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Read about recent events and issues concerning agriculture in Washington.

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Washington, Oregon potatoes running a little late

Posted on July 12, 2018 at 1:40 PM Comments comments ()

“So far, literally, it has been an absolutely perfect growing season,” said Chris Voigt, executive director of the Washington Potato Commission, Moses Lake. Read more.

Photo: WA Potato Commission

Washington's stake in farm bills' trade provisions

Posted on July 11, 2018 at 4:45 PM Comments comments ()

Mark Powers, President of the Northwest Horticultural Council (NHC), told Lens that Washington producers are hopeful that the lawmakers will keep in mind requests brought forward by agricultural stakeholders, especially from a trade-dependent state like Washington. Read more.

Photo: USDA

Cherries, apples, wheat: U.S.-China trade war could wilt growth in Washington farm exports

Posted on July 9, 2018 at 1:30 PM Comments comments ()

Approximately $130 million worth of Pacific Northwest cherries went to China last year, accounting for 11 percent of the total crop and a third of export sales. Read more.

Where will all the raspberries go?

Posted on July 6, 2018 at 3:10 AM Comments comments ()

Raspberry farmers in Whatcom county are facing tough times. Read more.

Photo: Lynden Tribune

Native bees, alfalfa seed farmers a N.W. love story

Posted on June 29, 2018 at 2:40 PM Comments comments ()

Native alkali bees are the perfect pollinators for Walla Walla alfalfa crops! Read more.

Photo: Doug Walsh/WSU

Chickpeas, lentils and other pulses are having a renaissance moment and it's a boon for Northwest farmers

Posted on June 25, 2018 at 1:25 PM Comments comments ()

Our growing love of chickpeas, especially in hummus, is a boon for farmers in Eastern Washington! Chickpeas and other pulses like lentils, dry green and yellow peas, and dry beans are perfect crops in fields that would otherwise lie fallow, because they pull nitrogen from their surroundings and return it to the soil in a form that’s accessible for the next wheat crop. Read more.

Allen Druffel, a fifth-generation farmer near Uniontown, Washington, examines the roots of one of his chickpea plants on Wednesday, June 6, 2018. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

Forbidden fruit: apple maggot quarantine likely in valley

Posted on June 22, 2018 at 12:45 PM Comments comments ()

WSDA is taking public comment on the proposed quarantine through July 23 at wsdarulescomments@agr.wa.gov. There is a public hearing on July 19 at 10 a.m. in the commissioners’ auditorium in Okanogan, plus one in Olympia and one in Yakima. Read more.

Photo Joseph Berger, Budgwood.org

Plants that fight back: WSU researchers join forces to combat parasitic worm

Posted on June 20, 2018 at 12:30 PM Comments comments ()

WSU researchers are working on a new, nature-based way to fight back against a parasitic worm called the root-knot nematode, which causes significant losses to crops such grapes, onions, garlic and our $734 million potato industry. Read more.

Plant pathologist Cynthia Gleason working with experimental plants in her WSU greenhouse, seeks genetic defenses against damaging parasites. Photo by Seth Truscott, WSU Photo.

Student's intellect, drive result in scholarships and grants

Posted on June 19, 2018 at 2:10 PM Comments comments ()

Did you know that one of the tricks to making good wine is reducing the amount of water given to the vine at a certain time each year? WSU graduate student Xiaochi Ma's research is focused on finding the ideal grape quality for wine that’s also sustainable. Read more.

Photo: WSU

Wheat Breeding Not to Blame for Celiac Disease

Posted on June 15, 2018 at 4:40 PM Comments comments ()

Did you know that the celiac-inducing factors in wheat are actually historical genetic remnants found in older “heirloom” types as well as modern varieties? For the 1% of us who suffer from celiac disease, new gene editing techniques will make celiac-safe wheat possible in the near future. Read more.