agriculture | KUOW News and Information

agriculture

When you think organic, you probably visualize fresh, sweet-smelling fruits and vegetables. But what makes that delicious organic produce grow?

How To Win An Old-Fashioned Plowing Competition

May 16, 2014
Sarah Eden Wallace

The horses are beefy, the farmers nostalgic and the legacy long.

Rod Hatfield

Did you know there are bees at Sea-Tac Airport? Twenty beehives are already in place in green space around the airport. And tonight, a two-day hackathon gets going that’s centered around the idea of bees and flight. It’s connected to a new art installment that’s going in at Sea-Tac: “Flight Path.”

According to newly-released data from the USDA's agricultural census, the number of farms in the Northwest is dropping.

Arlo Crawford's book "A Farm Dies Once a Year."

Arlo Crawford never wanted to be a farmer like his parents. But that changed one spring. He shares his experience from the office back to the fields with KUOW's Marcie Sillman.

Crawford's parents were part of the back-to-the-land generation of the 1970s. Crawford's father dropped out of law school and bought land in southern Pennsylvania. That land became New Morning organic farm, and that's where Crawford and his sister Janie grew up.

Northwest News Network Photo/Anna King

Some listeners may have noticed Friday when we bleeped a series of words in a piece on the dairy industry by Anna King of the Northwest News Network. The story was about farmers taking advantage of record prices for dairy and beef.

N3 Photo/Anna King

Marcie Sillman speaks with Anna King, Richland correspondent for the Northwest News Network, about the story behind her recent report, "High Milk, Beef Prices Spur A Northwest Cattle Rush."

Flickr Photo/Ron (CC BY-NC-ND)

David Hyde speaks with Sonya Lunder, senior scientist with the Environmental Working Group, about the European Union's ban of diphenylamine. The post-harvest pesticide dip is applied to most non-organic American apples.

Doug Fine's book, "Hemp Bound."

Ross Reynolds speaks with Doug Fine, a self-described comedic investigative journalist, about his new book, "Hemp Bound: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Next Agricultural Revolution."

Fine spoke with scientists and farmers around the world about how hemp is used. In February, President Obama signed the Farm Bill, which allows industrial research on hemp.

We’ve all heard of the Western Gold Rush. But how about the Northwest cattle rush?

Courtesy of Oregon Department of Agriculture

Steve Owen should not have been ferrying gallons of herbicides by helicopter over homes near Gold Beach, Ore.

Investigators have discovered 30 unauthorized commercial honeybee hives near the site of a large bee die-off in Sherwood southwest of Portland.

Observers reported thousands of dead honeybees on a busy stretch of Highway 99W on Sunday.

Many Northwest alfalfa growers had a rough year with bad weather last summer.

Why hasn't fish farming taken off in the United States?

It's certainly not for lack of demand for the fish. Slowly but surely, seafood that's grown in aquaculture is taking over the seafood section at your supermarket, and the vast majority is imported. The shrimp and tilapia typically come from warm-water ponds in southeast Asia and Latin America. Farmed salmon come from big net pens in the coastal waters of Norway or Chile.

Northwest asparagus growers are just starting to harvest spears in the warmer sites around Pasco, Wash.

Flickr Photo/ron.heasley (CC BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks with Sheryl Wiser of Cascade Harvest about what spring will bring to local farmers markets.

Dam engineers are continuing to keep the pool behind the ailing structure drawn down to relieve pressure.

Flickr Photo/Armed Forces Pest Management Board (CC BY-NC-ND)

You have to go through three airlocked doors to get to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s stink bug research lab.

The quarantined, closet-sized room has its own ventilation system. The brown marmorated stink bug colony is kept inside an even smaller room within the lab.

A lawsuit led by the ACLU is challenging Idaho's brand new, so-called “ag-gag” law aimed at stopping undercover animal rights activists from making videos of abuse at farms and slaughter houses.

In central Washington, state officials and farmers are scrambling to save orchards at risk of drying up because of a drawdown of the Columbia River.

Thousands of acres of high-value cherry and apple orchards behind the damaged Wanapum Dam are at serious risk.

Demise Of The Alpaca Bubble

Mar 6, 2014
Flickr Photo/Shelby Root (CC BY-NC-ND)

David Hyde talks with Rich Sexton, chair of the Agricultural and Resource Economics Department at the University of California, Davis. Sexton explains the making of the alpaca boom and why it's now bursting.

An agreement announced Wednesday between ranchers and Native American tribes seeks to resolve contentious water rights issues in the Klamath Basin, a drought-ridden region spanning southern Oregon and northern California.

Amidst a deep drought last summer, the Klamath Tribes and the federal government called on their senior water rights –- meaning they received access to limited water supplies.

Northwest potato growers say they've been snubbed in a federal nutrition program.

Oregon farmers are hoping the state Legislature makes it worth their while to donate crops that would otherwise go to waste.

Northwest farmers call him “the weather man.” And at a farming conference in Spokane, he offered a reason for them to be optimistic about the upcoming season.

How The Farm Bill Funds Environmental Programs, Too

Feb 3, 2014

The Farm Bill doesn't just put billions of dollars into agriculture programs. The Agricultural Act of 2014, as the bill is formally called, will also affect conservation of Northwest wildlife and natural resources.

The House has passed a version of the bill, and it's expected to go to the Senate Monday.

A once-stalled plan to support Christmas tree growers nationwide could be on its way to winning congressional approval as part of the new Farm Bill.

A provision in the bill adds a 15-cent surcharge on the cost of Christmas trees sold by larger farms. The revenue would help market those trees -- a potential boon for growers in Oregon, which leads the country in Christmas tree production.

You’ve likely heard of the dairy industry’s famous "Got Milk?" campaign but you’ve probably never heard an ad that asks, "Got Christmas Trees?"

Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency messed up. And now the mistake has led to a fight between open government advocates and farmers.

The EPA accidentally released the names and addresses of 80,000 farmers to environmental groups. That's a lot of information that's supposed to be redacted.

Northwest farmers are trying to get into the business of biofuels.

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