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.

Concord grapes

Concord costs: The quest to keep juice grapes profitable

Washington produces more juice grapes than any other state in the nation, fueling the building blocks for not just juice, but also jelly, fruit leather and syrup. Despite sitting atop the U.S. supply, the state acreage of juice grapes has declined slightly in the past several years. People aren’t buying juice as often as they…

After hops are separated, they make their way to a conveyor belt where they then move on to a kiln to be dried. Washington boasts nearly 70 percent of U.S. hop production, with 98 percent of U.S. hops grown throughout the Northwest. (Photo: Hops of America)

Tops for hops: U.S. dominates world market

After five years of unprecedented growth, the Northwest hop industry has been almost single-handedly responsible for establishing the U.S. as the No. 1 producer of hops in the world, accounting for 42 percent of all production. Washington boasts nearly 70 percent of U.S. production, with 98 percent of U.S. hops grown throughout the Northwest, according…

A January 2016 study by Washington State University-Pullman found the state’s potato industry generates $7.42 billion in total economic output for Washington. (Photo: Washington Potato Commission)

Potato powerhouse: State ranks No. 2 in nation for potatoes

Potatoes are Washington state’s third top commodity, behind apples and milk, valued at $888 million last year, up from $813 million in 2016. This year’s outlook looks promising, with most of the state’s potatoes grown in Eastern Washington and the Skagit Valley and producing 20 percent of all U.S. potatoes. “Last year, Washington state produced…

Favorable growing conditions allow Washington wheat growers to produce some of the highest yields in the nation. (Photo: Washington State Department of Agriculture)

Looming concerns: Wheat farmers wary of proposed trade policies

By Jennifer L. Drey Washington wheat farmers face challenging times as the industry navigates changes in U.S. trade policy and potential cuts to crop insurance and key conservation programs included in the U.S. Farm Bill. Industry representatives have already taken to Washington, D.C., to make sure they have a seat at the table as the…

Asparagus is the first crop of the year to be harvested in the Columbia Basin and appears in stores mid-April through early June. Since the U.S. asparagus industry collapse in 2005, Washington’s growers have turned their attention to the fresh market, providing customers asparagus picked within a couple of days of purchase. (Photo: Gary Larsen)

Focus on fresh: Asparagus yields improving after market collapse

After years spent recovering from the collapse of the U.S. asparagus industry, Washington has experienced steady growth as local producers find new ways to adapt to the changed market. Thirty years ago, Washington was the world’s center for asparagus production, producing   100 million pounds in 1990, said Alan Schreiber, an Eltopia farmer and executive…

mint

Mighty mint: Growers help meet world demand for mint

By Jennifer L. Drey When it comes to mint, a little goes a long way. One drop of mint oil can flavor 2.5 tubes of toothpaste, 31 sticks of gum or  125 mint candies. But when it comes to Washington-grown mint, it may be more accurate to say that a lot goes a long way…

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