Wheat crop withers in northern Plains, Pacific Northwest

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 …

Asian wheat buyers aren’t phased by U.S. discovery of rogue GMO wheat

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 buyout path for mission-driven businesses

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.

Iconic Northwest organic produce company sold, without selling out

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

Seattle food evangelist Jon Rowley dies, popularized Alaska salmon

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. 

Ocean acidification to reduce Dungeness crab numbers

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."

More rain expected to ease drought in the Northwest

"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.

Hot weather dries the Pacific Northwest as summer nears

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.

Larger hops plantings offset drought, but yields may suffer

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.