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Chilean fruit company expands its U.S. footprint
Chilean fruit company expands its U.S. footprint

A large Chilean fruit company is expanding its U.S. footprint with the purchase of property in Oregon and a merger with a California-based berry producer.

Hortifrut of Santiago, Chile, which last year sold roughly $350 million in berries...

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Pacific Northwest hop acreage still climbing
Pacific Northwest hop acreage still climbing

MOXEE, Wash. — Hop acreage is increasing for the fourth straight year in the United States and for the third year globally.

U.S. hop acreage is projected to increase by 6,000 acres this year, a 13 percent rise. That follows a 19 percent...

Cherry expansion faces uphill road
Cherry expansion faces uphill road

WENATCHEE, Wash. — Plans to develop more cherry orchard high in Stemilt Basin near Wenatchee continue to face strong opposition and are straining a community conservation group known as the Stemilt Partnership.

West Mathison, president of...

Despite drought, California almond acreage rose 6 percent in 2015
Despite drought, California almond acreage rose 6 percent in 2015

SACRAMENTO — The drought has done little to slow the growth of almond acreage in California, as the more than 1.1 million overall acres planted in 2015 was 6 percent more than the previous year.

Of last year’s total plantings,...

Mexico may revisit apple tariffs
Mexico may revisit apple tariffs

YAKIMA, Wash. — Mexico may decide the future of its temporary tariffs on Washington apples in early June.

The nation could end the tariffs or extend them for five years, said Fred Scarlett, manager of Northwest Fruit Exporters, a...

H-2A delays cause worker shortages in 20 states
H-2A delays cause worker shortages in 20 states

Federal agency delays in processing visas for foreign guestworkers who tend and harvest America’s food crops are fast approaching crisis proportions, all but guaranteeing crops will rot in fields this year, the American Farm Bureau Federation...

New AVA created for Northwestern Idaho and Eastern Washington

BOISE — Wineries and grape growers in Northwestern Idaho and part of Eastern Washington now have their own American Viticultural Area, which is a specific grape-growing region that is federally recognized as unique.

The Alcohol and...

Strong storms spoil California prune blossom
Strong storms spoil California prune blossom

RED BLUFF, Calif. — Prune producers’ worst fears about El Nino have come true, as strong storms spoiled the March blossom and left many growers with about half their normal crop or less.

Cold temperatures, high winds and heavy...

Hard cider makes an easy connection between urban and rural
Hard cider makes an easy connection between urban and rural

ODELL, Ore. — About 3,200 people packed the Hard-Pressed Cider Fest here April 16, which itself isn’t that unusual. In terms of consumer tastes and response, hard cider is following in the successful Pacific Northwest footsteps of...

Blue Bird rebuilds, Stemilt does elsewhere
Blue Bird rebuilds, Stemilt does elsewhere

WENATCHEE, Wash. — Ten months after wildfire destroyed two tree fruit packing plants in Wenatchee, one is being replaced with a new structure and the other remains idle and partially demolished.

Wildfire driven into town by wind destroyed...

Phytelligence, growers pursue new cherry varieties

WENATCHEE, Wash. — Orchardists who discovered a new cherry variety in 2005 have entered into an agreement with an agricultural company, Phytelligence, to aid them in developing new cherry varieties.

Troy and Kim Toftness, growers south...

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