The wheat harvest in the northern Plains and Pacific Northwest will be 40 percent smaller than last year due to severe drought, said the USDA on Monday. The declines in durum and spring wheat were so great they would reduce overall U.S. wheat production, dominated by winter wheat, by 8 percent …
Unlike earlier incidents, Asian customers for wheat grown in the U.S. Northwest did not bat an eye at the USDA announcement that GMO wheat was found growing in the wild in Washignton state. "At this point there is no trade disruption and we do not expect any," said U.S. Wheat Associates, the export promotion arm of the wheat industry, on Monday.
A new consortium is launching a non-profit at a major natural foods trade fair Wednesday, trying to help mission-driven companies transition ownership to future generations without selling out their values to win venture capital or corporate ownership.
Call it the paradox of the organic food industry: Small companies that position themselves as alternatives to mainstream food brands become popular, grow quickly, add employees, and eventually get sold — often to Big Food companies. Now one company is trying to avoid that fate by selling itself to what’s known as a purpose trust. No paywall
Jon Rowley, who “helped make and shape Seattle’s reputation as a food destination while earning his own reputation as a culinary evangelist nationwide,” has died at 74, said the Seattle Times.
Researchers say fossil-fuel emissions will make the oceans more acidic in coming decades and drive down the population of the Dungeness crab, native to the north Pacific coast, by 30 percent, reports the Seattle Times. Federal fishery biologist Issac Kaplan, a co-author of the study, said the research points to "a moderate decline in a species that is really economically important."
"A parade of Pacific storms will march on through the weekend," says the Weather Channel, concluding one of the wettest Octobers on record in the Pacific Northwest and bringing additional relief to parts of drought-hit California. The heaviest rainfall is expected in Northern California and southwestern Oregon, with some rainfall in Los Angeles.
A heat wave, with temperatures up to 12 degrees above normal, enveloped the Pacific Northwest with abnormally dry conditions, said the weekly Drought Monitor. "Long-term drought remains in California, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico as we move into the heat of summer," said the Monitor, which said 84 percent of California was in drought.
Despite drought in the Pacific Northwest, hops growers expect to harvest 74.5 million pounds of the flowering, climbing plant used to provide the bitter taste of beer, says KIMA-TV in Yakima. That would be a 5-percent increase in production from last year.
Topsoil and subsoil moisture levels continue to decline in the Pacific Northwest, where streamflows have shriveled to record or near-record lows, says the weekly Drought Monitor.
Oregon state officials plan to warn the public of elevated levels of arsenic in softshell clams along the Pacific coast, and to suggest consumption limits, says the Salem (Ore) Statesman Journal.
Five western states - Idaho, Utah, Washington, Oregon and California - saw the hottest June this year in 121 years of record-keeping, says the weekly Drought Monitor.
Some 37 percent of the winter wheat area, mainly the southern Plains, mid-South and inland sections of the Pacific Northwest, is under drought, says a monthly summary by USDA chief meteorologist Brad Rippey.
All the birds in a non-commercial flock in Port Angeles, Wash, were killed to prevent the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza, said Capital Press, which said bird flu also was reported in a backyard flock in Idaho.
Drought will persist or intensify during winter in Washington state, Oregon and the northern two-thirds of California as well as the wheat-growing southern Plains, forecasts the National Weather Service.
Swamped by proposals, USDA selected 115 "high impact" projects to receive $370 million in funding in the initial awards through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program. The projects range from improving habitat for endangered birds to preventing a "dead zone" in Long Island Sound and reducing runoff in the lush wheat-growing Palouse regionof the Pacific Northwest. Federal funds will be matched by $400 million from "partners" that include governmental units and conservation groups such as Ducks Unlimited.
The highly pathogenic H5N8 avian influenza virus was confirmed in a backyard poultry flock in Winston, Oregon, said USDA in a "stakeholder announcement."
U.S. growers will harvest a record 2.5 billion pounds of canola this season, thanks to above-average yields and near-record plantings, says USDA in its Oil Crops Outlook report.