In todays Ag News Roundup, Oregon state drops defense against timber lawsuits, Japan imports tens of thousands of tons of potatoes, OSU cites further causes of greenhouse gasses, 2015 drought estimated to have cost Washington growers $700 million, and cougar sightings spike in Oregon community.
Oregon State Drops Timber Lawsuit Defense
The state of Oregon has dropped several defenses against class action lawsuits seeking $1.4 billion. Linn County filed the lawsuit citing that the stated had reduced logging opportunities for 15 counties.
Japan Imports Potatoes
Due to bad weather, poor harvests, and increasing demand for potato chips, Japan has begun importing potatoes from the U.S. Estimates predict a 20 percent increase to 35,000 metric tons. Additionally, several companies estimate that the import could be as high as 42,000 tons during the first half of 2017.
OSU Cites Mangrove Forest Conversion as Cause of Greenhouse Gasses
Oregon State University and the Center for International Forestry Research have found that the creation of shrimp ponds and cattle pastures by clear-cutting tropical mangrove forests is a significant cause of the greenhouse gas effect. The seven-year study looked closely at five countries including Indonesia and the Dominican Republic. The findings have been published in the journal Frontiers and Ecology and the Environment.
Washington Drought Losses at $700 Million
Today’s snowpack is encouraging for farmers across Washington, but back in 2015, the state experienced a significant drought that cost farmers an estimated $700 million. Growers most affected by the drought included apple growers in the Yakima River Basin. The study released recently by the Washington State Department of Agriculture is available online.
Cougar Sightings Spike in Oregon Community
Oregon’s Albany Police Department has reported a sharp increase in the number of cougar sightings in north Albany. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife experts say this is a normal time of year to see more nocturnal predators, but the frequency in a populated area is not normal. Some fear this could mean young cougars may have lost their natural wariness to humans.