farming

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.

Robots.

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.

Screenshot by Keva Andersen

The subject headline of producer Matthew Streib's email was irresistibly public radio: "There is fresh raw Nigerian pygmy goat's milk in the fridge." 

Typically we hear about free doughnuts on the filing cabinet near Ross Reynold's desk, so we asked Matthew to explain.

Imagine if a gallon of milk cost $3 in your town, but 100 miles away it cost $100, or even $200.

Something similar is happening right now in California with water that farmers use to irrigate their crops. Some farmers are paying 50 or even 100 times more for that water than others who live just an hour's drive away.

The situation is provoking debate about whether water in California should move more freely, so that it can be sold to the highest bidder.

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

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