High-tech cameras, sensors, aircraft and satellites could more accurately predict crop yields and increase the cost-effectiveness of biofuels. Dan Long holds the small aircraft equipped with cameras, while John Sulik holds the controls.
When you picture a housing development in the suburbs, you might imagine golf courses, swimming pools, rows of identical houses.
But now, there's a new model springing up across the country that taps into the local food movement: Farms — complete with livestock, vegetables and fruit trees — are serving as the latest suburban amenity.
Wilcox Farms, where a man was buried under tons of corn on Monday when a silo gave way, was cited for six violations last summer that could have put workers in serious danger, according to inspection reports.
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."
Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 4:48 pm
Wine grapes throughout the Northwest are ripening faster this year because of the hot dry summer. Vineyard managers and winemakers are preparing for a breakneck harvest over the next few weeks -- if it stays warm.
This year Eastern Washington had record-setting heat in July, while Oregon had consistently warm weather. Growers throughout the Northwest are hoping for cooler temperatures so the grapes don’t race to ripeness.
The prediction is for more wine, deeper colors and higher alcohol levels.
Michelle Rhee says our education system is failing. The founder and CEO of StudentsFirst and former chancellor of Washington, DC, public schools says she would rigorously evaluate teachers, end tenure and boost pay for high-performing teachers while firing the least effective. Her critics say her reliance on test scores and support for school vouchers would destroy the public education system. Michelle Rhee joins us for a conversation about students, standardized tests, teachers unions, charter schools and her new book, "Radical: Fighting to Put Students First."
Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 3:59 pm
RICHLAND, Wash. – Many Northwest growers are left out of the partial extension of the U.S. Farm Bill included in this week’s fiscal cliff legislation. The new law largely covers conventional agriculture and not the organics, specialty crops and conservation programs that our region’s farmers are known for.
The Durant family started in the wine grape business in Yamhill County, Oregon but are now growing increasing acres of olives – a relatively new crop to the Northwest. Photo courtesy of the Durant Family.
The Durant family diversified into olive growing about seven years ago. They have found that certain varieties of olive trees do OK despite the damp chill of Northwest winters. Photo courtesy of the Durant Family
The Durant family makes two different kinds of regional olive oil. One called a “fresh press” is their minimally processed oil which yields a greener, spicier flavor. The other, is high-quality extra virgin. Photo courtesy of the Durant Family
Groves of olive trees might bring to mind for you sun-soaked Mediterranean or Californian landscapes. But in the last 10 years, a few Northwest growers have significantly ramped-up their production of domestic olive oil. They harvest just in time for the holidays.
The Durant family started in the wine grape business in Yamhill County, Oregon. The family diversified into olive growing about seven years ago.