Invasive Weed Infests Oregon’s Malheur County
White top, also known as hoary cress, has exploded throughout Malheur County, according to Oregon State University Cropping Systems Extension Agent Bill Buhrig. The weed is noxious to cattle and competes with beneficial plants. The weed has begun to invade alfalfa fields and other irrigated pastures.
Buhrig explains that it can be controlled with chlorosulfuron or metsulfuron methyl. Roundup and 2,4-D are ineffective against the invasive plant.
USDA Aims to Strengthen Family Dairy Operations
Dairies participating in the Margin Protection Program (MPP) can now upgrade production history whenever an eligible family member joins the operation, protecting dairy cows they bring with them.
According to the USDA, this will help strengthen family dairy operations, including new dairies. Eligible family members include children, grandchildren or their spouses.
Washington Livestock Inspection Fees on the Rise
The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) has asked the state Legislature to more that double livestock inspection fees for cattlemen and auction yards. The proposed increase would raise the fee scale for brand inspection from $17 to $42 per hour. This would include moving from a flat day fee to an hourly rate.
The WSDA states that a budget shortfall has made the fee increase necessary. Inspection fees were last raised in 2006.
Oregon Strawberry Crops Growing Strong
Strawberry growers in Oregon are reporting good-sized crops thanks to favorable weather. Growers are reporting great crops for other berries on the way as well, including blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries. According to Capital Press, Oregon ranks just third in the nation for strawberry production.
China Selling Grain at a Loss
According to the USDA, China is expected to begin auctioning stockpiles of grain that could result in a $10 billion loss for the country’s farmers. The country stated it was ending its stockpiling practices and would instead move to a market-driven policy.
There is no speculation at this time on how the auction will affect worldwide gain prices.