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Matthew Weaver

NE Washington Reporter
Weaver, Matthew

Consultant: Railroads already near capacity

- Transportation consultant Terry Whiteside says the Pacific Northwest rail capacity is already nearly full, and will be overly full with coal and oil trains through the region. He expects agricultural commodities to be adver...

Farmers sign on to Odessa water project

- Farmers in Eastern Washington are preparing to spend $48 million to bring water from the Columbia River to their farms, replacing water from the declining aquifer. Construction is expected to begin this summer, says Darryll...

WSU expert helps ranchers avoid pollution problems

- Washington State University Extension expert Stephen Van Vleet in Colfax, Wash., is working with ranchers concerned about the state Department of Ecology considering them presenting a possible pollution risk. Van Vleet advi...

‘Harvest Heritage’ book honors pioneer agriculture

- "Harvest Heritage" authors Richard Scheuerman and Alex McGregor spotlight pioneering early farmers, farm families and researchers in their new book. McGregor, president of the McGregor Company, hopes to reach out to generat...

WSU puts decision-making tools online for farmers

- Online tools from Washington State University will help farmers access research information to make grain variety selections and manage nitrogen fertilizer. Drew Lyon, leader of the WSU Extension Small Grains research team,...

Hastings issues subpoena for bladderpod science

- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service documents related to its decision to list the White Bluffs bladderpod as a threatened species are the subject of a House Natural Resources Committee subpoena.

Washington wants to add 100,000 ag acres by 2020

- Washington hopes to add 100,000 more acres of working farmland by the year 2020. Natural resources assessment section supervisor Kirk Cook says the state wants to combat losses of prime farmland to development, particularly...

High tunnel workshop to help growers extend season

- Tilth Producers of Washington and Washington State University are offering farmers a workshop to learn how to use high tunnels to extend their growing season. Small farms coordinator Pat Munts says the tools can help expand...

Agencies aid landslide recovery efforts

- Washington agencies are working to support recovery efforts at the landslide near Oso, Wash.

Stripe rust found in Willamette Valley wheat

- Initial stripe rust reports in the Willamette Valley are later than the last few years in western Oregon, says Oregon State University Extension cereals specialist Mike Flowers, but still indicate that the disease has overw...

Northwest wheat acreage down slightly this year

- The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service is reporting an overall 3 percent decrease in planted wheat acres across the Pacific Northwest for 2014.

Grain company rehabbing barge facility

- The Scoular Company has signed a 25-year agreement to lease a barge-loading facility to ship grain for export out of the Port of Walla Walla's Burbank, Wash., industrial park. Port executive director Jim Kuntz says the Omah...

Proposed instream flow rule protects water rights, Ecology says

- A proposed Washington State Department of Ecology instream flow rule for the Spokane River will protect state ownership of waters in an aquifer system shared with Idaho, officials say. Water section manager Keith Stoffel sa...

Extended Little Goose lock closure creates logjam for grain shipments

- Repairs on the Little Goose Lock and Dam navigation lock are delaying grain traffic until May 1. The extended closure is creating a logistical logjam, says Arvid Lyons, general manager of Lewis-Clark Terminal in Lewiston, I...

Idaho senator touts pulse nutrition programs

- Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, is promoting new Farm Bill programs that support pulse crop nutritional research and inclusion in school menus. Crapo says the efforts will expand markets for pulse producers.

WSU to hire marketer for its cereal varieties

- Washington State University is creating a new position to promote its cereal varieties to growers and the industry. The best products need active promotions and marketing to survive, says WSU Extension Director Rich Koenig.

Ranchers evacuate livestock from mudslide area

- Washington ranchers have moved their livestock to other sites or higher ground due to the flooding risk after a massive landslide near Oso, Wash. Arlington, Wash., sheep producer Linda Neunzig said her roughly 350 animals a...

WSU researcher weighs sweet potato potential

- Washington State University Extension vegetable specialist Tim Waters says sweet potatoes could be a good niche crop for warmer locations in the Columbia Basin.

Ecology advisory group seeks clarity for ag

- The agriculture and water quality advisory committee for Washington Department of Ecology recently held its first meeting to discuss priorities important for agricultural stakeholders. Cattle rancher and co-chair Vic Stokes...

Black Sea uncertainty may boost grain prices

- The Black Sea region faces reductions in its grain harvest due to moisture and political uncertainty, says Olivier Bouillet, executive director of Agritel International.

Landowners concerned over new Ecology river rule

- The Washington Department of Ecology is developing an instream flow rule to protect water in the Spokane River. There's supposed to be little impact to agriculture, according to the department, but local landowners are conc...

WSU horticulture specialist expands horizons

- Jeremy Cowan is the new regional horticulture specialist for Washington State University Spokane County Extension.

Women at ag conference see change as opportunity

- Hundreds of women from around the Pacific Northwest met on Saturday to draw on one another's experiences during Washington State University's conference.

Washington ranchers help S. Dakota blizzard victims

- Washington ranchers are raising funds to support a South Dakota family that lost more than $1 million in livestock when their cattle died in an October blizzard. Kittitas County Cattlemen's Association President Sam Kayser ...

No-till gives farmer an advantage

- Spangle, Wash., farmer Bob Sievers is finding success in switching to no-till farming from conventional farming. Sievers hopes to further increase the diversiification of his farm with cover crops and crop rotations.

Ag industry opposes Japan’s TPP offer

- U.S. agriculture organizations and bipartisan senators are urging the Obama administration and trade negotiators to refuse Japan's offer in the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, which seeks to protect key agricultural...

Potato farmers, processors reach agreement

- Columbia Basin potato growers have reached an agreement with several processing companies, even though they're receiving a lower price than they expected. Negotiator Dale Lathim, executive director of the Potato Growers of ...

Wash. firm takes over WestBred barley breeding

- Highland Specialty Grains has taken over the WestBred barley breeding program. Commercial manager Bryce McKay sees growth and potential for all market classes of barley.

Dry bean, oat markets trend upward, RMA says

- Risk Management Agency increases prices for dry beans and oats, crops without revenue protection.

RMA announces price projections for 2014 crop year

- The USDA Risk Management Agency has announced projected prices for the 2014 crop year, advising farmers contact their crop insurance agents before the March 17 sales closing date. Spokane regional office director Dave Paul ...

More wolves, fewer livestock deaths in Washington

- The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife says the number of wolves in the state has increased to at least 52 in 13 packs. At the same time, the number of livestock deaths attributed to wolves has decreased.

Agencies sign contracts for Odessa irrigation water

- The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Washington Department of Ecology and East Columbia Basin Irrigation District have signed contracts to bring more water from the Columbia River through the East Low Canal to irrigators. The ir...

Study seeks climate, farm connections

- A $20 million climate change study has issued its annual report providing an update on efforts to help farmers create systems that can handle projected climate change. REACCH project director Sanford Eigenbrode says the sco...

USDA surveys growers about fusarium head blight

- The USDA Agricultural Research Service's U.S. Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative is surveying more than 16,000 U.S. farmers for fusarium head blight, or scab, management.

U.S. potato industry anticipates Mexico access as soon as Monday

- The U.S. potato industry expects word as soon as Monday on access to Mexican fresh potato markets.

Commission giving away 10,001 bags of potato chips

- The Washington State Potato Commission will give away 10,001 1-ounce bags of potato chips on National Potato Chip Day.

Women’s conference expands across region

- Washington State University's Women in Agriculture conference will broadcast to 27 locations March 15, including new sites in Idaho and Oregon.

WSU Extension offers cattle handling video

- Washington State University Extension is providing ranchers with a video of low-stress cattle handling workshops. Extension regional specialist Sarah Smith says reduced stress helps animal and rancher alike, and further wor...

Crews evaluate 65-foot crack in dam

- Workers are evaluating a 65-foot-long crack in a Wanapum Dam spillway section for repair needs. Grant County PUD public affairs officer Chuck Allen says it's too soon to tell what the irrigation impacts will be.

Spud growers, processors continue negotiations

- The next meetings for Columbia Basin potato growers and potato processors negotiating contracts for the 2014 spring planting season are slated for early March. The two sides have a symbiotic relationship, says Dale Lathim, ...

Washington snowpack reaching normal levels

- Washington snowpack levels returned to normal as a result of February storms, which is easing water managers' concerns. But soil moisture is still lacking following a dry fall, says Scott Pattee, water supply specialist for...

USDA adjusts organic insurance program

- The USDA Risk Management Agency has made adjustments to its crop insurance programs to better reflect the prices organic crops garner.

PED virus found on Idaho hog farm

- Idaho state veterinarian Bill Barton says a case of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus has been found in his state. The farm has been quarantined and the state is working with the farmer to eliminate the virus and prevent its ...

Workshops help small farmers find success

- Washington State University Extension and Spokane Conservation District are offering courses in March to assist small farmers in making good business decisions. Small farms coordinator Pat Munts says the classes will demon...

McMorris Rodgers ‘closely’ watching farm bill implementation

- Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., says she'll be watching implementation of the 2014 Farm Bill to make sure new rules and provisions will be workable for farmers in Eastern Washington. McMorris Rodgers anticipates provi...

Washington declares emergency rule for pig virus

- The Washington State Department of Agriculture is requiring evidence that pigs entering the state are free of the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, which is spreading throughout the United States.

Farm bill ‘critical’ to ag research

- Washington State University and University of Idaho agriculture officials say the passage of the Farm Bill means a positive outlook for federal funding for research efforts. WSU associate dean of research Jim Moyer says the...

Plant virus research may lead to thrips control

- Washington State University virus genomics professor Hanu Pappu says information learned about the tomato spotted wilt virus will benefit researchers battle a number of related virus, including the iris yellow spot virus af...

Nationwide forums promote cover crops

- Eastern Washington farmers are working to find the right mix of cover crops to improve their soil health. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service held forums around the nation to coincide with a national conference.

Malting barley group offers variety recommendations

- The American Malting Barley Association has added two new varieties to its list of recommendations for farmers to plant in 2014.