Agriculture by the numbers

For 35 years, Chris Mertz has been helping the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) tell the story of agriculture through numbers. “I’m sure I’ve gotten biased over time, but I just think any story is better when you toss in some figures,” he laughed. “It’s exciting to see people see the value in numbers. Who…

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A good food fit

As consumer awareness of where and how food is grown continues to increase, some farmers are finding success selling into their local and regional food systems. For more than 25 years, Colette DePhelps has worked with multiple partners in the Inland Northwest to develop community food systems and small farms programs. She is currently the…

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Trouble on the tracks

In recent months, the Class 1 railroads have come under scrutiny for inconsistent and unreliable rail service particularly from agricultural shippers in the Midwest. In letters and federal hearings, rail customers have detailed labor and locomotive shortages, off-the-rail prices for cars, and one-sided financial penalties for loading and unloading delays. Pacific Northwest (PNW) shippers are…

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Wheat College Preview

peter johnson in field

One of the Agricultural Marketing and Management’s most popular workshops is back on the 2022 calendar as an in-person event. Wheat College will be taking place June 1 in Ritzville, Wash., with presentations by Peter “Wheat Pete” Johnson, Corteva Agriscience and Washington State University Extension. Johnson, this year’s featured speaker, will be discussing “The Yield…

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CRP rate redux

wheat field

There’s good news for some growers who enrolled in the 2022 Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) general sign-up despite the overall lower rates. The national Farm Service Agency (FSA) office has decided to increase the rates in Asotin and Franklin counties after reviewing data compiled by the state FSA office, the FSA county offices, the Washington…

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Community organization helps facilitate charitable giving

women sitting on hay bale with decorations

Corinne Isaak calls the Columbia Basin Foundation (CBF), variously, an umbrella, a vehicle, a conduit and a gathering place for charitable generosity, but those descriptions just scratch the surface in describing an organization that manages more than $14 million in charitable assets and distributed more than $1 million across 10 Eastern Washington counties last year.…

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Grant program gets green light

lady with horse

After three years of stop-and-go progress, the Sustainable Farms and Fields (SFF) grant program finally has the green light to start funding climate-smart farming practices across Washington state. “Sustainable Farms and Fields is a brand new program we are rolling out. It is intended to support growers who are interested in increasing climate-smart practices on…

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Keeping the tools sharp


Farmers know that regular maintenance is the key to keeping their equipment running smoothly, but sometimes even the tools in the toolbox need a little maintenance of their own. Last October, the Risk Management Agency (RMA) began reviewing the crop insurance program for wheat to determine if improvements should be made. The review will take…

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Looking ahead

Ammo - Kohl

Last month, Dr. David Kohl warned producers that a period of extreme economic volatility is approaching, but along with the challenges it will bring, there will also be opportunities for producers who are prepared. “I think it’s a new era of prosperity if you follow a certain management mindset. If you don’t, I think it’s…

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When flour was sacked

Centennial flour sacks

It’s usually the items inside a sack that are interesting, but a new exhibition at the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture (MAC) is taking a look at what the sack itself has to say. Golden Harvest: Flour Sacks from the Permanent Collection will be on display through Oct. 30, 2022, and features 40 to…

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