of 300 homes, 1,000 cattle, 500 miles of fencing and millions of board feet of timber...

Immigration order unlikely to help ag, labor experts say

- Several agricultural industry labor experts say a presidential order giving legal status and work status to millions of illegal aliens won't help and may worsen the national shortage of seasonal farm labor.

Ag group opposes power rate increases

- An agricultural group doesn't like rate increases adopted by Grant County Public Utility District, saying they switch preference away from farm irrigators and residences to large industrial customers like Microsoft and Yahoo.

Bison meat industry looks to grow

- Bison meat is more common as a high-end, healthy food choice in grocery stores, but the number of farmed animals and producers dropped in the 2012 USDA Ag Census from the one in 2007.

Huge apple crop grows, prices fall

- Washington apple prices are the lowest they've been in eight years as the industry grapples with selling a crop 20 percent larger than the previous receond high.

Insurance extended for late apple harvest

- The federal government has extended multi-peril crop insurance for apple growers by an additional 15 days of harvest due to late maturity of apples.

Washington wine grapes to set record

- Washington wine grape growers are finishing up what will be a record harvest for the third year in a row. Increased acreage and good weather contributed.

Mason bee touted as better pollenizer

- Mason bees are a better alternative to honey bees for pollinating tree fruit and crops, a group of bee producers who are holding seminars in Wenatchee, Hood River and Stockton say.

NW Red, Golden Delicious apples allowed back into China

- China has reopened its doors to Pacific Northwest Red and Golden Delicious apples just in time to help Washington sell its huge apple crop. Industry leaders hope to sell 500,000 to 1 million boxes of apple there over the ne...

Pacific Northwest pear crop estimate grows

- The Pacific Northwest pear crop is larger than expected and off to a good start in sales and prices. Some growers likely will make more money on pears than apples this year.

Poland gains apple access in Canada

- Poland has gained access to Canada for its apples but it may not hurt Washington exports there.

New tree fruit group nominates board

- The temporary board of the new Washington State Tree Fruit Association has nominated a slate of candidates for a new board some of whom are the same. Others can run.

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.