In today’s Ag News Roundup, water-free gardening possible, foreign ownership of U.S. farmland under scrutiny, new plan to eradicate invasive stink bugs could work, updates to H-2A passed, and drought conditions continue for western Washington.
OSU Finds Home Gardening without Irrigation Can Be Done
According to OSU Extension Service Master Gardeners, growing vegetables without irrigation is possible in some regions of the Northwest. The team planted tomatoes, watered them that day, and then did not water again. The plants thrived and produced amazing results.
Efforts Underway to Restrict Foreign Ownership of U.S. Farmland
While there is a federal law called the Agricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act that requires owners of U.S. farmland who live outside the country to report transactions to the USDA’s Farm Service Agency, new attention is being given to matter. In 2016, at least 1.6 million acres of U.S. farmland was sold to foreign investors.
Taking Aim at Invasive Stink Bugs
Oregon State University has published a study in the Journal Economic Entomology to announce findings on how to eradicate brown marmorated stink bugs, which have devastated some crops. The study found that using the samurai wasp as a biological control can have a significant impact.
House Committee Passes H-2A Year-Round Work Amendment
The House Appropriations Committee has passed an amendment that will allow farmers with year-round jobs to hire workers through H-2A. The jobs would still be temporary and heavily monitored.
Western Washington Expected to be Very Dry
According to the Washington Agriculture Network, drought conditions across the Northwest have not changed much in the last year. 11% of Washington is under a severe drought designation.