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Ag News | June 8, 2017

Ag News Roundup

Ag News Farmer Homesteader
In today’s Ag News Roundup, Washington apple growers are disappearing, Scotch thistle is ready to bloom in eastern Oregon, wheat disease could be a problem for Oregon farmers, the Boardman mega-dairy fight continues, and native sagebrush land responds well to periodic fire.

Changing Trends Coming for Washington’s Apple Producers

Small and mid-sized apple producers throughout Washington state are disappearing due to economic factors and increased consolidation. According to the Washington State Farm Bureau the number of farmers is dwindling while yields continue to rise and technology becomes more prevalent.

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Umatilla County Prepares for More Scotch Thistle

The noxious weed is set to bloom throughout eastern Oregon, in addition to Umatilla County.  The county-wide problem is costing farmers and ranchers a lot of time and money, especially when seeds end up in rivers and streams, and then in fields through irrigation. This year is expected to be one of the worst on record thanks to the wet spring and fall.

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Wheat Disease Hits Eastern Oregon

According to Oregon State University’s College of Agricultural Sciences, the region’s wet spring and snowy winter has “brought a variety of plant diseases to Oregon’s wheat corp.” Called stripe rust, the wheat disease has spread quickly on some winter and spring wheat varieties in the OSU test plots. Many growers are considering an extra fungicide to combat the issue.

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Boardman Mega-Dairy Fight Continues

Those against a 30-thousand cow dairy farm in Morrow County are said to be pressuring regulators to reconsider permits for the facility. The coalition is hoping the Oregon Department of Agriculture and Department of Environmental Quality will tighten regulations for Lost Valley Farm, which received an operational permit earlier this year.

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OSU Finds Sagebrush Responds to Fire

Oregon State University’s College of Agriculture Sciences has concluded that native sagebrush lands return to normal after a fire faster than areas where rangelands are invaded by “exotic, fire-promoting grasses.” The study shows that native species thrive with periodic fire.

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