In today’s Ag News Roundup, farmers hope to reduce powerlines in the countryside, invasive beetle days are numbered, horse owners start vaccinating for West Nile virus, organic grower promises to control weeds, and Washington readies for record cherry crop.
Minimizing Powerlines in the Umatilla Basin
The Umatilla Basin is finding ways to encourage wind and solar power while reducing the impact to farmers and ranchers. An advisory committee established by Oregon Governor Brown has proposed that renewable energy facilities be combined into a larger transmission corridor. This would minimize or eliminate the powerline spider web effect that worries some land owners.
OSU Targets Japanese Beetle for Eradication
The Japanese beetle has grown in record numbers in the Portland area in just the past year. The Oregon State University Extension Service has released a guide about the invasive species, citing that the beetle could dramatically impact turf and rose growers.
WSDA Calls for Horses to be Vaccinated for West Nile Virus
The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) has urged horse owners to vaccinate against the West Nile virus. The mosquito-borne disease could affect a large number of horses this year due to the wet winter. There were 27 cases of the virus last year. The state says the vaccine is proven to be effective if given early enough in the season. Additionally, the WSDA is asking horse owners to keep horses indoors during peak mosquito activity times (dawn and dusk) and to use repellent when possible.
Organic Grower Submits Weed Control Plan
Neighbors of Azure Farms in Moro have reported that the organic grower’s past unwillingness to use weed killer is causing issues for surrounding landowners and putting wheat farms at risk. Sherman County Court received 40,000 emails on the subject. The county considered putting the farm on quarantine if it did not contain the weeds. The organic farm has submitted a plan that they say should work for everyone.
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Pacific Northwest Cherry Growers Hoping for Record Breaking Crop
Washington’s cherry crop is expected to break records. Additionally, they are hoping to have more shipping days. This year’s crop should exceed 2016’s crop by 25 percent or more.