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Ag News | November 2, 2016

Ag News Roundup

In today's Ag News Roundup, farmers are being asked for input on Puget Sound environmental plan, farm-to-school efforts get noticed, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife are working to save bighorn sheep, Yakima Power hopes to serve more customers, and Spokane County gives local landowners more time to file necessary paperwork.

Farmers to Weigh in on Fish Habitat around Puget Sound

A $451.6 million dollar plan by the Army Corps of Engineers could flood over 1,000 combined acres of farmland in Whatcom and Skagit Counties. Thankfully, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife have vowed to work with landowners to redesign or abandon the plan if necessary to save vital farmland from permanent loss.

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Idaho’s Farm-to-School Efforts Get Noticed

The USDA has taken notice of Marsing, Idaho school district’s farm-to-school program, which serves locally grown food to students in all of its schools. Officials praised the program and called for other school districts to do the same.

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Oregon Bighorn Sheep Developing Illness

According to Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, some of the state’s bighorn sheep are developing pneumonia from a particular bacterial species. The respiratory pathogen has already killed a large number of bighorns in the past several years. It’s suspected that the bacteria originated in domestic sheep and goats.

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Yakima Power Secures $30 USDA Loan

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has given a $30 million loan to Yakima Power to purchase power lines and substations from Benton Rural Electric Association. The move will allow Yakima Power to take over service for thousands of utility customers on the Native American reservation. The sale is subject to approval by the Benton Rural Electric Association’s members.

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Building Permits Surge Following Water-Rights Decision

According to the Washington Farm Bureau, Spokane County Building and Planning Department saw a huge increase in building permit applications. The surge was a result of the state’s Supreme Court ruling affecting water rights. Spokane County officials kept the department open late to ensure everyone had a chance to get their application in on time. The last day to apply was October 27.

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