Capital Press | http://www.capitalpress.com Capital Press Sat, 26 Jul 2014 00:02:24 -0400 en http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/staticimage/images/rss-logo.jpg Capital Press | http://www.capitalpress.com Intermountain Grain & Livestock http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20140725/intermountain-grain-livestock http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20140725/intermountain-grain-livestock#Comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 15:38:53 -0400 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014140729890 POCATELLO — White wheat 5.40 (steady); hard red winter 5.91 (down 9); 14 percent spring 6.22 (up 8); hard white 5.91 (down 9);

BURLEY — White wheat 5.57 (up 5); 11.5 percent winter 5.81 (up 26); 14 percent spring 6.50 (up 45); hard white 6.15 (up 20); barley 6.75 (steady);

OGDEN — White wheat 5.85 (up 5); 11.5 percent winter 6.20 (up 10); 14 percent spring 6.82 (up 18); barley 7.65 (steady); corn 7.89 (up 5);

PORTLAND — Soft white 6.78 (up 7)); white club 7.44 (up 23); 11 percent winter 7.22-7.47 (up 11); 14 percent spring 810 (up 8); oats 280.00 (steady);

NAMPA— Soft white 10.00 (up 8) cwt or 6.00 (up 5) bushel.

LIVESTOCK AUCTION —— Twin Falls Livestock Auction on July 23. Slaughter and feeder cows 90.00-124.00; bred cows none; cow/calf pairs 2,175.00; slaughter and feeder bulls 113.50-148.00; steers: heavy 207.00-228.50, light 235.50-249.00, stocker 270.00-320.00; heifers: heavy 204.00-216.75, light 214.00-243.00, stocker 249.00-292.50; July 19: feeder hogs 105.00/hd, fats 275.00-300.00/hd, boar 230.00/hd; lambs 132.50-185.00; ewes 44.00-65.00; bucks 45.00-85.00; goats 45.00-240.00/hd; baby calves 5.00-150.00. No remarks.

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Portland Daily Grain Report http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20140725/portland-daily-grain-report http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20140725/portland-daily-grain-report#Comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 15:38:44 -0400 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014140729891 Bids for grains delivered to Portland, Oregon during July by unit trains and barges, in dollars per bushel, except oats and corn, in dollars per cwt. Bids for soft white wheat are for delivery periods as specified. Hard red winter wheat and dark northern spring wheat bids are for full July delivery. Bids for corn are for 30 day delivery.

September wheat futures closed eight to 10.75 cents per bushel higher than Thursday’s closes.

Bids for US 1 Soft White Wheat delivered to Portland in unit trains and barges during July trended 9.25 cents per bushel higher compared to Thursday’s noon bids for the same delivery period. Bids were supported by the higher Chicago September wheat futures. Some exporters are not issuing bids for nearby delivery.

Bids for 11.5 percent protein US 1 Hard Red Winter Wheat for July delivery trended 10.75 cents per bushel higher than Thursday’s noon bids for the same delivery period. The higher Kansas City September wheat futures supported cash bids. Some exporters are not issuing bids for nearby delivery.

Bids for 14 percent protein US 1 Dark Northern Spring Wheat for July delivery trended eight cents per bushel higher compared to Thursday’s noon bids for the same delivery period, in following the higher Minneapolis September wheat futures. Some exporters are not issuing bids for nearby delivery.

Bids for US 2 Yellow Corn delivered to Portland and the Yakima Valley were not available.

All wheat bids in dollars per bushel

US 1 Soft White Wheat - delivered by Unit Trains and Barges

Jul mostly 6.7850, ranging 6.3800-7.0800 up 9.25

Aug NC 6.8300-7.0300 up 9.25

Sep 6.8300-6.9300 up 9.25-5.00

Oct 6.7975-6.9100 up 9.50-unch

Nov 6.8475-6.9475 up 9.50-0.75

US 1 White Club Wheat - delivered by Unit Trains and Barges

Jul mostly 7.4450, ranging 6.8800-7.8300 up 9.25-19.25

US 1 Hard Red Winter Wheat - (Exporter bids-falling numbers of 300 or

better)

Ordinary protein mostly 7.2725, ranging 7.1425-7.3925 up 10.75

10 pct protein mostly 7.2725, ranging 7.1425-7.3925 up 10.75

11 pct protein 7.2225-7.4725 up 10.75

11.5 pct protein

Jul mostly 7.3525, ranging 7.2125-7.5125 up 10.75

Aug NC 7.2125-7.5125 up 10.75

Sep 7.2125-7.6125 up 10.75-15.75

Oct 7.5525-7.8025 up 11.00

Nov 7.5025-7.8025 up 11.00

12 pct protein 7.2625-7.5125 up 10.75

13 pct protein mostly 7.3925, ranging 7.2625-7.5125 up 10.75

US 1 Dark Northern Spring Wheat (with a minimum of 300 falling numbers, a maximum

of 0.5 part per million vomitoxin, and a maximum of one percent total damage)

13 pct protein 7.5975-7.7975 up 8.00

14 pct protein

Jul mostly 8.1075, ranging 7.9775-8.2775 up 8.00

Aug NC 7.6775-8.0775 up 8.00

Sep 7.5775-8.3275 up 8.00

Oct 7.8500-8.4000 up 7.75

Nov 7.8500-8.4000 up 7.75

15 pct protein 8.2175-8.5975 up 8.00

16 pct protein 8.4575-8.9175 up 8.00

US 2 Yellow Corn in dollars per CWT

Domestic-single rail cars

Delivered full coast-BN NA

Delivered to Portland NA

Rail and Truck del to Willamette Vly NA

Rail del to Yakima Valley NA

Truck del to Yakima Valley NA

US 2 Heavy White Oats in dollars per CWT 14.0000 unch

Not well tested.

Exporter Bids Portland Rail/Barge Jun 2014

Averages in Dollars per bushel

US 1 Soft White by Unit Trains and Barges 6.9900

US 1 Hard Red Winter (Ordinary protein) 7.8500

US 1 Hard Red Winter (11.5% protein) 7.9700

US 1 Dark Northern Spring (14% protein) 8.3900

Source: USDA Market News Service, Portland, OR

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GMO initiative to appear on Nov. 4 ballot in Maui http://www.capitalpress.com/AP_Nation_World/20140725/gmo-initiative-to-appear-on-nov-4-ballot-in-maui http://www.capitalpress.com/AP_Nation_World/20140725/gmo-initiative-to-appear-on-nov-4-ballot-in-maui#Comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 15:32:57 -0400 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014140729892 WAILUKU, Hawaii (AP) — Maui County voters will cast ballots in November on a proposal to impose a moratorium on the cultivation of genetically engineered organisms.

The Maui County Council on Thursday declined to take action on a voter initiative for the moratorium. This cleared the way for the measure to appear on the Nov. 4 general election ballot, The Maui News reported.

The group Sustainable Hawaiian Agriculture for the Keiki and the Aina Movement collected more than 9,000 signatures in support of the initiative.

Council members had the option of passing the measure as an ordinance, but policy committee Chairman Riki Hokama said he had “legal concerns” about the bill’s structure and about it not being compliant with the county charter. He recommended allowing the measure to go to the ballot without council approval.

“In good conscience, I will not ask you to vote on this proposal because of the flaws and the other issues that the chair feels are too important to ignore,” he said.

Hundreds of people testified before the committee on both sides of the hotly debated measure.

Two companies that grow genetically modified crops in the county — Monsanto Co. and Dow Chemical Co.’s AgroSciences affiliate Mycogen Seeds — have said hundreds of people would lose their jobs on Maui and Molokai if the measure passed.

In a written response to the council’s action, the SHAKA Movement on Thursday evening disputed the “loss of jobs” campaign by the biotech industry, saying that it “shows how our elected officials can be easily swayed by misinformation.”

The proposed moratorium would make it illegal to cultivate, grow or test genetically modified crops in Maui County until companies complete environmental and public health studies to show their practices are safe.

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Fresno Food Expo draws record number of vendors, buyers http://www.capitalpress.com/California/20140725/fresno-food-expo-draws-record-number-of-vendors-buyers http://www.capitalpress.com/California/20140725/fresno-food-expo-draws-record-number-of-vendors-buyers#Comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 15:22:26 -0400 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014140729893 FRESNO, Calif. — An exposition designed to link food producers with buyers and retailers drew a record number of participants on July 24, organizers said.

The fourth annual Fresno Food Expo featured 126 food and beverage companies including growers, processors and other manufacturers from the eight-county San Joaquin Valley, according to a news release.

The vendors met with 700 pre-qualified representatives from restaurants, food-service and retail companies as well as more than 1,000 members of the public, organizers said. The numbers marked a 93 percent increase in exhibitors and a 250 percent jump in buyers since the expo began in 2011, they said.

Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin said in prepared remarks that organizers are “overwhelmed by the impact” the expo has had on the area’s economy.

“The Fresno Food Expo has put a spotlight on our region, highlighting the fact that we are truly the breadbasket of the world attracting buyers from all over the globe who are looking to find our own local products to purchase,” she said.

Presented by Union Bank, the Food Expo moved its date from March to July to accommodate a greater variety of fresh commodities from small and large growers, cooperatives and ethnic producers, the release explained. Registration is being taken for the next expo on July 23, 2015.

The valley is home to more than 2,500 fresh produce growers and packers, which accounted for an economic impact of $113.4 billion in 2012 and more than 72 percent of California’s agricultural value, according to the release.

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Capital Press calendar of events http://www.capitalpress.com/Nation_World/Nation/20140725/capital-press-calendar-of-events http://www.capitalpress.com/Nation_World/Nation/20140725/capital-press-calendar-of-events#Comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 13:48:16 -0400 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014140729894 To submit items to the calendar, send an email with information to calendar@capitalpress.com

AUGUST

OREGON

Aug. 2-3 — Great Oregon Steam-Up, featuring Allis Chalmers tractors, 7 a.m.-6 p.m., Antique Powerland, I-5 exit 263 Brooks, http://www.antiquepowerland.com

Aug. 6 — Crook County Fair, 1280 Main St., Prineville

Aug. 9-10 — Historic Dufur Threshing Bee, Draft Horse and Steam Show, Dufur, www.dufurthreshingbee.org

Aug. 20 — Urban Horticulture Field Day, 9 a.m., Oak Creek Center for Urban Horticulture, 844 SW 35th St., Oregon State University campus, Corvallis, Al Shay, 541-737-2503

Aug. 21 — Polk Soil and Water Conservation District annual meeting, 5:30-8:30 p.m., Seabreeze Farms, 7145 Perrydale Road, Amity, RSVP by Aug. 1, 503-623-9680, ext. 113, www.polkswcd.org

Aug. 21-23 — Farwest Nursery Trade Show, Portland Convention Center, http://www.farwestshow.com/

Aug.22-Sept. 1 — Oregon State Fair, Salem, http://oregonstatefair.org

Aug. 26 — Onion Variety Day, 9 a.m., Oregon State University Malheur Experiment Station, 595 Onion Ave., Ontario, Janet Jones, 541-889-2174

Aug. 29 — Turf Grass Field Day, 8 a.m., Lewis-Brown Farm, 33329 Peoria Road, Corvallis, Alec Kowalewski, 541-737-5449

WASHINGTON

Aug. 1-10 — Clark County Fair, Ridgefield

Aug. 6-10 — Grays Harbor County Fair, Elma

Aug. 6-9 — Skagit County Fair, Mt. Vernon

Aug. 7-10 — Pierce County Fair, Graham

Aug. 8-10 — Jefferson County Fair, Port Townsend

Aug. 12-16 — Grant County Fair, Moses Lake

Aug. 13 — Twilight Forest Tour, Black Diamond, http://forestry.wsu.edu/nps/events/twilight/

Aug. 14 — Farm Walk at Seattle Tilth Farm Works, Auburn, Tilth Producers of Washington and the Washington State University Small Farms Team, tilthproducers.org

Aug. 15 — Washington State University Carrot Field Day, 9-11 a.m., WSU Pasco, 2280 North Road 80, 509-545-3511 or twaters@wsu.edu

Aug. 21-23 — The Grain Gathering, Washington State University Mount Vernon Agriculture Research & Extension Center, 16650 State Route 536, Mount Vernon, (360) 848-6120, thegraingathering.com

Aug. 28 — Washington State University Onion Field Day, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Carr Farms, 509-545-3511 or twaters@wsu.edu

IDAHO

Aug. 8 — Forest Insect and Disease Field Day, 8 a.m., meet at Bonner County Fairgrounds, $10 registration fee, University of Idaho Extension, 208-263-8511, http://www.uidaho.edu/extension/forestry

Aug. 9 — Using Your GPS workshop, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., University of Idaho Extension Office, Kootenai County, 1808 North Third St., Coeur d’Alene, 208-446-1680, http://www.uidaho.edu/extension/forestry

Aug. 15 — Growing your Own Tree Seedlings workshop, University of Idaho Extension, $20 fee, 208-446-1680, http://www.uidaho.edu/extension/forestry/content/stewardship

Aug. 15-24 — Western Idaho Fair, 5610 Glenwood, Boise, 208-287-5650, http://www.idahofair.com/

Aug. 30-Sept. 6 — Eastern Idaho State Fair, 97 Park St., Blackfoot, (208) 785-2480, http://www.funatthefair.com

SEPTEMBER

INTERNATIONAL

Sept. 1-3 — Agrifoodtec, Nairobi, Kenya, www.agrifoodteceastafrica.com

Sept. 7-10 — Saudi Agriculture 2014, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, www.recexpo.com

OREGON

Through Sept. 1 — Oregon State Fair, Salem, http://oregonstatefair.org

WASHINGTON

Sept. 5-21 — Washington State Fair, Puyallup, http://www.thefair.com

CALIFORNIA

Sept. 23-25 — Fresh-Cut Products: Maintaining Quality and Safety Workshop, University of California-Davis, http://postharvest.ucdavis.edu/Education/FreshCut/

IDAHO

Through Sept. 6 — Eastern Idaho State Fair, 97 Park St., Blackfoot, (208) 785-2480, http://www.funatthefair.com

OCTOBER

NATIONAL

Oct. 20-22 — National Farmland, Food And Livable Communities Conference, American Farmland Trust, Lexington, Ky., www.farmland.org

WASHINGTON

Oct. 24-25 — Washington State Sheep Producers annual convention, Leavenworth, www.wssp.org

NOVEMBER

CALIFORNIA

Nov. 3-5 — Produce Safety: A Science-based Framework Workshop, University of California-Davis, http://postharvest.ucdavis.edu/Education/Produce-Safety/

WASHINGTON

Nov. 10-11 — Dairy Industry Annual Meeting, Heathman Lodge, Vancouver, http://wastatedairy.com

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Drought fallows cropland, but the lawns are still green http://www.capitalpress.com/Opinion/Editorials/20140725/drought-fallows-cropland-but-the-lawns-are-still-green http://www.capitalpress.com/Opinion/Editorials/20140725/drought-fallows-cropland-but-the-lawns-are-still-green#Comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 11:53:14 -0400 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014140729896 State officials say 80 percent of California is experiencing severe drought.

That’s not a surprise to farmers in the Golden State who have faced curtailments and who have been forced to let land go fallow.

The state has imposed mandatory water conservation measures on urban residents, too. No watering sidewalks, no washing cars with hoses that lack nozzles that can be closed, limiting landscape watering to two days per week.

Despite widespread news coverage, it doesn’t look like everyone in California has heard the message. It’s even unclear that many cities and counties are taking the situation seriously.

Take the story of Michael and Laura Korte of Glendora, Calif. CBS News reported earlier this week that the couple decided to heed Gov. Jerry Brown’s call for a 20 percent cut in water consumption. They stopped watering their lawn. But then, when their lawn went brown the city sent them a notice threatening them with fines of up to $500 if they didn’t green it up.

While touting that its conservation efforts have reduced consumption by 12 percent, the city says property owners are still expected to keep up appearances as required by city code. “Conserving does not mean property owners should allow vegetation to die or go unmaintained,” the city’s website warns.

Because drought has long been an issue, municipal governments and water districts have been encouraging conservation efforts for years. Yet, the Los Angeles Times reports that since May 2013, water consumption along the Southern California coast has actually increased by 8 percent.

And though the state has imposed fines of $500 for people who waste water, non-farm water users are mostly on the honor system when it comes to enforcement. According to the Mercury News, the city of Los Angeles has one person assigned to the job. The city’s “water cop” has a beat of more than 500 square miles that includes 4 million residents.

It’s a big job, so enforcement is largely complaint driven. But, the Mercury News reports, 30,000 complaints since 2009 have yielded only 300 citations and fines. Water cop Rick Silva — he prefers to be called a “water educator” — admits he tries to educate violators rather than be heavy-handed.

The Orange County Register reported that officials there are using the “carrot and stick” approach to water conservation. In that county of suburban swimming pools, coastal resorts and theme parks, each resident uses an average of 144 gallons of water per day. The Register says that compares to 125 gallons per capita in Los Angeles, and 50 in cities hardest hit by drought.

The carrot: Financial incentives for homeowners who replace lawns with drought-tolerant landscaping. The stick: Door hangers and written warnings — once local governments rewrite ordinances to match the state’s rules. Not much of a stick.

While state and federal water regulators have used their authority to cut water to the state’s $43 billion agriculture industry, most urban customers have not faced limits on the quantity of water available.

Water allocation and delivery in California is a complicated business, so we are wary of sounding simplistic. But in an emergency, everyone should be expected to do their part. Farmers included. It seems, however, that green lawns should be sacrificed ahead of jobs and livelihoods.

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Farmers to feds: ‘Trust, but verify’ http://www.capitalpress.com/20140725/farmers-to-feds-trust-but-verify http://www.capitalpress.com/20140725/farmers-to-feds-trust-but-verify#Comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 11:51:28 -0400 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014140729897 The Soviet Union was long ago deposited into the dustbin of history, but one phrase former U.S. President Ronald Reagan coined about dealing with the faltering “evil empire” remains: “Trust, but verify.”

Though this newspaper rarely reports on nuclear proliferation, which Reagan and then-Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev limited through negotiations during the 1980s, we occasionally hear references to “Trust, but verify” from farmers, ranchers and timber operators.

They are not talking about the Soviet leaders and their propensity for welching on their word and mischief-making.

Rather, they are talking about some U.S. government agencies.

It is sad and ironic that U.S. citizens say they cannot implicitly trust the government when it comes to enforcing federal law, promulgating regulations and entering into agreements.

Recent history illustrates the origin of that distrust.

The most notorious example is the U.S. Department of Labor’s use of the “hot goods” designation as it extracted huge fines from three blueberry growers for alleged wage-and-hour violations that, years later, it has yet to prove. Agency officials claimed growers violated the law by allowing several pickers to use the same ticket, thus avoiding paying the minimum wage. They invoked the hot goods provision of the law, which meant the growers couldn’t sell their crops until they admitted to the violation. Agency emails show a paucity of evidence to prove their case, but DOL officials seem intent on pushing ahead in a shocking display of bureaucratic peevishness.

The trustworthiness of federal agencies remains in doubt elsewhere. Ranchers have been entering into agreements with their local soil and water conservation districts to protect the greater sage grouse, whose range stretches across 11 Western states. The districts are acting as a trusted intermediary between the ranchers and the federal government because some federal agencies are seen more as advocates than as even-handed regulators.

Most recently, Idaho farmers and ranchers find themselves in a quandary over revised dust rules. They have worked with the state Department of Environmental Quality to come up with compromise rules that exempt farm-related activities.

However, they are hesitant to submit those rules to the federal Environmental Protection Agency. If the EPA were to approve the rules, farmers would gain an added layer of protection against dust complaints. But farmers fear the possibility that the rules could mutate under the EPA. Some anti-farm groups seem to have an inside track with the EPA, and farmers don’t want to expose the rules to a potential re-write.

After all, it was the EPA — along with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers — that offered “new and clearer” regulations on the “waters of the U.S.” that, at every turn, provide the agencies with more power and farmers with less opportunity to defend themselves.

We’re not sure how best to restore the trust between these federal agencies and farmers. Maybe it will take a change in leadership, or in the culture of the agencies. Maybe it will require both.

But until the agencies earn the respect of farmers and ranchers, “trust, but verify” will continue to be a part of modern agriculture’s lexicon.

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Taylor Ranch launches into Space Age, sort of http://www.capitalpress.com/RuralLife/20140725/taylor-ranch-launches-into-space-age-sort-of http://www.capitalpress.com/RuralLife/20140725/taylor-ranch-launches-into-space-age-sort-of#Comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 12:34:03 -0400 RYAN TAYLOR http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014140729895 TOWNER, N.D. — One of the new, exciting developments in agriculture is the potential for unmanned aerial systems to give farmers and ranchers a bird’s-eye view of what’s going on with their plants and animals.

Maybe that’s what our 10-year-old had in mind when he bought a model rocket launch set with money he had been saving. Kind of a next step into UAS technology for the Taylor Ranch following up on Fourth of July bottle rockets and parachute fireworks.

Either that, or he just saw the cool picture on the box and the words “High altitude rocket!” and “1,100 feet!” on the front. Exciting stuff, as indicated by the exclamation points. Actually, looking at the box, nearly everything was followed by an exclamation point, such as “Includes Launch Pad and Controller!” and “More Exciting Choices!” I guess that’s how rocket people talk! And my son and I would soon be part of that exclamatory fraternity!

It would be my son and I because, while the age recommendation said 10 and up, it was quickly followed with “adult supervision under 12” — or was that “adult supervision under 12!” Either way, I wouldn’t have not been part of this easy-to-assemble project to explore the air space above our ranch.

The potential uses for UAS in agriculture are nearly endless. Outfitted with cameras and software, the little farm drones could update you on plant development, weed infestations, pinpointed needs for spray or fertilizer and all without traipsing across the field. Us livestock guys could be checking cattle and fences from our desk, and find out if the stock water tank two miles away is still full on a hot day.

Granted, a lot of the potential is yet to be sorted out as the rules are written for commercial uses and designated airspace and privacy concerns, but the idea of getting to play with a remote controlled helicopter or airplane and make it part of your work is pretty engaging. For now, on the Taylor Ranch, the adult supervisor and the supervised were going to send that rocket up 1,100 feet and see what we thought about sending stuff up in the air.

The first time we had it all set up and ready to go, we packed up the whole family, set it up in a wide open area, had a camera ready to capture the action and did a “T minus 10” countdown. Nothing. Just disappointment and mosquito bites. We packed it in.

A week or two later, adult supervisor and the supervised put a different rocket engine (the neat explosive part) and starter (the little piece of wire that makes it explode when you hit the switch that sends current from the battery) in it. We just went a couple hundred feet out in the pasture, no siblings, no camera, because past experience told us that it probably wouldn’t work anyway.

“Ten, nine … ZOOM!” Off it went before we even got to eight. It was then that we realize how hard it is to see a little yellow rocket 1,100 feet in the air. It pops out the orange-and-white parachute, all according to plan. I lose sight of it as it drifts northwest from the southeast wind. Son loses sight of it as it drifts toward the setting sun.

As of this writing, we have yet to find our rocket. Gladly, it was unmanned. Sadly, the claim on the box that “this rocket can fly over and over again!” may not prove out for us.

I guess if we’re going to experiment with a UAS on the ranch, we just as well lose the $30 ones and get that out of our system before getting into the $3,000 or $10,000 models.

For now, I have something to keep an eye out for as I check that pasture with our old technology — by horseback.

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Iconic breeder writes the book on club wheat http://www.capitalpress.com/Research/20140725/iconic-breeder-writes-the-book-on-club-wheat http://www.capitalpress.com/Research/20140725/iconic-breeder-writes-the-book-on-club-wheat#Comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 11:10:19 -0400 Matw Weaver http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014140729901 PULLMAN, Wash. — Called an icon among Pacific Northwest wheat breeders, Bob Allan wrote the book on club wheat, a sub-class of soft white wheat vital to the region’s farmers.

Now he has published it.

Allan recently published “Club Wheat,” which focuses on its rich history and research on the wheat, which is unique to the Pacific Northwest.

The head of club wheat is more compact than other classes, giving it a clubbed appearance. It has less gluten and is blended with soft white wheat to make western white wheat to meet the needs of overseas customers on the Pacific Rim. Western white wheat is typically a blend of 80 percent soft white wheat and 20 percent club wheat and is used in cakes, cookies and pastries.

Washington state, with 230,000 acres, accounts for 77 percent of the entire U.S. club wheat crop, according to the USDA. The rest is produced in Oregon and Idaho.

Allan was a USDA Agricultural Research Service wheat breeder for 39 years. He retired in 1996, and is now an adjunct crop scientist, still coming in to his office on the Washington State University campus in Pullman.

Allan intended his book for both researchers and farmers.

“The story had never been put together,” he said. Club wheat was originally brought to the Northwest from Chile, Mexico and California.

At one point, farmers in a dozen states grew club wheat, although it was not as high-quality as it is now, Allan said.

Club wheat dropped from more than 50 percent of production in the region to as low as 5 percent. It now accounts for about 10 percent of the region’s production, Allan said.

Allan was hired as a geneticist to work with renowned USDA wheat breeder Orville Vogel. Vogel elected to focus on soft white wheat, and Allan focused on club wheat.

With Vogel, Allan worked to identify the genes that produced the important semi-dwarf trait in wheat, said Rich Koenig, associate dean and director of WSU Extension. Allan also developed the soft white winter wheat variety Madsen, Koenig said, calling him “one of the pioneers and leaders in an exciting time for the industry and science.”

“He moved club forward by incorporating multi-gene stripe rust resistance and preserving club’s unique quality attributes,” Koenig said.

Allan’s accomplishments continue to influence wheat breeding programs today, Koenig said. Madsen is still a valuable variety and breeding stock for its “nearly unmatched” combination of resistance to six or more diseases.

“Bob is truly an icon in the wheat world,” said Kim Kidwell, executive associate dean of academic programs for WSU’s College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences and a former spring wheat breeder. “Bob is one of the premiere wheat geneticists of all times, and his efforts in gene discovery and gene deployment were instrumental in making wheat production profitable in Washington state and around the world.”

Current USDA wheat breeder Kim Campbell and WSU wheat breeders are working on club wheat, but Allan sees a need for even more research, calling it “the Cadillac of soft white wheats — the best there is.”

“If we’re one of the only places that can grow it, we should focus on that,” he said.

Allan and his daughter Robin printed 100 copies of the 31-chapter book.

Now that it has been published, he intends to cut back, but said he still experiments with wheat on a portion of the 158-acre farm he rents out.

To order a copy

To purchase “Club Wheat,” send a name, mailing address and $35 payment to Bob Allan’s daughter, Robin Allan, 3202 Old Moscow Road, Pullman, WA 99163-9785.

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Here’s the real reason for high meat prices http://www.capitalpress.com/Opinion/Letters/20140725/heres-the-real-reason-for-high-meat-prices http://www.capitalpress.com/Opinion/Letters/20140725/heres-the-real-reason-for-high-meat-prices#Comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 11:49:12 -0400 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014140729898 The old saying, “Don’t believe anything you read and only half of what you hear,” is so true about your edition dated July 4.

Your front page story about high meat prices and the reasons you give are off the wall.

The real reason meat is so high can be found in one word — “ethanol.” Period, end of story.

Steve Richards

Homedale, Idaho

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Citizens can’t win against federal government http://www.capitalpress.com/Opinion/Letters/20140725/citizens-cant-win-against-federal-government http://www.capitalpress.com/Opinion/Letters/20140725/citizens-cant-win-against-federal-government#Comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 11:38:12 -0400 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014140729899 Your editorial “Landowners make deals to protect their livelihood” is pretty optimistic. If you want to make deals with the federal government, I would suggest you talk to a Native American.

Before I was 10, I was working with my family and friends in the Cedar Camps. Cedar Camps were the “bounty” of the public domain and the “deal” the federal government had with the rural Americans living out West. Anyone could go in and buy up to $2,700 of a “green slip stumpage” timber sale, and “hocus pocus,” you had a job. Now that was a job, an honest job, that didn’t pay money, but the general store would barter and put all your products (fence posts, shakes or shingles) on their books as cash credit and you could get clothes, shoes, boots and staples or other food items with that credit.

But that deal, as with all government deals, went to hell. The USDA decided that a timber company could only bid on a government timber sale in a Forest Service district they owned a sawmill in.

The first thing that happened was the big corporate lumber companies bought out some small mill in all the Forest Service districts.

The second thing that happened was the big outfits then would bid outrageous (read gimmick) prices for stumpage on one species of timber in any sale that came up. Soon there were no small mills anymore.

The other effect was is the meantime, the USDA made a rule that any “high demand” timber species could not be sold on a “green slip” timber sale. Which probably had something to do with the bidding by the corporations. So all the timber in the national forests became the assets of the corporations, and everyone either had to work for them or go hungry.

My advice to anyone contemplating making a deal — forget it. We already spend $1.7 trillion in hidden taxes, called compliance costs or “red tape,” that is a losing hand and no one will win except the government. It is described in a Washington Times column: http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/middle-class-guy/2011/aug/17/175-trillion-dollar-red-tape-economy/

Some other quotes:

“We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.” — Aesop, 620-560 B.C.

“They must find it difficult. ... Those who have taken authority as the truth, rather truth as authority.” — Gerald Massey, May 29, 1828-Oct. 29, 1907

“The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it.” — George Orwell

You can’t win with a losing hand.

David Mendenhall

Moscow, Idaho

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Government out of control http://www.capitalpress.com/Opinion/Letters/20140725/government-out-of-control http://www.capitalpress.com/Opinion/Letters/20140725/government-out-of-control#Comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 11:38:06 -0400 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014140729900 Your July 11 Capital Press commented on several issues, like “Trust, but verify,” “Agriculture must stick together,” “Why we’re singing ‘That’s Enough’ on EPA’s water rule” and “Group protects property rights.”

It appears (to be) a slow awakening to the fact we have allowed government to get too big.

Some are aware of Agenda 21, which is part of the 2000 U.N. millenium development goal to implement a one world government under its control. They have and are implementing Agenda 21 with our government’s help.

This group is composed of the world’s elite and powerful, CEOs, bankers and many in our own government plus corporations like Monsanto that are pushing their GMOs with life and environmental effects. ...

You find the Environmental Protection Agency and other unnecessary departments implementing laws and rules that eventually cause loss of property ownership. Constitutionally, Congress should be the lawmakers, but these departments are making and enforcing these laws and we, through the years, have accepted this rather than using the law of the land and telling them to ship out.

Through the years they are preventing us from making a living off the land and confiscating it, and so much more.

Many years ago, the Oregonians in Action group held a public meeting showing how these and other departments were implementing rules and laws to get us off the land, into cities and high-rise buildings so they could get control of our every move.

If we don’t fight for our rights, hold our government and legislators accountable or remove them from office, we will be destroyed. There will be no America without freedom.

How many realize that it is your hard earned money that is keeping our nation afloat, pays the salaries of all the officials and yet we allow them to ignore us.

If you don’t have a copy of the Constitution, get it, read it and use it. Start with demanding to cut off all funds to the U.N. and get out of it, abolish the unconstitutional Federal Reserve and their collection agency, the IRS.

It’s up to all of us to stand up and fight for our rights and freedoms for which our forefathers gave up their lives to achieve for us.

Are we patriots defending our country and rights? Or are we so brainwashed with political correctness that we allow them to put a chain around our neck and ball and chain on our leg?

What say ye? Research and stand up.

Mrs. M.A. Novak

Yamhill, Ore.

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‘Farmland’ film set for Boise Aug. 6 http://www.capitalpress.com/20140725/farmland-film-set-for-boise-aug-6 http://www.capitalpress.com/20140725/farmland-film-set-for-boise-aug-6#Comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 10:36:57 -0400 Sean Ellis http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014140729902 BOISE — The new documentary film, “Farmland,” will be shown at the Egyptian Theatre in Boise Aug. 6 and will be followed by a panel of farmers who will discuss important agricultural issues and answer questions from the audience.

The 87-year-old Egyptian Theater in the heart of Boise’s downtown district can seat 747 people.

Organizers of the Idaho showing hope to attract a large urban audience so they can learn more about agriculture from the film and the panelists.

“We want the general public to attend the event, not just the agricultural community,” said Idaho State Department of Agriculture employee Chanel Tewalt. “We want people who don’t know anything about agricultural practices to show up, meet Idaho farmers and be able to ask questions.”

ISDA Director Celia Gould said organizers hope to attract a diverse audience for the event, which starts at 6 p.m.

“We hope this event serves as a catalyst for greater understanding and communication between the agricultural community and consumers,” Gould said in a news release.

The film, which provides viewers a first-hand glimpse into the lives of six young farmers and ranchers across the nation, was produced by Oscar and Emmy award winning director James Moll.

Moll visited the farmers several times throughout the year and chronicled their ups and downs.

In a news release, Moll said audiences will hear thoughts and opinions about agriculture, “but not from me, and not from a narrator. They’re from the mouths of the farmers and ranchers themselves.”

When Tewalt, a rancher, found out the feature-length film wasn’t scheduled to be shown in Idaho, she reached out to Idaho’s farming community, which raised the $8,000 needed to bring it here.

The money was donated by groups representing Idaho potato, sugar beet, wheat, barley, beef, dairy, fruit and vegetable and dry bean growers.

“We think it’s very important for folks to better understand the role of agriculture, particularly in Idaho,” said Frank Muir, president and CEO of the Idaho Potato Commission. “We’re very supportive of helping folks here in Idaho better understand farmers.”

The panel will include producers who represent several farm commodities. This will give the audience a chance to hear from and ask questions of Idaho farmers and ranchers, Tewalt said.

“We want them to meet the people growing and raising their food, make that personal connection and see the face of Idaho agriculture,” she said. “People don’t know farming but they want to know farmers and this gives them that opportunity.”

Tickets for the event can be reserved by calling (208) 332-8502 or by emailing anna.pratt@agri.idaho.gov. A suggested donation of $5 will be accepted at the door and proceeds will go to the Idaho Foodbank.

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Photos show Southern Oregon’s fledgling wolf pack http://www.capitalpress.com/Oregon/20140725/photos-show-southern-oregons-fledgling-wolf-pack http://www.capitalpress.com/Oregon/20140725/photos-show-southern-oregons-fledgling-wolf-pack#Comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 10:31:46 -0400 Eric Mortenson http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014140729903 Trail camera photos released by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service show OR-7’s pups are thriving in Southern Oregon.

Photo’s on the agency’s website http://www.fws.gov/oregonfwo/Species/Data/GrayWolf/PhotoGallery.asp#July24 show two pups, and wildlife biologist John Stephenson said there could be three or more. Stephenson photographed two pups peering out from under a log when he and another researchers were looking for the fledgling pack in June, and he heard what may have been other pups scurrying off in the timber.

Black and white photos on the agency’s website were taken this month by a remote camera that is triggered by a motion detector. One clearly shows a pup with big feet, much like a young dog that will grow into a much larger adult. Stephenson estimated the pups weight about 35 pounds now.

“They look like they’re doing well,” Stephenson said.

Another photo shows OR-7 himself, the wandering wolf that left Northeast Oregon’s Wallowa County in 2011 and cut a diagonal path across the state and into California, becoming the first wolf documented in that state since 1924.

In May, the wildlife service announced OR-7 had apparently found a mate, an unknown black female, and pair most likely had denned together and produced pups in an undisclosed location deep in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. She’s also been photographed this month, trotting down a forest road with what appears to be a bone in her mouth.

The area where the wolves were photographed is a “rendezvous site” where the pups stay while the adults hunt, Stephenson said. The family has moved several times as the pups have grown and are better able to travel.

Stephenson said there’s been speculation that the female is a hybrid that escaped or was turned loose by its owner, but he discounts that.

“There’s no evidence that an animal of domestic origin is out in the wild,” he said. He and another researcher have collected wolf scat for DNA testing, which may determine the female’s origin. All known Oregon wolves are related to wolves released in the state from Idaho.

Stephenson said the battery on OR-7’s radio collar, which he’s worn since 2011, is weakening and the signal is being picked up by satellite less frequently than in the past. Researchers want to re-collar him or put a collar on the female, but will wait until late summer or early fall to do so, he said. Right now is a “challenging time” for the pair because they are feeding pups, Stephenson said.

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Appeals court upholds proposed bullet train route http://www.capitalpress.com/California/20140725/appeals-court-upholds-proposed-bullet-train-route http://www.capitalpress.com/California/20140725/appeals-court-upholds-proposed-bullet-train-route#Comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 09:39:57 -0400 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014140729904 SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A state appeals court on Thursday upheld a proposed route for California’s high-speed rail line connecting the San Francisco Bay Area to the Central Valley.

The decision is a short-term win for Gov. Jerry Brown, who has prioritized the $68-billion project that has become bogged down by legal and regulatory challenges.

The Third District Court of Appeals in Sacramento heard an appeal from San Francisco Bay Area cities arguing that a planned path through Pachecho Pass hurts the environment.

The state argued the project was exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act because it is overseen by the federal Surface Transportation Board.

The court upheld the environmental review but also said the project must still abide by state environmental rules.

“Today’s court ruling reaffirms our successful compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act,” Lisa Marie Alley, a spokeswoman for the California High-Speed Rail Authority, said in a written statement.

Plaintiffs’ attorney Stuart Flashman says it’s not clear if his clients will appeal to the California Supreme Court. He noted that the ruling preserved a valuable tool for future challenges.

“Just because they’ve gotten through this hurdle, doesn’t mean they’ve finished the race,” Flashman said.

The appeals court is also expected to rule on two other high-speed rail challenges. Decisions by a lower court judge last November complicated efforts to begin construction by invalidating the sale of $8.6 billion in state bonds and requiring the state to write a new funding plan.

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Satellites show major Southwest groundwater loss http://www.capitalpress.com/Water/20140725/satellites-show-major-southwest-groundwater-loss http://www.capitalpress.com/Water/20140725/satellites-show-major-southwest-groundwater-loss#Comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 09:37:56 -0400 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014140729905 SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Groundwater losses from the Colorado River basin appear massive enough to challenge long-term water supplies for the seven states and parts of Mexico that it serves, according to a new study released Thursday that used NASA satellites.

Researchers from NASA and the University of California-Irvine say their study is the first to quantify how much groundwater people in the West are using during the region’s current drought.

Stephanie Castle, the study’s lead author and a water resource specialist at the University of California-Irvine, called the extent of the groundwater depletion “shocking.”

“We didn’t realize the magnitude of how much water we actually depleted” in the West, Castle said.

Since 2004, researchers said, the Colorado River basin — the largest in the Southwest — has lost 53 million acre-feet, or 17 trillion gallons, of water. That’s enough to supply more than 50 million households for a year, or nearly fill Lake Mead — the nation’s largest water reservoir — twice.

Three-fourths of those losses were groundwater, the study found.

Unlike reservoirs and other above-ground water, groundwater sources can become so depleted that they may never refill, Castle said. For California and other western states, the groundwater depletion is drawing down the reserves that protect consumers, farmers and ecosystems in times of drought.

“What happens if it isn’t there?” Castle said during a phone interview. “That’s the scary part of this analysis.”

The NASA and University of California research used monthly gravity data to measure changes in water mass in the basin from December 2004 to November of last year, and used that data to track groundwater depletion.

“Combined with declining snowpack and population growth, this will likely threaten the long-term ability of the basin to meet its water-allocation commitments to the seven basin states and to Mexico, Jay Famiglietti, senior author on the study and senior water-cycle specialist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in a statement.

The Colorado River basin supplies water to about 40 million people and 4 million acres of farmland in seven states — California, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming — as well as to people and farms in part of Mexico.

California, one of the nation’s largest agricultural producers, is three years into drought. While the state has curtailed use of surface water, the state lacks a statewide system for regulating — or even measuring — groundwater.

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Lightning strike kills four cows, calf in N. Idaho http://www.capitalpress.com/Idaho/20140725/lightning-strike-kills-four-cows-calf-in-n-idaho http://www.capitalpress.com/Idaho/20140725/lightning-strike-kills-four-cows-calf-in-n-idaho#Comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 09:34:28 -0400 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014140729906 COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho (AP) — Four cows and a calf died in northern Idaho after being hit by lightning.

The Coeur d’Alene Press reports that the lightning strike on Wednesday killed the livestock owned by Hayden-area rancher John Symons.

Symons estimates the loss at $4,500.

Silverwood Theme Park spokesman Mark Robitaille says numerous trees fell in the recreational vehicle park and that some damaged RVs.

No injuries were reported.

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Davis: Sale positions Davisco Foods for growth http://www.capitalpress.com/Idaho/20140725/davis-sale-positions-davisco-foods-for-growth http://www.capitalpress.com/Idaho/20140725/davis-sale-positions-davisco-foods-for-growth#Comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 09:33:30 -0400 Carol Ryan Dumas http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014140729907 Davisco Foods International, a privately held business owned by the Davis family and headquartered in Le Sueur, Minn., has sold it cheese and dairy-food-ingredient business to Agropur, Canada’s largest dairy cooperative.

“It’s an opportunity to partner with someone we feel is a lot like us — a big company that acts like a small company,” said Davisco CEO Jon Davis, grandson of Davisco founder Stanley Davis.

Davisco didn’t have to sell but wanted to continue to grow and expand and offer opportunity for its employees, he said.

“It was a business decision based on business. It was the right time for the business to look at an opportunity to grow,” Davis said.

In this age of consolidation in the dairy industry, size and scope matter in being competitive going forward. It offers an opportunity for everyone, including Davisco’s milk suppliers and employees, he said.

Consolidation is happening in many industries and although it sounds like an economics class, efficiencies in size and economics is real, he said.

Davis will remain as manager of the Davisco division under Agropur, retaining the same management team and employees, he said.

“They’re buying us because we’re good at what we do, and they’re not interested in messing with success,” he said.

Davisco processes 3.8 billion pounds of milk and produces more than 375 million pound of cheese and 180 million pounds of whey ingredients annually, about half at its plant in Jerome, Idaho. It has 900 employees, with about 300 at the Jerome facility, Davis said.

Agropur’s acquisition includes three Davisco cheese processing factories in Jerome, Le Sueur, Minn., and Lake Norden. S.D. It also includes an ingredients plant in Nicollet, Minn., a cheese shop in Le Sueur, and sales offices in the U.S. and abroad.

The transaction will double Agropur’s U.S. processing operations and will increase its global milk intake by 50 percent. It will also strengthen its position in the North American and international dairy industries, Agropur stated in a press release on Tuesday.

“With over $1 billion in annual sales, this acquisition is by far the largest transaction in Agropur 76 year history,” Serge Riendeau, president of Agropur, said in the release.

The transaction, combined with the most recent ones in Canada, will increase Agropur’s sales to over $5.4 billion on an annualized basis, and the company should reach 12.1 billion pounds of milk processed each year in 41 plants across North America, the company stated.

Davisco employees were informed of the sale on Tuesday, and naturally there were concerns. But after explanation, employees were comfortable and even excited about their own opportunity for growth, Davis said.

“We will never know if the timing was perfect, but it happened because we are comfortable with what (Agropur is) all about and the way they treat people,” he said.

Agropur operates a lot like Davisco, with a similar culture and a DNA/family component. The company treats people right and cares about its clients and employees, he said.

Davisco has been in operation for 71 years, and its employees are family friends, he said.

“We’re not going to risk that or their livelihoods,” he said.

The acquisition, at an undisclosed amount, is targeted to close Aug. 1, Davis said.

Online

Agropur: www.agropur.com

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Power to be restored to much of Methow Valley http://www.capitalpress.com/Washington/20140725/power-to-be-restored-to-much-of-methow-valley http://www.capitalpress.com/Washington/20140725/power-to-be-restored-to-much-of-methow-valley#Comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 09:32:35 -0400 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014140729908 TWISP, Wash. (AP) — Officials say they plan to restore power to much of the wildfire-ravaged Methow Valley on Friday.

The Okanogan Public Utility District says it plans to re-energize its substation in Twisp on Friday afternoon. The Okanogan County Electric Co-operative also said that it will restore power to most of its service area, with the exception of damaged areas of Beaver Creek, Loup Loup and Finley Canyon.

Thousands of people in the scenic valley about 180 miles northeast of Seattle have been without power since the Carlton Complex of fires burned utility lines a little more than a week ago. The complex is the largest fire recorded in state history, and has destroyed about 150 homes in north-central Washington.

The fire is a little more than half contained, and crews have made good progress in the last two days thanks to cooler weather and rain. Firefighters were attacking the perimeter of the fire Thursday.

“We are able to go direct, and we are doing that while we have the opportunity,” said fire spokesman Pete Buist.

Buist said earlier in the week they could not get close to the perimeter because of high temperatures and strong winds.

However, the weather is forecast to get hot and dry over the next few days.

The Carlton Complex of fires remained at nearly 400 square miles, or 250,489 acres on Thursday. It is being fought by about 2,500 people.

Two other major fires are burning in north-central Washington.

The Chiwaukum Complex near Leavenworth has burned 12,225 acres, is 10 percent contained, and has 1,000 firefighters on the scene.

The Mills Canyon fire remains at 22,571 acres and is 90 percent contained.

The Washington National Guard is helping fight the fires with four Blackhawk helicopters based at the Omak airport and two Chinook helicopters in Leavenworth, said Major Rebeccah Martinazzi.

The guard has dropped about 650,000 gallons of water on the Carlton Complex since it started, said Capt. Joseph Siemandel on Thursday.

“This fire is a lot more wild than the fires we’ve been over before,” said National Guard Sgt. Mark Logan. “This one’s very unpredictable.”

The Carlton Complex is blamed for one death after a man died of a heart attack while hauling water and digging a fire line to protect his home.

President Barack Obama on Wednesday declared a state of emergency in Washington because of the fires. The declaration authorized the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to coordinate disaster relief and help state and local agencies with equipment and resources.

The Carlton Complex is larger than the 1902 Yacolt Burn, which consumed 238,920 acres in southwestern Washington and was the state’s largest recorded forest fire, according to HistoryLink.org, an online resource of Washington state history.

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Bark beetles killing Columbia River Gorge pines http://www.capitalpress.com/AP_Nation_World/20140725/bark-beetles-killing-columbia-river-gorge-pines http://www.capitalpress.com/AP_Nation_World/20140725/bark-beetles-killing-columbia-river-gorge-pines#Comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 09:28:52 -0400 JUSTIN RUNQUISTThe Columbian http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014140729909 VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — With wildfires sweeping across Central Washington, researchers just south in the Columbia River Gorge are taking a close look at a tiny insect that tends to devour healthy pines after the flames die down.

Every year since 2010, they’ve watched one outbreak after another of the California fivespined ips, a little brown bark beetle that likes to feast on ailing pine trees. Scientists believe the insect is native to California and Oregon but that it’s recently begun to thrive in Washington.

The infestation appears to be fairly uniform throughout Skamania and Klickitat counties in Washington and Hood River and Wasco counties in Oregon, said Darren Nichols, the executive director of the Columbia River Gorge Commission.

“The beetles are decimating the standing pine trees throughout the four counties here at the eastern end of the Gorge,” Nichols said. “The dead trees stand out amongst the landscapes, where it creates an immediate visual impact until the trees are removed.”

This time of year, the beetles tunnel their way into the bark, where they consume the moist insides of the trees and lay their eggs there. As many as half of the adults move on to colonize other trees, and when the eggs hatch, the larvae emerge to eat the living tissue beneath the bark.

The beetles also carry blue stain fungus, which drains the trees of their nutrients, causing them to starve to death.

Normally, healthy pine trees can push the beetles out with their sap. After enduring the stress of a fire, however, the weakened trees lose their defense mechanism and become prey to the beetles.

Researchers have learned that when the beetle populations become massive enough, they can even take down clusters of healthy ponderosa pines, said Todd Murray, an entomologist with Washington State University’s Skamania County extension office.

So far, large populations of the beetle appear to be concentrated mostly east of Clark County on both the Washington and Oregon sides of the Gorge, especially near White Salmon and Hood River. A smaller population has taken root in Vancouver.

Murray and his team of researchers have even trapped the insects as far northeast as Goldendale and as far northwest as Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Landowners in Underwood, a small town across the Columbia River from Hood River, Ore., began seeing something amiss among their trees several years ago, when the tops of seemingly healthy ponderosa pines started to dry out and turn orange.

“They started noticing large mature trees that were losing their tops and seeing the mortality of pine trees in groups of six to 10 trees,” Murray said. “By the time it’s red, it’s dead.”

In a way, the outbreak wasn’t particularly unusual, as other bark beetle species have had similar population booms in the state in recent years. But normally, the outbreaks only continue for a year or two before populations begin to shrink, Murray said.

“Probably the ips beetle is the most unpredictable because we don’t know how long this is going to continue,” he said.

Murray expects the beetles to continue thriving throughout the Gorge, especially near The Dalles and White Salmon, where wildfires have burned in recent years. The researchers also are keeping an eye on land to the north and east to see if the beetles continue to spread.

This summer, the researchers are working with several agencies to teach landowners what they can do to protect their trees from the insect.

“As far as trying to eradicate the beetles, it’s really difficult,” Murray said. “A single landowner trying to eradicate the beetles is kind of like taking a teaspoon (of water) out of the ocean.”

The best scenario they can hope for is bringing the populations down to manageable levels. The most effective way to do that is through healthy forest management, including forest thinning, he said.

In some cases, the Gorge Commission also has consulted with landowners and entomologists to remove trees that pose safety hazards to their homes, said Angie Brewer, a planner with the commission.

Taking down the trees can actually be trickier than it might seem, Brewer said. You wouldn’t want to do that during the warmer months, when the beetles are active.

“If they’re not removed at the right time, you can actually make more habitat for the beetles,” she said.

Most bark beetle outbreaks subside when their food supply drops off, Murray said. Usually the bark beetle eats its way through all the weakened trees, and as its population dwindles from a lack of food, it can no longer overwhelm the healthy standing trees.

A harsh winter might kill them, but temperatures tend not to drop low enough in the Gorge, Murray said.

Many researchers attribute the beetle’s propagation in Washington to climate change.

Murray notes that at lower population levels, the beetles actually help forests by getting rid of dying trees and making room for new ones to grow.

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Drought starting to kill salmon in Klamath Basin http://www.capitalpress.com/Water/20140725/drought-starting-to-kill-salmon-in-klamath-basin http://www.capitalpress.com/Water/20140725/drought-starting-to-kill-salmon-in-klamath-basin#Comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 09:26:07 -0400 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014140729910 ORLEANS, Calif. (AP) — Low warm water conditions from the drought are starting to kill salmon in Northern California’s Klamath Basin — the site of a massive fish kill in 2002.

A recent survey of 90 miles of the Salmon River on found 55 dead adult salmon and more dead juveniles than would be expected this time of year, Sara Borok, an environmental scientist for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, said Thursday. About 700 live fish were counted in cool pools fed by springs.

Fisheries officials do not want see a repeat of 2002, when an estimated 60,000 adult salmon died in low warm water, but she said there is little to do but pray for rain.

The Salmon is a tributary of the Klamath River, and home to one of the last remnants of spring chinook salmon in the Klamath Basin, which return from the ocean in spring and stay in the river until October, when they spawn and die. A tributary of the Klamath River, it has no storage dams. Even in the Klamath, which has dams to store water, there is little available for extra releases.

“We are all nervous,” Borok said. “We are all kind of going, ‘We need rain because it is heating up this week.’ There will be mortalities, given the low flows and high temperatures. It is just to what extent. We are all screaming to our people to make decisions to find us water. There isn’t much to be had, because we are in a drought year.”

Representatives of a wide range of organizations interested in the river are holding weekly meetings, she said. Posters have been distributed asking people to report when they see an unusually high number of dead fish — more than 55 in a mile of river.

Glen Spain of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, which represents California commercial salmon fishermen, said the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation was meeting minimum flows in the Klamath River set under a biological opinion for threatened coho salmon.

“This is the sort of situation we are all going to have to cope with through the summer,” he said. “And it’s going to be a white-knuckle ride, there is no doubt about that.”

In 2001, a drought forced water shutoffs in a federal irrigation project straddling the Oregon-California border to assure enough water flowed down the Klamath River for threatened coho salmon. But in 2002, the Bush administration ordered irrigation to resume, resulting in low warm water in the Klamath River. When a record run of 181,000 chinook returned in September, an estimated 60,000 died from gill rot disease that spread as fish crowded into low and warm pools while waiting for higher water to move upstream to spawn.

Borok said at least this year, a smaller return of salmon is expected: only about 60,000.

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Summer camp teaches city kids about farming http://www.capitalpress.com/California/20140725/summer-camp-teaches-city-kids-about-farming http://www.capitalpress.com/California/20140725/summer-camp-teaches-city-kids-about-farming#Comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 09:14:14 -0400 Tim Hearden http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014140729911 Capital Press

REDDING, Calif. — Like most of his fellow students, 11-year-old Cameron Troutman didn’t know much about farming when he came to summer camp.

But the youngster from Evergreen Middle School in Cottonwood, Calif., got to try his hand at everything from discing a field to moving cattle into a pen during a week-long gathering at a school farm here.

“I like working on the farm,” Troutman said. “I just like working with the cows and goats, stuff like that.”

Troutman was one of about 17 middle school and early high school students who were attending an agriculture-themed camp July 21-25 put on by Redding’s city recreation department and the Shasta County Farm Bureau. Two week-long camps for elementary school children were offered earlier in the month.

The youngsters started each morning with light chores — feeding animals, looking for chicken eggs and cleaning pens — before spending the rest of the morning at one of four stations. The kids rotated from day to day working with horses, welding, caring for sheep and riding a tractor to cultivate a pumpkin patch.

The students also received classroom instruction on such topics as irrigation and how different cuts of meat are graded, said Ashley Grotz, a professional ranch hand who was serving as a camp counselor.

The first-ever camp was designed to give urban kids firsthand knowledge of what happens on a farm, said Grotz, who studied agricultural business and animal science at California State University-Chico.

“It’s just giving them an opportunity to see these things that they aren’t immersed in every day,” said Grotz, adding that some of the kids have expressed interest in joining 4-H or FFA or learning more about their high school ag programs.

The city and Farm Bureau offered the camp as a way to generate interest in vocational education programs and to highlight the farm, which is used by students from Redding’s two high schools, Shasta and Enterprise.

“Everyone here gets to do something,” said Tiffany Martinez, a rancher and manager of the Shasta County Farm Bureau. “It’s not just classroom learning.”

Troutman and his friend, 15-year-old Zak Smith of Redding, said the camp gave them an interest in pursuing careers in farming. The hands-on activities are what attracted Smith to the camp, he said.

“I thought it’d be fun to get to work with animals,” he said.

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‘Urban Grange’ project breaks ground in Portland http://www.capitalpress.com/Oregon/20140725/urban-grange-project-breaks-ground-in-portland http://www.capitalpress.com/Oregon/20140725/urban-grange-project-breaks-ground-in-portland#Comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 09:01:11 -0400 Eric Mortenson http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014140729912 PORTLAND — Zenger Farm, a former dairy that has become a training ground for urban farmers and a link to healthy local food for some of the city’s poorest neighborhoods, broke ground this past week on a 6,600 square-foot education center, commercial kitchen and office.

The $2.3 million project (http://zengerfarm.org/index.php?page=grange), largely funded through donations, represents both a statement and a pivot point for Zenger Farm. While the organization will continue to train beginning farmers and to grow food, it will expand its youth education programs by 80 percent and serve as an entrepreneurial “incubator” for start-up food businesses.

Adding the economic development aspect to Zenger’s work marks a “whole new era” for the organization, Executive Director Jill Kuehler said.

To mark Zenger’s enhanced community presence, the building will be called the Urban Grange.

Unlike the Oregon casino developers who unsuccessfully tried to hijack the trademarked Grange name a few years ago, Zenger Farm sought the Grange’s blessing and received it.

Leroy Watson, trademark protection manager for the National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry, confirmed that Zenger has a license to use the name in conjunction with the new facility.

“Their mission to provide farm training, education and food production training to their largely urban customer base corresponds well with the historic mission of the National Grange,” Watson said in an email.

Construction is expected to begin in two weeks, with completion anticipated for spring 2015. Kuehler said about $2 million has already been raised, including major funding from food companies such as Bob’s Red Mill, New Seasons and Bridgeport Natural Foods. The Meyer Memorial Trust and M.J. Murdock Trust also are primary contributors. DECA Architecture donated its time for an initial design. The construction contractor is B&G Builders.

The 16-acre farm, along Foster Road in outer Southeast Portland, originally was part of a 320-acre donation land claim and eventually became a dairy operated by the Zenger family. It’s owned now by the city’s Bureau of Environmental Services, which purchased it as part of a plan to protect the Johnson Creek watershed. In 1999, Friends of Zenger Farm developed a master plan and entered into a 50-year lease with the city.

The farm operates a farmer’s market in Portland’s low-income Lents neighborhood, offers a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture food delivery subscription), conducts a youth program and trains interns to be farmers.

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Wisconsin farmers set record for cranberry harvest http://www.capitalpress.com/AP_Nation_World/20140725/wisconsin-farmers-set-record-for-cranberry-harvest http://www.capitalpress.com/AP_Nation_World/20140725/wisconsin-farmers-set-record-for-cranberry-harvest#Comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 08:46:01 -0400 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014140729914 MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin cranberry farmers increased production by 25 percent last year to harvest a record 6 million barrels.

That’s according to U.S. Department of Agriculture figures released Thursday by Gov. Scott Walker’s office.

Each barrel of cranberries weighs 100 pounds.

Walker says Wisconsin harvested two-thirds of the nation’s cranberries last year and three times as much as Massachusetts, the second-largest cranberry producer.

Walker also says Wisconsin’s apple and cherry growers are doing better after a sudden freeze destroyed buds in 2012.

He says the state now ranks fourth in tart cherry production, harvesting more than 12 million pounds last year. It produced nearly 42 million pounds of apples.

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Alaska governor asks USDA to buy surplus canned pink salmon http://www.capitalpress.com/AP_Nation_World/20140725/alaska-governor-asks-usda-to-buy-surplus-canned-pink-salmon http://www.capitalpress.com/AP_Nation_World/20140725/alaska-governor-asks-usda-to-buy-surplus-canned-pink-salmon#Comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 08:42:51 -0400 BECKY BOHRER http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014140729915 JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Gov. Sean Parnell has asked a federal agency to buy $37 million of canned pink salmon to ease a glut weighing down prices for Alaska fishermen.

Parnell made the request to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

He asked that USDA make the purchase under a federal law that allows for buying surplus foods from farmers and donating them to food banks or other programs. USDA made a similar, smaller purchase of salmon earlier this year.

But Parnell said remaining unsold inventories are driving prices to levels that threaten harvest activity this year and next.

He said the price of canned pink salmon is 23 percent lower than a year ago and the advance price paid to fishermen is down about 33 percent from last year.

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