Agriculture + Viticulture

Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business’ full-color, glossy magazine Focus: Agriculture + Viticulture takes a closer look at how our region serves as the powerhouse that drives our state’s agriculture and viticulture industries. This magazine is published in the spring.

Courtesy Washington State Apple Commission

Fewer apples heading to market

Fewer apples are going to market in 2021, but this isn’t really a complaint. “This has proven to be very advantageous as far as Covid and trade issues go,” said Todd Fryhover, president of the Washington Apple Commission. The industry expects to harvest 122 million bushels in 2021, compared to 134 million in 2020. Apple…

Courtesy Lamb Weston

Growers look to Mexico for export recovery

In 2020, Washington potato growers faced a staggering surplus of potatoes. In 2021, they’re banking on a revival of the food service industry, including in-person dining, improved shipping conditions and a just-opened Mexican market to help reverse the chaos left by the trade wars and Covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic brought restaurant dining to a standstill…

Courtesy Double R Ranch

Hop output lower with changes
in beer demand, distribution

After a chaotic year, Washington’s hop industry is looking for a win. “Things are starting to get rocking and rolling again,” said Jaki Brophy, communications director for the Washington Hop Commission, following a year of Covid-19 restrictions, lower beer sales and punishment by Mother Nature. Wildfires and windstorms took a toll on hop crops in…

bounty

Concord grapes take off with organic approach

The Miller family’s place in the history of Washington wine is secure, and their Airfield Estates tasting room ranks as one of the most iconic in the Yakima Valley. Along the way, however, Marcus Miller positioned Airport Ranch Vineyards into one of the state’s most important producers of Concord juice grapes. It makes sense that…

OverviewField

Uncertainty abounds: What does 2020 hold for agriculture?

While Lamb Weston and Mid-Columbia potato growers were dealing with an unexpected surplus of spuds this spring, Mid-Columbia asparagus farmers had a different tale to tell. They had the skilled cutters they needed to bring in the harvest and prices were strong. 2020 was a solid year for the iconic first shoots of spring, thanks…

Gilles Nicault, the acclaimed French winemaker behind every bottle produced by famed Long Shadows Vintners in Walla Walla, holds a sample of grapes collected from Candy Mountain Vineyard near Richland. (Photo courtesy Richard Duval Images)

Global gut: Wine grape glut may cut into industry’s profits

While the quality of grapes and winemaking in Washington state remain world-class, the global glut of wine continues to cut into the industry’s bottom line. Consumers stand to benefit, whenever shelter-in-place restrictions and pandemic-affected spending allow. “The Washington grape market is suffering from a structural imbalance between supply and demand that will likely require substantial…

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