Matthew Weaver

NE Washington Reporter
Weaver, Matthew

New herbicide resistant wheat varieties spark interest

- Washington State University wheat researchers are working on two-gene herbicide resistance in wheat varieties to help farmers combat grassy weeds.

Farmers, researchers testing microbials

- Monsanto and biotech company Novozymes see a big future in microbials, the use of bacteria and fungi to protect crops from diseases and pests. Farmers are more inclined to use the products as they're proven, said Waterville...

Ag groups, Ecology welcome conversation

- Washington Department of Ecology Director Maia Bellon says advisory committee meetings are helping the regulatory agency and agriculture industry members sort through feelings of distrust.

Former Whitgro bookkeeper charged with stealing $488,000

- Former Whitgro, Inc., bookkeeper Shayne A. Holt faces a count of first-degree theft in Whitman County Superior Court Sept. 19, accused of stealing more than $488,000 from the St. John, Wash., grain company between the fall ...

RMA: Harvest prices below projections

- Harvest prices for most crops, except winter wheat, are below prices projected by the USDA Risk Management Agency last fall. The majority of wheat acres in the Pacific Northwest are insured, says risk management specialist ...

McNary lock closed to river traffic during daylight hours

- The McNary Dam navigation lock near Umatilla, Ore., on the Columbia River will be temporarily closed to river traffic during daylight hours for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers workers inspecting the downstream gate. Pacific No...

Researchers developing herbicide-tolerant barley

- Washington State University researchers hope to release a barley variety that's resistant to imidazolinone herbicides, commonly used in winter wheat production, in the next two or three years.

Researcher finds new nematode in Washington state

- The new nematode, found on several sites in Washington State for the first time, is closely related to a common nematode and isn't any more harmful, said WSU plant pathologist Tim Murray.

Rancher left ‘high and dry’ by canceled wolf hunt

- The Stevens County sheep rancher said he was left "high and dry" when state wildlife officials called off a wolf hunt, forcing him to move his flock to keep it from being attacked.

WSU center to screen seed documentary

- The Washington State University research center in Mount Vernon, Wash., holds a free screening Sept. 12 of "Seeds of Time," a documentary about preserving the world's seed banks.

Sheriff steps up rural patrols in Grant County

- The Grant County Sheriff's Office in Ephrata, Wash., is stepping up patrols in rural areas to try to cut down on property theft, including livestock paneling. The office relies on accurate information from witnesses in the ...

Giving triticale a chance

- A handful of farmers in the Pacific Northwest are raising triticale for forage and for grain. If crop insurance were available for the blend between durum wheat and rye acreage would "skyrocket," says Howard Nelson with Ce...

Lawmaker criticizes how Carlton Complex fire was fought

- Washington Rep. Joel Kretz, of Wauconda, would like to see the state Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee hold hearings to review the handling of the Carlton Complex fire.

WSU to discontinue annual Seattle football game

- The Washington Beef Commission is evaluating future marketing relationships with Washington State University football as the university discontinues its annual game in Seattle. WSU Director of Athletics Bill Moos, a Valleyf...

Jensen leads potato research organization

- Northwest potato research leader Andy Jensen recently took on the title of president of the Potato Association of America. Jensen says a strong association will strengthen the potato industry with research advances.

RMA announces fall canola projected prices

- The USDA Risk Management Agency has announced projected prices for fall canola and rapeseed. Growers have until the Sept. 2 sales closing date to obtain revenue coverage, says risk management specialist Jo Lynne Seufer.

State kills wolf connected to 22 sheep deaths

- The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is allowing Hunters, Wash., rancher Dave Dashiell and staff to kill wolves in the Huckleberry pack that approach Dashiell's flock of 1,800 sheep. Wolf attacks have continued de...

Westside wheat, barley among topics of grain gathering

- Communities looking to reinvigorate local grain economies are meeting as part of the Grain Gathering at Washington State University's Mount Vernon Research Center.

Snake River dredging plan out for public comment

- The Walla Walla, Wash., district of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers puts its sediment management plan for the lower Snake River out for public comment Aug. 22.

Railroad says it’s trying to catch up with demand

- Rail capacity issues in the Pacific Northwest and Northern Plains mean less railcar availability for farmers expecting large harvests. The Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway is working to address the problem, a spokeswoma...

BNSF responds to Cold Train shutdown

- Burlington Northern responds to the closure of a refrigerated car line in Quincy, Wash., whch announced it would shut down due to a reduction in services.

Some exporters dock high-protein wheat

- Some exporters are docking prices for wheat that's high in protein, says Dan Steiner, grains merchant for Pendleton Grain Growers in Pendleton, Ore. Handlers are absorbing the reduced prices, shielding farmers unless the en...

RMA announces supplemental coverage for wheat

- USDA Risk Management Agency announces a new wheat crop insurance option under the 2014 Farm Bill that will help farmers add on to their multi-peril crop insurance policy. The Supplemental Coverage Option is a tool available...

Washington FFA gets new executive director

- Abbie DeMeerleer has been named the new executive director of the Washington FFA Association. A former state and national FFA officer DeMeerleer credits FFA with many opportunities she hopes to ensure are still available to...

High wheat stocks, production yield lower prices

- The latest USDA supply and demand estimate projects higher production and stocks for U.S. and global wheat production. Wheat prices will stay low until more demand is found, market analysts say.

Potato program seeks ‘leaders of tomorrow’

- Applications are due in October for the Potato Industry Leadership Institute, designed to train new leaders to represent the industry.

UI-WSU food science school, S. Korea university form food safety center

- The joint School of Food Science at Washington State University and University of Idaho is teaming up with Seoul National University in Korea to create a Center for Applied Food Safety and Processing. Interim director Barba...

New WAWG executive director looks to future

- Michelle Hennings has moved into the newly created executive director position for the Washington Association of Wheat Growers. Her priority is to reach out to growers at the county level for input.

Filipino millers tour U.S. wheat industry

- Wheat flour millers from the Philippines are touring soft white wheat, hard red spring and hard red winter wheat production regions in the United States. The country is a key importer of U.S. Wheat, and industry officials h...

High global supply keeps wheat prices low

- Wheat harvest in Washington's Whitman County, the highest wheat-producing county in the nation, is under way. But market experts say high global supplies will keep wheat prices down in the $6 to $7 per bushel range until af...

Commission denies conservation groups’ wolf petition

- The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission has denied conservation groups' petition adding requirements for ranchers to receive compensation for depredations of livestock by wolves or before the Washington Department of Fi...

New Spokane chamber CEO seeks to connect ag, other industries

- Steve Stevens, the new president and CEO of Greater Spokane Incorporated, sees the chamber and economic development council as a connecting organization for agriculture and other industries. It's important for the overall e...

Ag groups leery of govt. greenhouse gas report

- The USDA says its new greenhouse gas report will help provide the science to support and develop tools to help landowners manage carbon and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

House passes Endangered Species Act reform

- The House passed a bill that would require the Secretary of the Interior or Secretary of Commerce to make the reasonings for an endangered species listing available on the Internet.

Simplot feedlot fined $24,000 for alleged pollution violation

- The Washington Department of Ecology is fining a Walla Walla County beef cattle feedlot $24,000 for alleged air quality violations due to hay grinding. Simplot Feeders LLP has 30 days to appeal the penalty.

Potato industry battles declining demand

- The potato industry is looking at ways to meet consumer needs in order to address declining consumption trends.

Simplot outlines Innate marketing strategy

- The J.R. Simplot Co. expects USDA approval for its genetically modified Innate potatoes within the next two months. Simplot Plant Sciences Director of Commercialization Kerwin Bradley outlined the strategy for marketing th...

Agencies offer landowners bark beetle assistance

- A bark beetle first discovered in Washington State, the California fivespined ips, is impacting mature trees in the Columbia River Gorge area. Various agencies are teaming up to offer landowners education and assistance to ...

Iconic breeder writes the book on club wheat

- Retired USDA Agricultural Research Service wheat breeder Bob Allan recently self-published a book devoted to club wheat, a key sub-class of soft white wheat.

Aphids on rise in Eastern Washington

- Aphid populations are increasing this year on small grain fields, Washington State University researchers say. Because the insect pests are sporadic, it's hard for researchers and farmers to determine the level of infestati...

Changes approved at USDA Prosser unit

- Proposed changes for a USDA Agricultural Research Service unit in Prosser, Wash., have been approved, redirecting funding and research through laboratories in Pullman, Wash., and Wapato, Wash.

Wildlife managers think like a wolf to trap one

- Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists track, trap and monitor wolves, the better to get a handle on populations and movement throughout the state. Documentation of wolf sightings will open the door to more m...

WSU partners with company to market cereal varieties

- Washington State University will partner with Washington Genetics, LLC. The newly formed company, owned by Washington Grain Commission board member Mike Miller and his wife Marci. will market WSU varieties, manage royalties...

UI president addresses ag funding, partnerships

- New University of Idaho President Chuck Staben says the school will continue to be a strong supporter of farmers and agriculture. The president recently met with the Capital Press to talk about the future of funding, resear...