Northwest farmers are watching several bills closely in Congress that would try to keep trade moving through ports in the event of a labor dispute.

We've heard a lot about the negative effects of climate change in the arctic and subarctic. But some Alaskans, like farmer Tim Meyers, are seeing warming temperatures as an opportunity.

Now that potato harvest is underway at his Bethel farm, Meyers uses a giant potato washer, like a washing machine for root vegetables, to clean California white potatoes.

They're some of the only commercially produced vegetables in this southwestern Alaska region, about the size of Oregon.

Meyers says the warming summers are a big part of his success.

The container yard at the Port of Lewiston, Idaho, looks forgotten. A tall crane next to the Clearwater River sits parked and unused.

Off in the distance, two orange metal shipping containers lie side-by-side, surrounded by asphalt in every direction.

"Last year, there would've been probably 250 containers here," says David Doeringsfeld, the port's general manager.

The iconic image of the American farmer is the man or woman who works the land, milks cows and is self-reliant enough to fix the tractor. But like a lot of mechanical items, tractors are increasingly run by computer software. Now, farmers are hitting up against an obscure provision of copyright law that makes it illegal to repair machinery run by software.

Take Dave Alford. He fits that image of the iconic farmer.

Oregon farmers could soon be more likely to use a mediator to help settle their disputes with neighboring farmers.

California Gov. Jerry Brown has been under fire for not requiring new water restrictions for the agriculture sector, despite historic rules restricting urban use by 25 percent.

On ABC’s “This Week,” Brown said that although more water is used in almond production than is used by all residents and businesses in San Francisco combined, the agriculture sector is too important to risk.

Northwest asparagus fields are sprouting about 10 days earlier than usual this spring. It’s in time for Easter brunch, but a headache for farmers.

Northwest farmers and orchardists are among the potential beneficiaries if the U.S. and Cuba normalize their relationship and the trade embargo ends.

A slowdown at Western ports is now aggravating farmers across the Northwest.

"Product of Mexico" — it's a label you see on fruit and vegetable stickers in supermarkets across the U.S.

It's also the name of an investigative series appearing this week in the Los Angeles Times.

These Dairy Robots Let Cows Choose When They’re Milked

Nov 26, 2014
Sarah Eden Wallace

If anyone should be a traditional farmer, it would be Alan Mesman. His family has been farming for six generations near La Conner, Washington. But last year, Mesman became the second of six farmers in the state who are trying a new tool that’s helped them cut labor costs and reduce the workload.


Too Many Apples, Too Few Hands In Washington

Aug 12, 2014
Flickr Photo/Andrea Parrish-Geyer (CC-BY-NC-ND)


Ross Reynolds talks with Karen Lewis, who is trying to come up with a better way to harvest apples when there's not enough people to pick them. Lewis is a tree fruit specialist at the Washington State University.

Why People Travel The World To Work On Farms

Aug 1, 2014
KUOW Photo/Matthew Streib

Ross Reynolds talks with Sarah Potenza, executive director of the U.S. branch of Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms, about how young people are taking unpaid internships on organic farms.

This summer's hot, dry weather has been a mixed blessing for Northwest farmers.

A breakdown in a U.S. State Department computer system that processes foreign worker visas has sowed major worries at some Northwest orchards.