Mateusz Perkowski

Oregon Reporter
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Perkowski, Mateusz

Critics say USDA too close to food industry it regulates

- Critics say the USDA is too beholden to processors as the agency's inspectors monitor how food is handled.

Longshore union leaders go home; port talks continue

- A caucus of longshoremen's union leaders did not approve a labor contract deal with container terminal operators, but the meeting could be a sign negotiations are progressing.

Officials agree not to enforce GMO ban pending trial

- Oregon's Jackson County will not enforce a ban on genetically engineered crops while a lawsuit over the prohibition is underway.

Water supply task force inches forward

- An Oregon water fund task force is making progress toward a compromise that would make $10 million available for water storage projects.

Rain above average, but snow lagging in Washington, Oregon

- Snowpacks are inadequate in Oregon and Washington but Idaho has fared better so far.

Labeling supporters concede recount loss

- The fight over GMO labeling in Oregon is over for now as Measure 92 supporters say they've lost their recount.

Port extends ocean carrier subsidies

- The Port of Portland will continue paying subsidies to ocean carriers so they don't abandon its container terminal facility, which agricultural exporters rely on.

Expiration of farm property tax exemptions proposed

- An Oregon bill proposes ending property tax exemptions for farms in 2018.

Union caucus may lead to progress on port deal

- Agricultural exporters hope an upcoming caucus of longshoremen's union leaders will help resolve a dispute with container terminal operators that has caused shipping disruptions.

Lawmakers mull exempting small counties from land use rules

- Counties with low populations and slow growth would be exempt from Oregon land use planning goals under a bill that will be considered by lawmakers next year.

ODA seeks to double pesticide fines

- Oregon farm regulators want to double pesticide violation fines, but environmental groups are likely to call for even higher increases during the 2015 legislative session.

Ag board looks at conservation easement strategy

- Oregon farm regulators may want to strategically guide conservation easements to protect farmland from development.

New water rules elude task force

- An Oregon task force is still trying to hammer out rules for making $10 million available for water projects.

Hawaii GMO ban overturned

- A Hawaiian county's ban on biotech crops was overturned by a federal judge, but critics of genetic engineering say they scored an important legal point in the ruling.

Court clears helicopter bison hazing

- Helicopter hazing of bison to prevent brucellosis infections in cattle is lawful despite the annoyance to threatened grizzly bears, a federal appeals court ruled.

DOL, farmers in talks to resolve ‘hot goods’ lawsuits

- The U.S. Department of Labor said it's been negotiating a possible resolution to its "hot goods" lawsuits against Oregon blueberry farms.

Christmas tree checkoff delayed again

- USDA has delayed a checkoff program that would raise $2 million a year to promote Christmas trees.

New GMO potato avoids USDA regulation

- A new potato that's engineered with gene deletion doesn't have to be regulated by USDA.

Farms fight DOL bid to broaden ‘hot goods’ case

- A federal judge is scheduled to hear oral arguments on Jan. 13, 2015, about whether U.S. Department of Labor can expand its allegations of "hot goods" labor law violations against Oregon blueberry farms.

Forester eases seedling transactions

- Bob McNitt is a forester who has launched the Forest Seedling Network, which helps connect growers and sellers of seedlings for reforestation.

Irrigation-clogging weed cleared for removal

- Flowering rush, an invasive species that clogs irrigation canals and intakes, has been approved for removal after federal authorities reviewed the proposal under Endangered Species Act.

Curtailed negotiations may prolong port congestion

- Curtailed negotiations between the longshoremen's union and container terminal operators may prolong congestion at West Coast ports, impeding exports of farm products.

President could act in event of port shutdown

- In the event of a container terminal lockout, President Barack Obama can order ports to re-open.

GMO alfalfa growers challenge Oregon county’s ban

- Oregon alfalfa farmers have challenged a county ban on genetically modified organisms based on the state's right to farm law.

Ocean carriers add fees to container shipments

- New fees charged by ocean carriers are adding to problems with port congestion faced by agricultural exporters.

Wheat farmers remain unclear on GMO settlement

- Farmers have uncertainties about the $2 million Monsanto wheat settlement, experts say.

Klamath pact supporters press bill’s passage

- A bill that would ratify dam removal and conservation funding along the Klamath River is running out of time for passage in Congress.

McDonald’s not interested in GMO potatoes

- McDonald's has turned down genetically modified potatoes, but its developer seeks to sell them through alternate channels.

Critics rebuke GMO report

- An Oregon GMO task force report received some mild rebukes from biotech critics recently.

Monsanto to pay $2.4 million to wheat farmers, groups

- Settlement stems from lawsuits growers filed over biotech wheat.

Companies ask judge to dismiss ‘right to farm’ challenge

- Oral arguments are upcoming in a case challenging the constitutionality of Oregon's " right to farm" law.

President could act in event of port shutdown

- In the event of a container terminal lockout, President Barack Obama can order ports to re-open.

Judge dismisses consumer lawsuit against dairy cooperative

- A consumer lawsuit against Darigold has been dismissed. The company believes the case was used to draw publicity to a farm worker unionization effort.

Closure of butcher shops leaves growers unpaid

- Bill the Butcher, an upscale chain of meat shops in Seattle, has shut down with roughly $500,000 owed to nich meat producers across the Northwest.

Container slowdown spreads to California ports

- West Coast port slowdowns are impacting agricultural exports.

With defeat likely, fight for GMO labeling continues

- A ballot initiative on genetically modified organism labeling in Oregon appears headed for defeat.

Josephine County voters reject pesticide ban

- Josephine County voters rejected a ballot initiative banning most commercial pesticide use.

Oregonians reject driver’s cards for illegal immigrants

- Voters defeated an Oregon ballot initiative which would allow for driver's cards for undocumented workers.

Monsanto, wheat growers seek settlement extension

- Disclosure of a settlement between Monsanto and soft white wheat growers has been delayed until Nov. 12. The growers had sued the biotech developer over an unauthorized release of genetically engineered wheat in Oregon last...

Union slowdown causes tension at container terminals

- Container terminal operators are accusing longshoremen of slowing down work at the ports of Seattle and Tacoma.

Task force scraps key water storage fund requirement

- A controversial requirement for obtaining money from Oregon's water supply development fund has been tentatively scrapped by a key task force.

Removal of weed from Columbia requires review

- The federal government must review the removal of flowering rush, an invasive weed, under environmental laws before the plants can be yanked from new sites along the Columbia River in Oregon.

Think tank links H-2A with human trafficking

- A new report from a policy think tank links the H-2A agricultural guest worker program with human trafficking.

Judge believes DOL should return ‘hot goods’ money

- A federal judge recently heard oral arguments in the U.S. Labor Department's "hot goods" case against farmers.

Pollinator task force backs pesticide reporting system

- An Oregon pollinator task force has completed a report to the state legislature with proposals to improve bee health.

Oregon GMO task force drafts report

- Oregon GMO task force agrees on need for regulatory clarity, disagree on exact scheme.

DOL seeks additional charges against growers

- The U.S. Department of Labor wants to expand litigation against Oregon blueberry farmers accused of "hot goods" labor law violations.

Economist doubts population projections

- Projections of massive global population growth may be inflated, which casts doubt on the notion of long term upward pressure on commodity crop prices, an economist says.

77,000-acre cattle operation changes hands

- Another large property in Central Oregon recently changed hands.

Josephine County to vote on pesticide ban

- Opponents of a proposed ban on commercial pesticide use in Oregon's Josephine County say the measure is pre-empted by state law but could nonetheless spur vandalism, trespass and assault.