Agriculture + Viticulture

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...
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...
Washington posted a modest increase in agricultural exports in 2019 even with trade wars and other challenges. The Covid-19 crisis poses a new set of challenges in 2020 to a sector that is second only to airplanes for export activity. (Photo courtesy state Department of Agriculture)

To market: Exporters turn to new trade agreements, Zoom

Washington’s agricultural exporters faced brutal headwinds in 2019 and they are facing them again in 2020. Trade wars, retaliatory tariffs...
Photo courtesy James Michael/Northwest Cherry Growers

Cherry picked: Growers worry about finding enough workers

Covid-19 could hurt southeast Washington’s cherry crop by limiting the number of fruit pickers allowed in orchards. The fickle crop...
Photo courtesy Washington Apple Commission

A big bite: $3B apple industry is the MVP of Washington ag

The Washington apple industry has had a challenging year. Retaliatory tariffs. Labor shortages. And now a pandemic that has contributed...
Photo courtesy Save Family Farming

Hired help: Pandemic exacerbates ag labor shortage

The state of Washington is under pressure to enforce social distancing guidelines at farms and orchards, but farmers say they...
Photo courtesy Washington State Potato Commission.

Surplus spuds: Coronavirus upends potato industry

Demand for Mid-Columbia potatoes was growing every year — until coronavirus. Area potato growers specialize in varieties that taste great...
Courtesy USA Hops

Brewing storm: Hop growers pull back as beer drinking shifts

Growing conditions are strong on Washington hop farms but growers are curtailing expectations of modest growth as beer-drinking patterns shift...
Dick Boushey, whose eponymous vineyard in the Yakima Valley is one of the most famous in the Washington wine industry, also is a leading grower of Concord and Niagara juice grapes. (Photo courtesy Richard Duval Images)

Concords rebound: Juice grape growers step up to meet demand

There is no glitz or glamour associated with Concord grape production in Washington state, but the industry is looking better...
To offset the challenges presented with the sale of wheat, some farmers have begun a crop rotation with canola, which produces a vibrant yellow flower as it grows. (Photo by Karen Sowers)

Agriculture powerhouse: Crop value high amid trade threats

Persistent issues with international trade have been threatening Washington’s most successful crops. Ongoing trade issues with Asian markets and North...

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