agriculture

Beyond Thanksgiving
3:00 am
Fri November 29, 2013

Northwest Cranberry Growers Wish You’d Eat Their Product Year-Round

Northwest cranberry growers are trying to get more of their product into the supermarket produce section. These berries are for sale at a Salem, Oregon grocery store.
Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 3:16 pm

One out of every five cranberries grown in the U.S. is eaten Thanksgiving week, according to industry giant Ocean Spray.

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Class-Action Lawsuit
3:00 am
Fri November 29, 2013

You Say Potato Co-op, They Say Potato Cartel

USDA

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 2:52 pm

A set of lawsuits winding its way through federal court in Idaho combine a couple phrases you might not expect to find together: "massive international cartel" and "potato."

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Grape Harvest
8:38 am
Wed November 27, 2013

Small Northwest Winemakers May Have More Juice To Work With This Year

Northwest winemakers expect an abundance of high-quality juice this year.
Trey Busch Sleight of Hand Cellars

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 8:23 am

Early crop reports from farmers say Washington and Oregon’s wine grape harvest appears to be up a tick for 2013.

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Agriculture
12:22 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Organic Farmers Bash FDA Restrictions On Manure Use

TK
Dan Charles/ NPR

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 12:01 pm

Many organic farmers are hopping mad at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and their reason involves perhaps the most underappreciated part of agriculture: plant food, aka fertilizer. Specifically, the FDA, as part of its overhaul of food safety regulations, wants to limit the use of animal manure.

"We think of it as the best thing in the world," says organic farmer Jim Crawford, "and they think of it as toxic and nasty and disgusting."

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Worker Rights
2:42 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Silenced By Status, Farm Workers Face Rape, Sexual Abuse

Maricruz Ladino packs lettuce in a cooler in Salinas, Calif.
Grace Rubenstein Center for Investigative Reporting

Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 3:36 pm

This is part one of a two-part report about sexual assault of agricultural workers in the U.S.

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Harvesting Chocolate
3:46 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Child Labor And The Dark Side Of Chocolate

Chocolate shavings.
Habermann 1 Flickr

This Halloween millions of children across the US will hit the streets looking to score some treats and maybe, if they’re ambitious, give their neighbors a fright. But perhaps more frightening is the story behind many of candy they collect.

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Elections 2013
10:01 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Washington's GMO Labeling Initiative Fires Up Global Food Industry

ericksonkee Flickr

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 5:28 pm

Agribusiness and the food industry have pumped a record $17 million into Washington state so far to defeat Initiative 522.

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Climate Change Health Risks
9:25 am
Mon September 30, 2013

How Farmworkers Experience A Warming Climate

For 20 years, Victor Gonzalez has traveled the Pacific Coast picking cherries, pears, and apples. He said he came close to passing out once from the heat. Migrant workers are particularly vulnerable to health problems from heat.
Courtney Flatt Earthfix

HOOD RIVER, Ore. — For 20 years, Victor Gonzales has traveled the West picking crops. In the Northwest that means pears, cherries and apples.

Right now, he’s working at a Hood River pear orchard. In the summer, temperatures here can reach 100 degrees. Gonzalez remembers one day when he’d been working really hard, sweating more than normal.

Gonzales felt like he was going to pass out. He was shaky and very sleepy, he says through a translator. Instead of sleeping, he went to the farmworker housing unit and drank a lot of water and rested until he recovered.

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Food's Future
8:00 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

The Future Of Food With Vandana Shiva

Flickr Photo/Elevate Festival

What is the future of food? How can it sustain us? Vandana Shiva is an environmental and anti-globalization activist. Throughout her career, she’s fought for changes in agriculture practices, among other causes. Her latest book is called “Making Peace with the Earth.” She spoke at Town Hall on September 12, 2013, in a talk sponsored by YES! Magazine.

Farmworker Labor Dispute
6:41 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

Labor Strike Continues At Burlington Berry Farm

Immigrant advocates and workers on strike from Sakuma Brothers Farms boycott a store in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood in August.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

More than a week has passed since more than 200 berry pickers walked off the job at a major farm near Burlington, marking the third strike at Sakuma Brothers Farms since July.

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Agriculture
9:47 am
Wed September 18, 2013

Alfalfa In Washington Field Tests Positive For GMO

Anna King Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 5:48 pm

Tests of alfalfa seed from a field in eastern Washington have come back positive for genetically engineered genes called Round-Up-Ready.

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Elections 2013
5:39 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

Monsanto Pours $4.6 Million Into Anti-GMO Labeling Campaign

With one major donation, Monsanto has become, by far, this year's largest campaign contributor in Washington state.
Monsanto logo

The Monsanto Co. has jumped into Washington state politics in a big way.

With a check for nearly $4.6 million, the St. Louis-based Fortune 500 company has more than doubled the money raised by opponents of Initiative 522, which would require labeling genetically modified foods.

The No on 522 campaign has now raised about $7.9 million, giving it a $3.5 million advantage over backers of the measure to label GMO foods.

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Genetic Engineering
5:51 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

GMO Labeling Backers Outspend Foes In Washington

The busy labels of Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps
KUOW Photo/John Ryan

Correction 8/22/13: A previous version of this story contained errors. It overstated the contributions received by the Yes on 522 campaign and the share of donations received from Washington state. The Yes campaign has amassed $3.5 (not 3.9) million, with 79 (not 71) percent of the funds coming from out of state. The nonprofit MapLight, based in Berkeley, Calif., informed us on Aug. 21 that it had double-counted some contributions, which led to the errors.

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Wage Disparity
2:09 pm
Mon July 22, 2013

200 Berry Pickers Resume Strike In Skagit Valley

Workers have once again walked off the job at Sakuma Brothers Farms in Burlington protesting wages.
From Sakuma Market Stands' Facebook page.

For the second time in 10 days, workers at Sakuma Brothers Farms have gone on strike. More than 200 berry pickers have walked off the job at the farm near Burlington, saying they want the farm to pay more for each box of blueberries and strawberries they harvest.

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Genetically Modified Wheat
8:53 am
Fri May 31, 2013

EU, Japan, South Korea Markets React To Modified Wheat Found In Oregon

Flickr Photo/Jonny Boy

WASHINGTON (AP) — World markets are responding to this week’s discovery of genetically engineered wheat on an Oregon farm. Japan has suspended some imports of US wheat, while the European Union and South Korea will increase inspections of wheat imported from the US.

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