As drought limits irrigation in Klamath Basin, feds offer aid

Growers in the Klamath Basin, in the Pacific Northwest, will receive the smallest amount of water ever from the federal government due to unrelenting drought, said the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation on Wednesday. The water will be available around June 1, weeks later than usual.

Farmworkers on the front lines of coronavirus and wildfires

Few farmworkers in Oregon report getting tested for the coronavirus despite knowing infected people or being directly exposed to Covid-19, according to a survey of 200 workers across the state. And unprecedented wildfires are only make things worse.

In Oregon, an effort to build grassland biodiversity while helping ranchers succeed

In eastern Oregon, an experiment is underway to determine whether conservationists and ranchers, two groups often at odds, can work together to stave off development, support ranch economies and preserve biodiversity on the Zumwalt Prairie, America's largest remaining native bunchgrass prairie.(No paywall)

Across the country, a call grows for moratoriums on huge livestock farms

As the number of massive livestock farms balloons in states like Iowa, Maryland, and Nebraska, communities are scrambling to figure out how to control the pollution and waste produced by thousands — or tens of thousands — of animals. In some places, officials have opted to ban the mega-farms altogether, and the idea of a moratorium on the biggest animal farms is gaining support in local governments, statehouses, and even in Congress. (No paywall)

Animal advocates sue Oregon cheesemaker, alleging false claims

The Animal Legal Defense Fund has filed suit against the Tillamook County Creamery Association, alleging it has misrepresented its products as being sourced from small-scale, humane farms.

Oregon joins Pacific Coast bloc for cage-free eggs

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed a law last Friday that will require eggs sold in the state, whether they come from commercial flocks in Oregon or are produced elsewhere, to come from cage-free hens beginning in 2024. California and Washington State already have similar laws.

USDA identifies two Monsanto strains in rogue GMO wheat in Washington State

The GMO wheat discovered growing wild in a Washington State field this spring actually sprouted from two different strains developed by Monsanto, the USDA announced over the weekend. Genetically engineered wheat is not approved for cultivation anywhere in the world, yet "volunteer" herbicide-resistant plants have been confirmed four times in the U.S. Northwest more than a decade after field trials ended.

In Oregon, a failed mega-dairy spurs call for CAFO moratorium

The troubled tenure of Lost Valley Farm in Boardman, Oregon, a mega-dairy that housed 15,000 cows, has sparked calls for reform of the permitting process for such operations. Some farm and environmental advocates want the state to pass a bill that would issue a moratorium on new mega-dairies, …

Grocery-tax referendum in Washington state would block soda taxes

The three largest soft drink companies in America have donated more than 98 cents of every $1 given to a campaign in Washington state to ban local governments from imposing new taxes on groceries, including soda and other sugary beverages. Voters will decide whether to enact Initiative 1634 in a statewide vote as part of the Nov. 6 election, 10 months after a soda tax took effect in Seattle, the largest city in the state.