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.

Apples

Apple capital: State sends fruit to more than 60 countries

Washington’s $3 billion apple industry is not just the state’s biggest crop, but it also accounts for two-thirds of total U.S. apple production. Proactive international marketing campaigns, coupled with intensive breeding programs, are key factors in making the state the nation’s apple capital. Washington’s “nutrient-rich soil, an arid climate, plentiful water and advanced growing practices…

The Port of Tacoma recently received eight new cranes as part of $250 million in improvements being made to the Husky Terminal. The Northwest Seaport Alliance led the U.S. in exports of eggs and dairy, vegetables, coffee and tea, oil seeds and prepared fruits and vegetables in 2017. (Photo: Northwest Seaport Alliance)

Export uncertainties: Recent changes in trade policy cause worry

By Jennifer L. Drey Washington’s agricultural exports increased significantly in 2017, but uncertainty surrounding U.S. trade policy has some producers worried the state may be on the verge of losing its competitive edge overseas. Although the numbers are still being finalized, Washington’s agricultural exports appear to have increased by at least 10 percent in 2017.…

Cherries

A gambler’s crop: Cherry orchards at mercy of Mother Nature

The Northwest saw one of the most perfect cherry crops last year, setting new production and export records. In 86 days, the nation’s leading cherry region shipped 26.4 million, 20-pound boxes of cherries to eager markets around the world. “We had fantastic weather last year,” said Denny Hayden, owner of Hayden Farms in Pasco, which…

The average annual wage for those working in agriculture in Benton County in 2016 was $27,300, and in Franklin County it was $28,150. (Photo: Washington State Wine Commission/Andrea Johnson Photography)

Fierce wage competition: Farms compete for laborers as worker shortage continues

By Jennifer L. Drey An ongoing shortage of agricultural laborers is forcing some Washington farms to get creative in their efforts to attract and retain workers, while others are looking to the federal government’s guest worker program to bring in the help they need. More than 96 percent of Washington farms experienced a labor disruption…

Red Mountain, between Benton City and West Richland, was designated a sub-American Viticultural Area in 2001. It now boasts 54 vineyards covering more than 2,300 acres. (Photo: Washington State Wine Commission/Andrea Johnson Photography)

Vines reign supreme: State boasts viticulture advantage

Growing high-quality wine grapes that become award-winning wine and millions of tons of juice grapes that become America’s best-known grape juices make up the viticulture industry in Washington state. Washington’s massive grape crop is among the 10 highest-valued crops in the state, ranking ninth in 2016, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, after producing…