In today’s Ag News Roundup, water levels looking good in Washington state, sudden oak death found in Douglas-fir saplings, local EPA boss fights for the Northwest, nonlethal wolf management ideas wanted, and gene editing takes center stage.
Yakima Basin Water Levels Above Normal
Water levels in mountain reservoirs throughout the Yakima Basin are much higher than normal, states the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. As of October 19, five of the main reservoirs were at 116.9 percent of their average. With expected winter accumulation to continue to fill the reservoirs, experts predict that farmers will have no issues getting the water they need this coming season.
Oregon Fir Saplings in Danger
A European strain of a deadly plant disease has infected Douglas-fir and grand fir saplings in southwest Oregon. The disease causes sudden oak death in plants. Experts with Oregon State University, the Oregon Department of Forestry, and U.S. Department of Agriculture Research Service are working together to manage the outbreak.
Northwest EPA Boss Fights for Local Farmers
From the Capital Press, farm groups are hoping the EPA’s new Northwest administrator, Chris Hladick, will work for local farmers. The administrator has been known to argue with the EPA in the past as manager of a city in Alaska. Hladick will oversee Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska.
Nonlethal Wolf Management Grants Offered by WSDA
The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) is taking applications for $300,000 in grants to be used for nonlethal wolf management. Areas for management include Okanogan, Pend Oreille, Stevens, and Ferry Counties. Applications are available at the WSDA website and are due by December 15, 2017.
World Food Prize Includes Gene Editing
According to the online publication Successful Farming, gene editing and the technology behind genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are seen as the future of farming at an event held last week at The World Food Prize. The group is forecasting that GMOs could help offset the effects of changes to regional and worldwide climates.