Valley Farmer Spring Edition 2014
Local Ag/Farm stories and info.
Valley Farmer Spring Edition DAILY SUN A special supplement to the Daily Sun News and Sun News Shopper • March 25, 2014 NEWS ‘TODAY’S LOCAL NEWS TODAY’ Valley Farmer –– Spring Edition March 25, 2014 2 - Daily Sun News Working their way to the top by Laura Gjovaag YAKIMA – Earning the Inspiration Award at the Small Farms Conference presented by the Center for Latino Farmers in February is just another stepping stone on a long journey that Pedro and Carmen Rodriguez have taken in their lives. The couple was honored for years of work that led to the establishment of PC Rodriguez Farms about two years ago. But even though they now own their own farm, the weather the last two years has limited their growth. “Both years we were hit by hailstorms,” Pedro Rodriguez said. “The storms damaged a significant part of the crops.” And so, despite being honored for their work, they both know there is still much to be done. The couple, who have lived in Sunnyside for the past 30 years, said the process of moving from field workers to farm owners was long and exhausting, but worth it. After years of working for others and then being in a partnership, Rodriguez said he can take pride in his own farm. “The farm owners were always complaining about not making any money,” said Rodriguez. “But they were driving nice cars. I thought, if I can make money for other people, I can make money for myself.” Rodriguez said his goal in life is to make certain his children have the opportunity to attend college. see “Working” next page Laura Gjovaag/Daily Sun News Pedro Rodriguez addresses the crowd of small farmers, explaining how he plans to give his children a better future just as his own father did for him. Laura Gjovaag/Daily Sun News Carmen and Pedro Rodriguez earned the Inspiration Award at the Small Farms Conference presented by the Center for Latino Farmers in February. The couple worked their way up from field work to owning their own farm. Advertiser's Index Ace Hardware - Sunnyside_____________ 29 All West Select Sires__________________ 24 Benton REA_________________________ 21 Bleyhl Country Store___________________ 5 Bleyhl Petroleum_____________________ 22 Blueline Manufacturing________________ 30 Bos Refrigeration_____________________ 20 Central Machinery Sales Inc.____________ 26 Cliff’s Septic Service __________________ 25 Columbia Bank______________________ 14 Columbia River Steel & Construction______ 8 Commercial Tire_____________________ 20 Dairy Farmers of Washington___________ 16 Daritech Inc.________________________ 13 Davis Pumps_________________________ 4 Deon R. Herndon, ARA________________ 11 Droplet Irrigation_____________________ 23 Empire Heavy Equipment Repair________ 19 Golden West Seed Co.__________________ 9 Husch & Husch______________________ 10 Ideal Lumber & Hardware Supply Inc.____ 11 Irrigation Specialists__________________ 11 K&U Auto Parts______________________ 27 Les Schwab Tire Centers_______________ 17 Lower Valley Credit Union_______________ 2 Lower Valley Machine Shop Inc.__________ 4 Marchant Home Furnishings____________ 18 Merit Resource Services_______________ 24 Mountain States Construction Co._______ 26 Mountain View Equipment Company______ 3 Newhouse & Associates_______________ 13 Owens Cycle, Inc._____________________ 9 Owens Cycle, Inc.____________________ 26 Pacific Steel & Recycling_______________ 28 Papa Murphy’s______________________ 27 Port of Sunnyside_____________________ 7 R.E. Powell Distributing Co._____________ 30 R.H. Smith Distributing Co., Inc._________ 20 Sage Bluff Alpacas____________________ 11 Sartin State Farm Insurance____________ 24 Speck Motors_______________________ 15 SS Equipment_______________________ 14 Sunnyside Community Hospital__________ 6 Sunnyside New Holland, LLC____________ 12 Sunnyside Physical & Sports Therapy_____ 15 Sunnyside Physical Therapy Services______ 4 Sunnyside Tire Factory________________ 31 Tom Denchel’s Ford Country____________ 28 Toppenish Livestock Commission________ 30 Valmont Northwest Inc._______________ 32 Van Belle Excavating___________________ 9 Western Stockmen’s__________________ 19 Wilbur Ellis__________________________ 18 Yakima Valley Fair & Rodeo_____________ 27 Ag’s About Growing! Teresa Kollmar Photography We’ve helped LOCAL AG business grow for more than 60 years. We have loans to help you grow! your home-grown credit union Lower Valley Valley Credit Credit Union Union Lower 301 S. 7th Street • Sunnyside • 837-5295 1019 W. Wine Country Rd. • Grandview • 882-9916 580 Wine Country Rd. • Prosser • 786-2711 www.LVCU.org Valley Farmer –– Spring Edition March 25, 2014 Working continued from page 2 “I want to give them a brighter future,” he said. His own father was a field worker who managed to provide enough to get his son some education. “Not a lot, but enough that I can run the farm,” he said. Rodriguez said his father showed him that hard work and a little bit of brains are enough to get ahead in the world. “He always said ‘I don’t want nothing from anybody else.’ He worked for what he got,” said Rodriguez. “I’m the same way. I don’t want a handout, I want to work.” He said that he and his wife have made their own way in the world without help from their families. “Whatever we have, we created,” he said. “Just the two of us.” And if the weather cooperates, this year will be a good one for the farm. All of which leads to why Rodriguez deserves an award for being inspiring. “I want to show my kids that nothing is impossible,” he said. “I may not achieve all my dreams, but I’m going to get part of them.” ‑ Laura Gjovaag can be contacted at 509-837-4500, or email LGjovaag@DailySunNews.com Daily Sun News - 3 WIC program expanded to include more dairy, healthy foods for infants, children WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U. S. Department of Agriculture has finalized changes to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) to further improve the nutrition and health of the nation’s low-income pregnant women, new mothers, infants and young children. The changes – which increase access to fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy – are based on the latest nutrition science. The recent changes mark the completion of the first comprehensive revisions to the WIC food packages since 1980. “The updates to the WIC food package make pivotal improvements to the program and better meet the diverse nutritional needs of mothers and their young children,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “The foods provided by the WIC program, along with education that focuses on the critical role of breast- feeding and proper nutrition, help to ensure that every American child has the opportunity to grow up healthy and strong.” Along with a more than 30 percent increase in the dollar amount for children’s fruits and vegetables purchases, the changes also: • expand whole grain options available to participants, • provide yogurt as a partial milk substitute for children and women, • allow parents of older infants to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables instead of jarred infant food if they choose, and; • give states and local WIC agencies more flexibility to meet the nutritional and cultural needs of WIC participants. The revisions reflect public comments submitted in response to the first major changes in more than 30 years. The revisions were published as interim requirements in December 2007, which updated regulations governing WIC foods to align them more closely with updated nutrition science. The changes also reflect the recommendations of the National Academies Institute of Medicine and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the federal government’s benchmarks for healthy eating and nutrition. WIC provides low-income pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women, infants and children, up to age five, with nutritious, supplemental foods. The program also provides nutrition and breastfeeding education and referrals to health and social services. More than 8.5 million participants receive WIC benefits each month. Recent research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified changes to the WIC food packages as a contributing factor in the decline in obesity rates among low-income preschoolers in many states. More information about the changes and the WIC program can be found at www.fns.usda.gov/wic. 521 Midvale Road, Space B • Sunnyside (509) 643-4249 Store hours: Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Over 30 years of serving farmer’s needs. Sales, parts and service Known for its American made reliability. Parma boxes come with standardized running gear. Custom configurations available. we are here when you need us — Our business is keeping your equipment running. Mountain View Equipment Company The premier chopper available on the market. Known for high production, ease of handling, user friendly comfort and exceptional product support. Valley Farmer –– Spring Edition March 25, 2014 4 - Daily Sun News Keeping pollinators healthy should be everyone’s BEESness by Jennie McGhan Beekeepers continue to worry about their colonies as scientists and entomologists study what is causing colonies to disappear. What was believed to be colony collapse disorder is much more complex, according to Washington State University Island County Extension Services Director Dr. Tim Lawrence. He is considered an expert on the state’s bees. “The problem is multi-faceted,” Lawrence said. There are studies that show there are several suspects that are causing bee populations to decline. The Varroa mite, pesticides and lack of nutrition are among the factors that are suspected to cause the disappearance of bees. The bees impacted by these factors include the wild pollinators, according to Lawrence. He said, “The biggest factor is the Varroa mite.” The Varroa mite is a parasite that attacks worker bees. It sucks hymolymph once it has attached itself to a bee. That makes the bee more susceptible to viruses that can spread throughout a colony. Davis Pumps Pesticides, said Lawrence, are another factor. “One chemical by itself doesn’t cause a problem, but combining chemicals can.” He said the use of surfactants with pesticides further stresses the bees. Lawrence said the way in which the bees might be saved is by providing more nutrition for them. “Plant more flowers,” he said. This is important because it can help the pollinators’ natural processes, including see “Pollinators” next page photo courtesy of Michael Bush/ WSU Yakima Extension Office The garden hyacinth, a bulb flower, is one of many plants local gardeners can use to help local bee populations. DAVIS PUMPS & ELECTRIC MOTORS INC. SALES • SERVICE • INSTALLATIONS berkeley pumps Franklin Pumps goulds water systems Domestic & Irrigation Pumps photo courtesy of Michael Bush/WSU Yakima Extension Office There are more than 90 species of crocus, which bloom seasonally. These flowers can be carefully selected to supplement bees from late winter through autumn. Farming is hard work Get back into planting shape with us! Sunnyside Physical Therapy Services • Submersible • Irrigation • Turbine • Sump Pumps • B & B Chlorinators Flex-Con Pressure Tanks 837-5303 Service All Brands Domestic & Irrigation Pumps 2500 Sunnyside/Mabton Hwy. Complete Industrial Hardware Welding - Fabrication Machine Work Metal Spraying Proud supporter of our valley's farmers 882-3881 841 E. LincolnAve. After Hours Call 786-7617 104 W. 5th St. Lower Valley Machine Shop Inc. SUNNYSIDE PHYSICAL THERAPY SERVICES Grandview 839-0414 • Se Habla Español Valley Farmer –– Spring Edition March 25, 2014 Daily Sun News - 5 Pollinators continued from page 4 broad leaf plants, it eliminates even the plants that are natural to the habitat. Farmers, too, may be able to help the state’s bee populations. Lawrence said researchers are looking at how bees might be stimulated, which can benefit the crops. For example, old literature directs farmers to eliminate dandelions from orchards. “For all we know the dandelions may stimulate the bees, causing the queen to produce more,” said Lawrence. “It’s important to re-think practices so that we can effectively use pollinators and create an environment that is friendly to them,” he said. What does this all mean for beekeepers? Ron Moore of Moore & Girls Aviary in Grandview said beekeepers across the nation are affected in some way by colony collapse disorder. He said beekeepers are becoming creative in an effort to maintain healthy colonies. Moore mentioned the efforts of Eric Olson, who is a beekeeper in Yakima. Olson has found placing his hives in a cold storage facility, a controlled environment, is a successful way to keep his colony thriving through the winter months. Moore said the Varroa mite has had a large impact on local bees, as well. That being said, there are some bee- providing the bees with healthier immune systems. “Pesticides can compound problems by compromising the immune system…it has a sub-lethal effect,” said Lawrence. Flowers, however, provide bees with pollen and nectar during different times of the year. That provides the bees with nutrition that builds the immune system, and triggers a detoxification process. “Beekeepers provide nutrition such as sugar syrup, but that doesn’t help them to detoxify,” said Lawrence. “The natural habitat can help provide the natural response that triggers the detoxification process,” he said. Lawrence said it is important for people to plant flowers because farmers only rely on bees during specific times throughout the year. Flowers that are planted in home gardens help supplement the bees when farmers do not need them. “As silly as it sounds, it is important to provide the bees with more habitat,” he said, noting that even programs like the noxious weed program causes a decline in the habitat bees need for survival. Lawrence said there may be a broad leaf plant, for example, that is considered a noxious weed. Via the eradication program, chemicals are used to kill the plant, but because the chemical is intended for keepers who use medications produced by chemical companies to kill the mites. Moore said that can become problematic because “…although we have found bees to be tolerant of most treatments, the mites develop resistance.” He said he prefers using organic treatments to keep the Varroa mite from infecting his hives. Using organic methods is even more important to Moore because medications produced by chemical companies can create problems with honey contracts. “The medication can be used on the bees, but not on the honey equipment,” said Moore. He said chemical companies also find it cost-prohibitive to develop new medications that the mites are not resistant to. “For me, the latest trial involves when I change my queens,” said Moore. He said the Varroa mite feeds off young bees and changing his queens when they are producing fewer larvae reduces the food source for the mites. Moore, however, said pesticides are his biggest concern and a concern in the Yakima Valley. He said he is mindful of where and when pesticides are being used to keep his bees healthy. photo courtesy of Michael Bush/ WSU Yakima Extension Office Honey bees seek the nectar from a variety of plants. The grape hyacinth blooms in the early spring, providing bees with the nutrition needed before agricultural crops are in bloom. DSN 2014 SPRING FARMER ISSUE * ½ page horizontal full color Have you heard? ‑ Jennie McGhan can be contacted at 509-837-4500, or email JMcGhan@DailySunNews.com The Chicks Are Here! Better hurry! Sale prices thru March 31, 2014 Dude! Are you a blue bird/ robin mix? @ Bleyhl Country Stores www.bleyhl.com Sunnyside * Pasco * Grandview * Zillah * Toppenish We’ve got everything to give chicks a great start Bleyhl Country Store Start & Grow Chick Feed Brooder Lamp 10½” With Clamp 50lb Bag #1506 Natural, nutritionally balanced feed for chicks from hatch to 18 weeks $ 47 15 Ea. Automatic Waterer Flip Top Feeder Hinged top for easy filling; head sized openings minimize spills $ #45503023 97 2 Ea. #45504666 Instant warmth for poultry, helps minimize piling $ 97 9 Ea. $ ltry Pou mins Vita stock In 3 Gal. Plastic #699616 97 25 Ea. Let’s Get Social 6 - Daily Sun News Valley Farmer –– Spring Edition March 25, 2014 Cherry thinner Julia Hart/Daily Sun News Jeff Ross of Foothills Irrigation calls this gadget a spider pole. He said the tool was developed for the cherry industry in order to help with cherry thinning. Made of plastic, the fingers at the top of the pole help with the thinning, which allows the cherries to get more sunshine and increase color and size during the growing process. He said the pole can extend up to 8-feet for use in the orchards. The spider pole was one of the many new tools showcased at the 2014 Ag Show held in Yakima this past January. 90 PRACTITIONERS 10 CLINICS 1 MISSION SUNNYSIDE COMMUNITY HOSPITAL PROVIDES SO MUCH MORE TO THE YAKIMA VALLEY. SLEEP DISORDERS CENTER u u Audiology Cardiopulmonary Services Diabetes Education Diagnostic Imaging • CT • Bone Density • Digital Mammography • In-house state-of-the-art MRI • Interventional Vascular Radiology • Nuclear medicine • Stereotactic Breast Biopsy • 4D Ultrasound Dialysis Echocardiography Emergency Services Family Birth Center & OBGYN Family Practice Home Medical Supply (DME) Hospitalists (In-house 24/7) Internal Medicine Intensive Care Unit Laboratory Services Nephrology Occupational Health / Wellness Works Pediatrics Sleep Medicine Step Down Services Surgical Services • Anterior Approach Hip surgery • ENT • Gastrointestinal Endoscopy • General surgery • Neurosurgery/spine surgery • Orthopaedic surgery • Single-port Laparoscopy Swing Bed program Telemetry Therapy Services • Occupational Therapy • Physical Therapy • Speech Therapy Urgent CareSunnyside Community Hospital 2 private suites u Queen size beds u High quality linens Full private shower and restroom u Flat panel televisions SO MUCH MORE... • Sleep apnea • Insomnia • Restless leg syndrome • Periodic limb movement disorder • Narcolepsy • Parasomnias: abnormal movements or behavior during sleep • Circadian rhythm disorders: sleep schedule disturbances, jet lag, shift-work disorder • Sleep complaints commonly associated with other medical disorders • CALL TODAY TO ARRANGE AN APPOINTMENT 882-1855 10th & Tacoma Ave. Sunnyside | 837-1500 | www.sunnysidehospital.org Valley Farmer –– Spring Edition March 25, 2014 Daily Sun News - 7 Congratulations to everyone on your support of our local Ag Economy! A t the Port of Sunnyside we are supporters of all economic growth. Whether that growth is happening on Port of Sunnyside property, or down the road in a neighboring community we salute you. Over the past 50 years the Port of Sunnyside has always encouraged new businesses and welcomed expansion of existing ones. We all must work together to make the Lower Valley the hub of business in Yakima County. Here are a few of the many businesses we want to recognize: Seneca Foods has started construction on a 223,800 square foot warehouse on South Hill Rd. in Sunnyside. Johnson Foods is building a new larger state-of-the-art freezer facility on Blaine Avenue. Valley Processing is expanding capacity with a new Zero Cold Freezer off of Loretta Street in Sunnyside. Bleyhl recently completed their new headquarters for their Agronomy Division on Wine Country Road near corporate headquaters in Grandview. Darigold continues to improve with new receiving bays under construction and more improvements planned. Port Commissioners Jim Grubenhoff, Arnold Martin, Jeff Matson Port of Sunnyside 2640 E. Edison Ave., Suite 1 • P.O. Box 329 • Sunnyside, WA 98944 • (509) 839-7678 Valley Farmer –– Spring Edition March 25, 2014 8 - Daily Sun News From admin to alpacas…a city girl’s migration to the country by Jennifer Ely Could I trade my 30-minute commute to the office for a 30-second commute to the barn? Happily! John and I were content suburbanites seven years ago when we fell in love with alpacas and alpaca people. Once smitten, we purchased and remodeled the family farm in Prosser and began our alpaca adventure. We’re still smiling! Raised for their luxurious fleece, we learned that alpacas are the perfect livestock for small acreage and novice farmers like us. Alpacas are intelligent, eco-friendly and easy keepers. Softer, stronger and warmer than wool, alpaca fiber is similar in feel and value to fine cashmere. We decided to not only raise and sell alpacas, but also to promote our growing national fiber industry by offering luxurious alpaca fashions and accessories. We do so through open farm events and off-farm venues, such as our joint ventures with local wineries and Bill’s Berry Farm. Daily husbandry is a joy. Alpacas are just plain fun to be around…curious and gentle…and uniquely styled in their 22 natural colors and two varieties… huacaya and suri. Retirees, young families and singles find alpacas a perfect fit for a rural lifestyle. see “Alpacas” next page photo courtesy of Jennifer Ely John and Jennifer Ely enjoy raising alpacas and mentoring those new to the industry. CRSC Building For Your Future Columbia River Steel & Construction Veldhuis Dairy Barn, Mabton e’re proud of the many new projects we’ve completed in the Lower W Valley. Whether it is a New Processing Plant, Dairy, Christian Center, Manufacturing Plant,Winery, an Alaskan Cannery or your next project, Columbia River Steel is here for you. At Columbia River Steel and Construction we believe that all projects are more than steel, lumber and concrete. Our skilled craftsmen are dedicated to providing the best quality materials and workmanship in the most costeffective manner. Whether a small addition or a complete new facility, we will work with you to make sure its done right. • Agricultural, Commercial and Industrial Buildings. • Pre-Engineered Steel Buildings. • Manufacturing Buildings Locally at our Grandview Plant. Columbia River Steel & Construction Helping Build The Local Economy! #COLUMRS0150Z Blueline Mfg. building next to SunnyView Park on Yakima Valley Highway. Oregon State: CCB#155421 813 Wallace Way • Grandview, WA 98930 www.crsconst.com • (509) 882-4680 Valley Farmer –– Spring Edition March 25, 2014 Daily Sun News - 9 New state ag director tells Latino farmers his door is always open by Laura Gjovaag YAKIMA – Don “Bud” Hover told a group of Latino farmers at the Small Farms Conference in Yakima how his own grandfather came to live in the Yakima Valley after losing everything in the Dust Bowl. “You folks are the next chapter,” he said. “Without the farmworker, agriculture does not exist. You are working your way up the same way my grandfather did.” Hover is the director of the Washington State Department of Agriculture. He was appointed by Gov. Jay Inslee last April and said he hopes to help Washington farmers succeed. Hover himself is a farmer now, after a career that included playing middle linebacker in the NFL for two years. He earned two Bachelor of Science degrees in agriculture education/forest and range management from WSU and a Master’s degree in public administration from The Evans School of Public Affairs, University of Washington. In 1980 Hover became the co-owner and manager of the Sunny M Ranch in Winthrop, and since then served two terms as Okanogan County commissioner, until January 2013. Hover told the farmers at the conference that his experiences as a farmer have helped him to understand the issues faced by small farms in the state. “Farming is tough,” he said. “One thundercloud and you can lose everything. It’s a tough business, it takes tough State people, it gets into your Washington Department of Agriblood.” culture Director Don He said that 90 percent of the farms in “Bud” Hover the state are considered small. And he knows that a lot of farmers are not able to make it on their farming income alone. “A lot of folks are farming and also have outside jobs,” he said. Hover told the farmers that 39 percent of the state economy is farming. “We are easy to overlook,” he said. “But we are the backbone of this state. We are a powerful force.” w O dealership specific information. Trade-Ins Welcome see “Director” next page Alpacas continued from page 8 At Sage Bluff Alpacas we welcome visitors daily by appointment, as well as during open farm events. We offer tours, refreshments, fiber arts demonstrations, beautiful retail and the opportunity to learn about alpacas. Mentoring first time alpaca owners has become our niche. It’s a privilege to share our knowledge with new breeders who quickly become good friends. How can we sell these animals we’ve raised and love and know by name? When they go to good homes - to families who will succeed in our business and have a blast doing it - then it’s 509-575-1916 s n e your Replace this text with Owens Cycle, Inc. a joy. We are supported by active national and regional organizations, as well as a highly evolved, closely knit alpaca community. (Excuse the pun!) As Chamber members, we are avid supporters of the Prosser community and the Yakima Valley’s growing agri-tourism. To learn more about alpacas, contact myself or my husband John at Sage Bluff Alpacas in Prosser, 509-786-4507, or visit our web site: www.sagebluffalpacas.com. 1707 N. 1st Street • Yakima, WA 98901 Offers good on new and unregistered units purchased between 3/1/14-4/30/14. *On select models. See your dealer for details. Rates as low as 2.99% for 36 months. Approval, and any rates and terms provided, are based on credit worthiness. Fixed APR of 2.99%, 6.99%, or 9.99% will be assigned based on credit approval criteria. Other financing offers are available. See your local dealer for details. Minimum Amount Financed $1,500; Maximum Amount Financed $50,000. Other qualifications and restrictions may apply. Financing promotions void where prohibited. Offer effective on all new and unused 2008-2014 Polaris ATV, RANGER, and RZR models purchased from a participating Polaris dealer between 3/1/2014 and 4/30/2014. Offer subject to change without notice. Warning: The Polaris RANGER® and RZR® are not intended for on-road use. Driver must be at least 16 years old with a valid driver's license to operate. Passengers must be at least 12 years old and tall enough to grasp the hand holds and plant feet firmly on the floor. All SxS drivers should take a safety training course. Contact ROHVA at www.rohva.org or (949) 255-2560 for additional information. Drivers and passengers should always wear helmets, eye protection, protective clothing, and seat belts. Always use cab nets or doors (as equipped). Be particularly careful on difficult terrain. Never drive on public roads or paved surfaces. Never engage in stunt driving, and avoid excessive speeds and sharp turns. Riding and alcohol/drugs don't mix. Check local laws before riding on trails. ATVs can be hazardous to operate. Polaris adult models are for riders 16 and older. For your safety, always wear a helmet, eye protection and protective clothing, and be sure to take a safety training course. For safety and training information in the U.S., call the SVIA at (800) 887-2887. You may also contact your Polaris dealer or call Polaris at (800) 342-3764. ©2014 Polaris Industries Inc. ‑ Jennifer Ely and her husband John own and operate Sage Bluff Alpacas in Prosser. (509) 829-9500 • ZILLAH Golden West Seed Co. • Settling Ponds • Gravel Hauling • Utilities www.pioneer.com All purchases are subject to the terms of labeling and purchase documents. ®, SM TM Trademarks and service marks, registered or applied for, of Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc. Des Moines, Iowa, U.S.A. ©1998 PHII. • Irrigation Systems (new & repair) Proudly Serving The Valley For 23 Years (trenching, install & repair) SEED CORN C. CYCLE, IN KYLE VAN BELLE Proudly serving the Lower Yakima Valley License# VANBEBE919NP READ ALL ABOUT IT! 837-4500 Call to Subscribe • Concrete/Asphalt Prep (prep & removal) • Driveways (new & resurfacing) • Site Prep Van Belle Excavating www.vbexcavating.com 509-781-0551 Valley Farmer –– Spring Edition March 25, 2014 10 - Daily Sun News Now’s the time to get pasture weeds under control With green starting to show in pastures, livestock producers are thinking about weed control. Now is the ideal time to control troublesome pasture weeds, says Dr. David Fernandez, Cooperative Extension Program livestock specialist at the University of Arkansas. Not only are some weeds toxic to cattle, but also weeds adversely affect livestock operations in many ways. Weeds compete with desirable pasture grasses and legumes for nutrients. Some are unpalatable; livestock will not eat them so less feed is available in the pasture, says Dr. Fernandez. Some weeds cause injuries or pain if they have thorns. “Weed control can be an effective way to increase production by improving forage availability,” says Dr. Fernandez. Mowing, grazing, improving soil fertility and herbicide spraying are some of the ways to control weeds. Mowing should be done in the boot stage before flowers emerge. Weeds can flower and set seed very quickly. Once the seeds develop, mowing just spreads them further into pastures. Some weeds are both palatable and nutritious early in the growth, and livestock will readily graze them. To control weeds by grazing, subdivide weedy pastures, and place a high concentration of animals on one pad- dock, advises Dr. Fernandez. The animals will eat or trample the weeds. The grass can recover once the animals are moved to the next paddock. Grazing should not be used to control weeds toxic to livestock, warns Dr. Fernandez. Weeds can outcompete more desirable species under conditions of low fertility. Some common weeds respond well to late winter/early spring herbicide treatment, including buttercup, the first weed to emerge, wild garlic or wild onion and thistles. Spraying now for buttercup will prevent pastures from turning yellow with flowers this spring. Thistles are best treated in the rosette stage before the flower stalk begins to grow. Director continued from page 9 He described how Washington farms are second only to California in the variety of crops produced. He also noted that Washington is No. 1 in 11 different commodities, including apples. “We never get the attention or credit we are due,” he said. Hover, who has two children, tied farming into his family history and his hopes for his family’s future. He told how his ancestors came to the United States in the 1700s and moved west with the wagon trains. His grandfather was a North Dakota farmer and coal miner until he lost everything in the Dust Bowl and moved further west. “He heard there was work in the Yakima Valley, so he came here,” Hover said. “He started out as a laborer and worked until he got land, the same as farmers now are doing.” His grandfather’s land in Zillah is still owned by his cousins. “Back when my grandfather came to the valley, there was discrimination against the newcomers,” said Hover. “I know you probably face that here, even worse than he did. He fought through it. We need you. We need you and your children to be the next generation of farmers.” Hover said he hopes to leave his farm to his children, and he hopes the farmers at the conference can do the same for their children. “What I want to do as (state ag) director is help you to succeed,” he said. Hover also introduced the community liaison for the Department of Agricul- ture, Ignacio Marquez, to the group. Marquez, who is based in Yakima, is available to help farmers throughout the state. His office can be reached at 509-249-6970 or by email at email@example.com. “My door is always open,” said Hover. “I have people on the ground to serve you. If that’s not happening, I want to hear about it. Let me know.” ‑ Laura Gjovaag can be contacted at 509-837-4500, or email LGjovaag@DailySunNews.com For four generations, Husch and Husch has been meeting the fertilizer needs of Valley farmers. We have the experienced employees, the equipment, the product and the expertise to assure you of a professional job. Call now for a timely application. ...serving the Valley’s farmers for more than 70 years, Husch & Husch, Inc. of Harrah can help you maximize profits! Call Today! (509) 848-2951 Custom Row/Crop Spraying Liquid or Dry Blends • Soil Testing • Complete Line of Fertilizers • liquid • dry • acid base • organic Custom Fertilizers with chemicals... one pass operation • Farm Chemicals • Seed Products State-of-the-Art Liquid Plant • Custom blends • Manufacturers of liquid fertilizers and liquid foliars • Custom Hydro-Seeding • corn • alfalfa Orchard Products • Chemical • Liquid Injection after hours you may reach oUr sales representatives Ron Voss, CCA 305-1363 David Anderson 727-1363 Ed Boob 728-5555 Kelly Husch 728-0901 Husch & Husch Pat Leneave 969-0067 Valley Farmer –– Spring Edition March 25, 2014 Daily Sun News - 11 Learning to love lentils Wine grapes confab Whether using them for a warm bowl of soup or to make a cool scoop of ice cream, lentils have an array of purpose and options for pretty much every taste bud. Besides its flexibility as an ingredient, lentils have major health benefits. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, one cup of lentils provides more than 60 percent of daily dietary fiber. In addition, just one cup of cooked lentils provides 18 grams of protein. Lentils, a cousin of the bean that features lens-shaped seeds growing in ARA a pod, are also a significant crop for Washington state’s farm economy. The USDA notes that 62,000 acres of lentils were grown in Washington in 2013. Last year, 93 million pounds of lentils were harvested in this state. The health and economic benefits of lentils in Washington state are celebrated each August at the National Lentil Festival in Pullman. One of the attractions, besides a national lentil royalty, is the opportunity to try lentil ice cream. For more information on the National Lentil Festival visit www.lentilfest.com. DEON R HERNDON, ARA Accredited Rural Appraiser Rural Real Estate Appraiser Deon R. Herndon, ARA photo courtesy of the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers Visitors to the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers’ annual meeting, convention and trade show learn more about the industry at one of the event’s more than 160 booths last month. Students from Yakima Valley Community College’s viticulture and enology program were among the more than 40 volunteers providing information to members of the wine industry. A record-breaking 2,500 industry stakeholders attended the annual event held at the Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick. Excellent Service s! At Wholesale Pabrile!ce When You Buy from Irrigation Specialists Featuring The Largest Universal Gear Boxes Drivelines Do-It-Yourself Irrigation Company in the Northwest Grandview 815 Wallace Way Irrigation Specialists (509) 882-2060 Pasco 2410 N. 4th Ave. Pivot Orchard & Vinyard Sales Jon Hayter Othello 1155 S. 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OPEN: Mon. - Fri. 7 am - 5 pm Saturday 7 am - 2 pm Valley Farmer –– Spring Edition March 25, 2014 12 - Daily Sun News Port of Sunnyside invests in automated irrigation system by Jennie McGhan The Port of Sunnyside this past winter installed an automated irrigation system to create more flexibility when irrigating its spray fields. Gary Holwegner is the sprayfield manager for the port. He said the automated system helps the Port of Sunnyside adhere to requirements in its wastewater permit as it adds capacity to its wastewater treatment facility. “In the past we used handoperated irrigation valves,” said Holwegner. That means an employee had to manually turn on irrigation to its different fields at different intervals throughout the day. Irrigation was limited to operation hours with the system. With automation, the irrigation can be rotated continuously throughout a 24-hour period. Holwegner said irrigating the port’s alfalfa fields can also be completed in more frequent, shorter intervals. “That will slow the potential for leaching nitrates into the groundwater,” he said. Shorter intervals means less water will be applied during each cycle, giving the soil and alfalfa time to absorb it. The automated system is run by a central computer. That computer sends a signal to each of the irrigation valves located throughout the spray fields, Holwegner said. “About 10,000 feet of cable was installed in the fields to operate the system,” he said. Holwegner said the irrigation pumps deliver approximately 2,800 gallons of water per minute. A flow meter measures the water delivery and a computerized variable frequency drive monitors the water pressure. If the water pressure exceeds a set limit an irrigation pump is automatically slowed to adjust the see “Port” next page Jennie McGhan/Daily Sun News Port of Sunnyside Sprayfield Manager Gary Holwegner looks at the newly installed computer that controls the port’s automated irrigation system. SUNNYSIDE NEW HOLLAND, llc. Sunnyside New Holland, LLC 526 W. Yakima Valley Highway • Sunnyside, WA 98944 509-837-2714 The highest company honor that recognizes outstanding achievement in all facets of business management and customer satisfaction. Take I-82 Exit 63 from Yakima or the Tri-Cities www.ssnh.com LOCAL enough to KNOW YOU, but big enough to meet ALL your needs! See us for all your harvest and rental needs. 30-300 hp Valley Farmer –– Spring Edition March 25, 2014 Jennie McGhan/Daily Sun News Approximately 10,000 feet of cable was this past winter installed at the Port of Sunnyside spray fields, enabling the port to automate its irrigation system. Sprayfield Manager Gary Holwegner noted these cables were to be encased in a box. Daily Sun News - 13 The GreenLine Pump line offers a full range of pump sizes and horsepower to meet your requirements. We can accommodate your pump needs with anything from a half horsepower pump to move fifty gallons per minute in our 118 series, to two hundred horsepower to move five thousand gallons per minute in our 250 series. Purchase a GreenLine Pump at a much lower cost than similar pumps on the market. With GreenLine Pumps, we can ensure you performance and reliability for years to come. Port continued from page 12 pressure. That doesn’t mean Holwegner and the staff at the Port of Sunnyside do not need to monitor the system. He said there will still be a need to check the water pressure at the valves. They will need to determine if there is a blockage in the line or a sprinkler head if there is a water pressure problem. Water pressure at the valves also must be recorded. “All of this will be done, completed and running by the start of irrigation season,” Holwegner said. ‑ Jennie McGhan can be contacted at 509-837-4500, or email JMcGhan@DailySunNews.com GreenLine 250 high volume floater pump used for flush or flume systems Certi fied Pu b l i c A c c oun t an t s rti fied Pu b l i c A cco unt a nt s Newhouse & Associates GreenLine 10X8X14 flush pumps for two 7,000 cow dairies with back-up pump We focus on your finances, so you can focus on your farm or business. •Farm Tax Planning •Payroll Services •Income Tax Preparation •Succession Planning •IRS Problem Resolution •Quickbook Training & Assistance 718 Sixth Street • Prosser • 786-2404 www.newhouseassociates.com GreenLine 250 triple pump skid Diesel pump drive Flow measurement in water or wastewater applications offers cost effective readings with a high degree of accuracy for a wide range of process conditions. Optional remote monitoring with data logged spreadsheets www.daritech.com • (360)354-6900 Daritech Inc. Valley Farmer –– Spring Edition March 25, 2014 14 - Daily Sun News photo courtesy of Rob Nalle of Simplicity Homes A series of seven-man bunk houses provide seasonal housing for Mercer Ranch in the Horse Heaven Hills, south of Sunnyside. Modern labor housing durable and offers low maintenance by Julia Hart Proving adequate housing for seasonal farm labor is a complicated matter, according to labor housing expert Rob Nalle of Redmond, Ore. Farming operations want to ensure a quality and trained labor force returns year after year, so in many cases the bonus of having clean and healthy places to live during the growing and harvest season can be a real plus, Nalle explained. A sales associate with Simplicity Homes, Nalle has spent the past several months attending agricultural shows, including the Yakima Ag Expo, promoting a variety of stick built labor housing options. Because of federal rules regulating the type of housing farmers can offer their seasonal help, housing companies, such as Simplicity Homes, are finding a growing niche in the farm labor housing markets. “Our homes meet the H2A regulations, which requires farm labor see “Housing” next page 110 Factory Rd. Sunnyside* (509) 836-0602 sseqinc.com EQUIPMENT www.supremeinternational.com If you still see us as just a bank, dig a little deeper. Ag Services from Columbia Bank, to help you grow. • • • Operating loans to equipment loans. All your banking needs under one roof. From a safe, stable community bank. Columbia Bank Sunnyside Branch SS Equipment Your only Authorized Dealer in Eastern Washington for Sales, Parts & Service 12 LOCATIONS TO SERVE YOU! Christmas Valley Corvallis Hermiston Hines LaGrande Lakeview (541) 576-3026 Moses Lake (509) 764-8447 (541) 757-8112 Othello (509) 488-9606 (541) 567-3001 Pasco (509) 547-1795 (541) 573-1280 Quincy (509) 787-3595 (541) 963-8144 Walla Walla (509) 522-9800 (541) 947-2188 *not an authorized New Holland location 509-837-3350 2690 E Lincoln Avenue Janice Weets, VP Branch Manager Verden Haddox, VP Commercial Banking Officer ColumbiaBank.com Member FDIC Equal Housing Lender You’ll notice the difference. Valley Farmer –– Spring Edition March 25, 2014 Daily Sun News - 15 Housing continued from page 14 housing to meet federal health and safety standards,” Nalle explained. Some companies specializing in housing units offer self-contained modular, pre-manufactured housing options, he said. “Even though the housing units are for temporary occupation, we build the stick structures for use season after season,” Nalle said. Examples of the barrack-style housing units are currently being used by large farming operations such as Mercer Farmers in the Bickleton area and on the Royal Slope, Nalle said. He said the size of the housing units can range in size from a 7-man bunk house to a 16-man bunk house, complemented with common buildings complete with showers, laundry and cooking facilities. Nalle said more of the countertop spaces in the common buildings are made of stainless steel while fiber cement walls can be added for durability. “The units are designed not only to be durable, but to also offer low maintence for the residents and the property owners,” Nalle said. Spring planting doesn’t wait for injuries W photo courtesy of Rob Nalle of Simplicity Homes A commons building is outfitted with a kitchen designed with several cooking areas for food storage, plus adequate clean-up. Concrete floors and stainless steel counters are designed to hold up to daily use. hether on the links, in the field or in the office, everyone is an athlete, and injuries can set back your entire team. When injury strikes, see Sunnyside Physical & Sports Therapy for all your therapy needs. S U N N Y S I D E OK to Go - CMYK ‑ Julia Hart can be contacted at 509-837-4500, or email JHart@DailySunNews.com &SPORTS PHYSICAL T H E R A P Y With floor plans designed to fit the need of large operations to small operations, H2A compliant housing units can easily accommodate upward of 30 men for daily living with sleeping quarters available from 7-man bunk to 16-man bunk houses. Here to serve you. 1405 East Edison Ave. • Sunnyside 837-7400 Sunnyside Physical & Sports Therapy Sunnyside Physical & Sports Therapy graphic courtesy Simplicity Homes Fleet & CommerCial savings! 61 E. 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Despite President Obama’s suggestion, the drought is not linked to global warming. In fact, as the New York Times noted, “…the most recent computer projections suggest that as the world warms, California should get wetter, not drier, in the winter….” Historically, rainfall in the state’s agricultural region fluctuates, with periods of above-average rainfall followed by periods of below average rainfall. In 1897, the Central Valley got 13.6 inches of rain, but only 4.6 inches the following year. In 1958, the region got more than 23 inches of rain; the next year, less than 8 inches. The same “feast and famine” pattern is evident throughout the 125-year record. Because of that, state and federal officials constructed an extensive reservoir and canal system designed to withstand five years of drought. The system has been so successful it has encouraged farmers to put more arid land into production and allowed water-hungry cities to create lavish gardens and exclusive golf courses. The result: a slimmer safety margin when rain is scarce. Then in 2007, everything changed. In May of that year, a Federal District Court judge ordered the state to allocate more water to protecting the Delta smelt - a three-inch fish on the Endangered Species List. Since then, tens of billions of gallons of water has been flushed down the rivers into the ocean - enough to flood three million acres of farmland a foot deep. The result? Less water held in reservoirs to use in times of drought. According to the House Natural Resource Committee, chaired by Pasco’s Doc Hastings (R-WA), “This manmade drought cost thousands of farm workers their jobs, inflicted up to 40 percent unemployment in certain communities, and fallowed hundreds of thousands of acres of fertile farmland.” The House recently voted 229-191 to reallocate California’s water sup- plies. President Obama has vowed to veto the measure. Why should we care? Because the same thing could happen here. Activists are waging an aggressive campaign to tear out dams on the Columbia River system to benefit salmon, even though the rivers have recently seen record-breaking fish runs. Now, to aid the salmon, the Obama administration wants to change the Columbia River Treaty with Canada to release more water over the dams. That will reduce the amount of water held in reservoirs, which will limit water for irrigation, reduce electricity production, resulting in higher prices, and reduce our ability to prevent deadly flooding – one of the main reasons the dams were built. The vision of free-flowing rivers is appealing – but at what cost? If we release more water from reservoirs, how will we sustain ourselves during dry spells? What happens to the 670,000 acres of Eastern Washington farmland that depend on irrigation? What happens to the 82,000 agricul- ture-related jobs and $1.5 billion in wages? How will we replace the 75 percent of our electricity that is generated by hydropower? If environmental activists and the Obama administration get their way, we will be setting ourselves up for a situation much like what California faces today - higher food prices, shortages, layoffs and economic disaster. ‑ Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, and former president of the Association of Washington Business. Dairy Farmers of Washington Valley Farmer –– Spring Edition March 25, 2014 Spring Daily Sun News - 17 Best Tire Value Promise sunnysiDe GrAnDview Prosser Se Habla Español Our Most Popular ON SALE! • Our Most Popular ON SALE! • Our Most Popular ON SALE! On Sale! Free MOUNTING • AIR CHECKS • ROTATIONS ROAD HAZARD • FLAT REPAIR 60 24/7 STARTING AT STARTING AT 25 Free MOUNTING • AIR CHECKS • ROTATIONS ROAD HAZARD • FLAT REPAIR P155/90SR-13 175/65HR-14 ON ThE farm sErvicE! OVEr 20% MOrE trEaD lIFE farmErs raNchErs DairymEN So you get more miles out of these tires.* OutStaNDING WEt & DrY traCtION Means a better handling, safer driving experience in all weather. 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In addition to a federal tax credit that is valued at 30 percent of the total cost of a system, Washington also has a sales tax exemption and production incentives for solar power. The federal credit expires in 2016, but some of the state incentives will last until 2020. Eugene Wilkie of Solar Xcel said Washington state’s incentives are unique in the nation. He noted that Germany, which is farther north than most of Washington state, is producing the most solar energy in the world thanks to incentives. “Solar is set to take off in Washington,” he said. “It is a very good time to get into it.” The sales tax exemption allows those who undertake small solar installations to not pay any tax at all while installations that produce more than 10 kilowatts can be reimbursed for 75 percent of the taxes. The incentive for smaller systems is in place until 2018, while the reimbursement incentive is active until 2020. Washington also has a production incentive that will expire in 2020. Until then, producers of solar power will be paid for every kilowatt hour produced, whether or not it is used at the source or see “Solar” next page Eugene Wilkie of Solar Xcel is enthusiastic about the future of solar power in Washington state, thanks to the benefits offered for installing systems. With prices continuing to drop and current tax credits offered to farmers for installing systems, Wilkie believes the Yakima Valley area has the potential to be a major solar producer in the near future. Laura Gjovaag/Daily Sun News Proud to Help Local Farms Flourish ! Sunrise comes early ... you need a good night’s sleep Free Delive ry Set Up and Remov al WILBUR ELLIS IDEAS TO GROW WITH Your tree and vine expert Wilbur Ellis Serving your organic and conventional needs for over 50 years. 1301 W. Wine Country Rd. Grandview 882-4334 “Just Minutes From Anywhere.” 509-882-1247 • 1-800-525-4467 Marchant Home Furnishings Mon-Sat 9-5:30, Thur ‘til 9 I-82 Exit 73 • Wine Country Road Grandview www.marchanthomefurnishings.com Valley Farmer –– Spring Edition March 25, 2014 Water outlook good for growers Due to two-to-three times the normal mountain snowfall in recent weeks, the snowpack has reached normal levels. That’s according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which notes well above average precipitation along with cooler than normal temperatures brought much needed relief to not only the mountain snowpack in Washington state, but also soil moisture in the valleys. Forecasts for spring and summer runoff have increased considerably over the last month as well. Unfortunately, too much of a good thing can also lead to problems such as traffic jams, high avalanche danger, localized flooding and landslides. Short term weather forecasts indicate a higher probability of above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation. Long term predictions from the Climate Prediction Center also indicate a chance of above normal temperatures but uncertainty on precipitation. Solar continued from page 18 goes into the grid. The amount of the premium varies from utility to utility, but is capped at $5,000 a year. Washington also has net metering in place, which will not expire. Net metering allows a solar producer to “bank” kilowatt hours. For every kWh sent to the grid, the solar producer gets credit for one kWh used when solar is not being generated. For summer months when solar production is high, net metering can almost erase winter heating bills. Wilkie said that solar makes sense for local farms thanks to incentives. He said his company has been installing systems in the Yakima area almost as fast as they can sign people up for them. With panels expected to last up to 50 years, installations can continue to provide benefits for customers long after most of the state’s incentives expire. “You are still going to be getting that energy even if you aren’t getting cash back,” said Wilkie. “But right now is a good time to start, because there is that possibility of getting money back.” ‑ Laura Gjovaag can be contacted at 509-837-4500, or email LGjovaag@DailySunNews.com March SPECIALS EFFECTIVE MARCH 1-31, 2014 Chick Turkey Starter Pride Special D 14 15 % % 15 25 $ 60 $ Empire Heavy Equipment Repair EQUIPMENT SALES & SERVICE 3071 E. Edison Avenue • Sunnyside (509) 840-1149 mobile repair service We come to you l today e o J ll a C an ow he c d h e e s n to ck up a a b u o y get FAST running specializing IN All forms of farm, dairy & industrial equipment repair Feed Trucks ■ Feed Mixers ■ Forklifts ■ Tractors ■ Loaders ■ Backhoes ■ Semi Trucks ■ Dump Trucks ■ and much more! we do it all!! OFF* OFF* Durvet Equine Wormers & Merck Equine Vaccines 65 Daily Sun News - 19 Miller Metal Chicken Waterers & Feeders *RETAIL Western Stockmen’s 304 Yakima Valley Highway • 836-0267 Mon – Fri 8:00 – 5:30 • Sat 8 – 12 • Closed Sunday For more information contact: Joel Gonzalez (509) 840-1149 Your local dealer representative Empire Heavy Equipment Repair Valley Farmer –– Spring Edition March 25, 2014 20 - Daily Sun News Passage of farm bill provides farmers security by Laura Gjovaag After two years of wrangling, the Agriculture Act of 2014, better known as the farm bill, passed through the United States Congress and was signed by the President this past February. The act is an important piece of legislation for agriculture in particular, but it affects every person in the country in some way. Juan Garcia, the national administrator of the United States Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency, spoke at the Small Farms Conference in Yakima in February and told his audience, “If you eat, you are involved in agriculture.” His speech was a reminder that farming is still the backbone of the nation’s economy, and the farm bill is important to the stability of agriculture. Originally conceived as a way to help farmers during the Great Depression, the first farm bill created crop subsidies and the precursor to the food stamp program. Both programs are still in modern versions of the farm bill and tend to be highly controversial. The farm bill requires updating every five years. It covers a variety of topics, but mostly focuses on agriculture and food policies. Because of the topic, the bill can impact everything from food safety and environmental concerns to international trade. The most recent update was due in 2012, but did not happen because of disagreements on how much funding certain programs should receive. Congress extended the previous bill for a year, until the end of 2013. However, until the new bill was passed, businesses hesitated to invest in the future due to uncertainty of what the new bill would offer. Garcia noted that, regardless of the content of the new bill, the fact that it is in place provides security for farmers. He praised Congress for finalizing the act, saying that it provides additional support for farming communities and a safety net for new or minority farmers. Garcia said the new version of the farm bill also supports farmers markets and attempts to develop new and emerging markets for American produce. He pointed out that Washington state depends on exports. The new bill also contains provisions for micro-loans, which have been successfully applied to farming, according to Garcia. He also said that farmers will be able to afford more crop insurance, helping them through bouts of bad weather. The increases in crop insurance were paired with cuts to some farm subsi- Laura Gjovaag/Daily Sun News Juan Garcia, the national administrator of the United States Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency, speaks at the Small Farms Conference in Yakima in February. In addition to speaking about the farm bill, Garcia also listened to comments from farmers to take back to the president. dies, which will alter the way farmers do business. The farm bill will cost the nation about $956.4 billion over the next de- TM Bos, Inc. Bos Refrigeration Authorized Dealer #BOSRE✩✩964P5 • A/C • Heating • Sheet Metal (509) 839-3466 3940 Alexander Road • Sunnyside, WA 98944 R.H. Smith Distributing Co., Inc. R.H. Smith Distributing Co., Inc. 5 Transport Units to Serve Your Needs! Gas or Diesel www.rhsmith.com 882-3377 Eddie Herrera Transport Operations (509) 840-1704 ex 108 Phillips 66 Company 315 E. Wine Country Rd. Grandview Commercial Tire Sunnyside • 509-837-2543 cade, which amounts to about 2 percent of federal spending. ‑ Laura Gjovaag can be contacted at 509-837-4500, or email LGjovaag@DailySunNews.com Valley Farmer –– Spring Edition March 25, 2014 Daily Sun News - 21 Getting into tight places Beef production expected to be on the rise in 2014 Expectations for U.S. beef production in 2014 are higher than previous estimates, according to the USDA’s last forecast of 2013. The United States Department of Agriculture World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) forecast increased beef exports, cattle prices and beef production estimates over its November predictions. The December forecast increases total red meat and beef production in 2014 by less than 1 percent each compared to the previous month’s forecasts. According to the report, the increase is a result of higher than expected cattle and hog carcass weights and higher cattle slaughter. The beef production forecast predicts that imports will remain consistent with earlier predictions. Demand will likely keep cattle prices strong going into 2014. Shrinking supplies will make each head more valuable with expected prices next year higher. The USDA specifically focuses on fed cattle prices, which have remained above $130 per hundredweight while beef prices hover above $200. High beef prices will depend on consumer demand this year as per capita consumption increased from November estimates, but could remain 6 percent lower than 2013 projections. Benton REA Irrigation pipe and power lines play crucial roles on today’s farms. But the two should never come into contact with each other. Julia Hart/Daily Sun News It looks like a cross between a recreational all-terrain vehicle and a golf cart, but it is a popular means of transportation on small farms. The quad seen here hitched to a small disc is great for hobby farms, according to Ron Schauer of Farmers Equipment Company of Sunnyside. LOOK UP… & LIVE!! BENTON REA reminds you that when it’s time to move irrigation pipes, ladders, antennas or anything in the air: Survey the area to make sure you are not near a power line. Benton REA www.bentonrea.org 1-800-221-6987 Valley Farmer –– Spring Edition March 25, 2014 22 - Daily Sun News Leadership transition underway for Roza by John Fannin After nearly 40 years with the Roza Irrigation District – the last 12 as manager – Tom Monroe retired at the end of January. “I’m really looking forward to starting my next journey in life,” says Monroe, who started his Roza career on the maintenance crew. That next journey, he notes, includes time with family and his two grandchildren, as well as travel plans for the Oregon Coast, Montana and Las Vegas for a NASCAR event. As for the journey he just completed with Roza, Monroe looks back with fondness and pride for the accomplishments made. Those accomplishments include the district’s commitment to piping its irrigation laterals to increase efficiencies. Monroe says the progress was accomplished in large part because of the Roza Irrigation board of directors. “The board has been very progressive in making improvements to the system,” he said. That mix of vision with a steady hand made the Roza managerial post attractive to Scott Revell, who took over the job on a full-time basis in February. Revell was actually hired last Septem- ber, and spent four months working with Monroe to ensure a smooth transition last month. Previously the manager of the Kennewick Irrigation District, Revell said the Roza position is appealing because of the longevity of its managers and board members. Revell during that four-month transition learned the Roza district literally from the ground up, as he spent five days out with a ditch rider. “I had to learn the geography of the system,” he said. Though Roza’s district is three times larger than Kennewick’s in terms of area served, Revell says he appreciates how Roza is more rural than the 23,000 customers his former employer served. While Monroe rose through the ranks to become Roza’s manager, Revell’s career path is notably different in that he started as a municipal planner for the cities of Kennewick and Hood River, Ore., as well as for Walla Walla County and Richland before going to work for the Kennewick Irrigation District seven years ago. Revell says he made the change from city planning to irrigation districts because of the pressure and evening demands of working for municipalities. While with the Kennewick district, Revell was a representative to the Yakima Basin Integrated Plan developed to in- crease water storage. Now that he’s with Roza, Revell is in position to help see the integrated plan develop. “There’s tremendous momentum,” he says of state and federal interest in funding the plan, which will also help restore fish habitat. Revell is encouraged by the fact state officials want to convey to Washington D.C. just how much irrigators have been spending over the past 30 years to maintain and improve their delivery systems. “It’s important to be able to tell the story that users have been spending money on the system,” he says, estimating in the Roza District alone there has been $40 million of user money spent on water conservation projects. “I don’t know if we’ve done a good a job of tooting our own horn.” He says there won’t be many changes in Roza’s operations with the change in management. Revell says his approach is to trust staff in carrying out their responsibilities. “I believe in giving good, clear directions and letting people do their jobs,” he said. - John Fannin can be reached at email@example.com or at 837-4500. Tom Monroe Scott Revell Your Full Service Propane, Lubricants & Fuel Professionals Serving Yakima to the Tri-Cities Since 1964. 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The bill also lifts previous restrictions on growing industrial hemp, allowing states where it is legal to grow it for research purposes. Lawmakers in Olympia are considering legislation to study the viability of an industrial hemp industry in the state. “The farm bill allows WSU to continue building Washington’s agriculture and clean energy economy,” said WSU President Elson S. Floyd. “It supports our traditional mainstay crops and creates opportunities to explore the possibilities of new, emerging crops. “I appreciate President Obama’s signing the bill and the work of Congress in its de- velopment,” he said. “I thank the members of the Washington state delegation who supported these efforts.” Key ag initiatives The bill stabilizes or increases opportunities for several initiatives where WSU competes for federal funds to support Washington’s $40 billion agriculture industry: • Increased funding for the Specialty Crop Research Initiative, which helps fund large projects addressing complex agricultural problems for some of Washington’s signature crops, including tree fruit. • Increased funding for the National Clean Plant Network, which supports Clean Plant Center Northwest based at WSU’s Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center in Prosser. • Increased funding for Specialty Crop Block Grants, which benefit producers of fruits, vegetables, tree nuts and nursery crops – all key components of Washington’s agricultural industry. • Reauthorized funding for the Biomass Research and Development Initiative, with a focus on reducing the costs of producing sugars from cellulosic biomass – a primary element of WSU’s work in M ERIT “Steps to a Brighter Tomorrow” RESOURCE SERVICES Merit Resource Services Effective Treatment With Caring, Competent People Can Make A Difference 702 E. Franklin Avenue P.O. Box 997 Sunnyside, WA 98944 (509) 837-7700 Toppenish (509) 865-5233 Agent Ben Sartin 1112 Yakima Valley Hwy. Sunnyside, WA 98944 509-837-3800 Wapato (509) 877-7271 developing aviation jet fuel from woody biomass. WSU is co-lead, along with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, of the Federal Aviation Administration’s newly designated Center of Excellence for Alternative Jet Fuels and the Environment. Specialty crops, clean planting stock WSU scientists have competed for and been awarded more than $25 million since 2008 through the Specialty Crops Research Initiative. That investment in their research has led to major advances for Washington growers, from enhanced use of weather data to forecast pest outbreaks, to improved harvest mechanization, to breeding new apple and cherry varieties. WSU researchers also have developed control procedures for diseases and insects in grapes, hops, potatoes and tree fruits. In total, specialty crops represent a $3.2 billion industry in the state. During the same time period, Clean Plant Center Northwest has received more than $4 million from the National Clean Plant Network to provide pathogen-tested planting stock for the grape, tree fruit and hop industries. These industries, situated primarily in central Washington, rely on the Prosser-based center for high quality, disease-free material to start their orchards, vineyards and hop yards. “The value of planting material free of known pathogens and pests has been demonstrated to far exceed the cost to growers of damage caused by these pests and pathogens,” said James Moyer, director of WSU’s Agricultural Research Center. Industrial hemp potential The new farm bill, which is in force until 2019, also loosens restrictions on growing industrial hemp for research and industrial purposes. Hemp is a version of Cannabis sativa L. that is low in THC, the key ingredient in recreational and medicinal cannabis. Hemp is one of the longest and most durable natural fibers. Its commercial uses include textiles, foods, papers, body care products, detergents, plastics, building materials and a feedstock for biofuels. “It is an exciting time to be in agricultural research in Washington,” said Moyer. “There are many details to be finalized and policies to be developed before any research on industrial hemp can be conducted; but, as always, we will work to align our research efforts with the economic needs and potential of our state.” Technician Service, Linear Evaluations, Reproductive Consulting and Breed Leading Beef and Dairy Genetics Merit Resource Services Yakima (509) 469-9366 Farming. It’s more than a business, IT’S A WAY OF LIFE. Se Habla Español Protect your property with Farm Ranch insurance from State Farm® . For comprehensive coverage on your home, outbuildings, equipment and livestock, contact me today. 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Cliff’s Septic service Sunnyside 837-2117 • Wapato 877-3365 • Grandview 882-2195 1-800-231-8470 Let us clean & service your chemical toilets on a regular schedule! Serving The Valley Since 1948 Valley Farmer –– Spring Edition March 25, 2014 26 - Daily Sun News Corn fuel prices reflect corn crop estimates The USDA has boosted its estimate for domestic corn use of the 2013-2014 crop by 100 million bushels according to the most recent Feed Outlook report. The estimates are based on projected increases in ethanol production and grain exports for the new crop. The department now projects corn exports for the 2014 crop year at 1.5 billion bushels, up 50 million bushels from its last estimate, based on year-to-date sales. With the 2013 crop estimated at just under 14 billion bushels, more competitive prices have boosted U.S. market share of corn trade to 33 percent, compared with 18 percent in 20122013. USDA also raised its forecast of new-crop corn use for ethanol production by about the same amount, based on strengthening U.S. eth- anol prices and production during October and November of last year. Estimates for feed and residual use are unchanged from December figures, but the 100-million-bushel increase in total corn use and the five-million-bushel increase in imports results in a 95-million-bushel decrease in ending stocks. However, ending stocks estimated at 1.8 billion bushels are more than double the 2013 estimates of 824 million bushels. The December report lowered the forecast U.S. corn price received by farmers for 2013-2014 by $0.05 on the low end of the range and $0.15 on the high end to a range of $4.05 to $4.75 per bushel. This puts the midpoint of the range at $4.40 per bushel, compared with a 2012-2013 seasonaverage price received by farmers of $6.89 per bushel. Mountain States Construction Co. 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March 25, 2014 Valley Farmer –– Spring Edition Daily Sun News - 27 FDA phasing out antibiotics in food producing animals In an effort to help address potential anti-microbial resistance concerns in humans, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a new set of guidelines to extend veterinary oversight. The guidelines are also designed to phase out the sub-therapeutic use of antibiotics that are important to human medicine in food producing animals for growth promotion purposes. The new guidelines will be implemented over a three-year transition phase. Historically, certain antibiotics have been used in the feed or drinking water of food producing animals for production purposes. Some of these anti-microbials are also used to treat human infection, thus prompting concerns about the potential contribution of this practice affecting anti-microbial resistance. The guidelines call for animal pharmaceutical companies to voluntarily revise the FDA-approved labels for these products to remove growth promotion labels. FDA also proposes to change Veterinary Feed Directive regulations to move the over-the-counter status of the remaining appropriate therapeutic uses to require veterinary oversight when used to treat, control or prevent health issues in animals. Bernadette Dunham, director for FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, said the steps taken by FDA will promote the judicious use of important anti-microbials to protect human health while ensuring sick and at-risk animals receive the care they need. “Implementing this strategy is an important step forward in addressing antimicrobial resistance,” said Dunham. “The FDA is leveraging the cooperation of the pharmaceutical industry to voluntarily make these changes because we believe this approach is the fastest way to achieve our goal,” said Michael Taylor, FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine. Look For 4H & FFA Members at these upcoming events: Central Washington Jr. Livestock Show May 4-7 • Toppenish Rodeo Grounds May Yakima Valley Fair & Rodeo August 6-9 6-9 •• Grandview Grandview August this ad sponsored by the Daily Sun News Yakima Valley Fair & Rodeo In-Store S Pe CIA K&U Auto Parts 1 topping L! Pan Pizza 839-3333 at . 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Valley Farmer –– Spring Edition March 25, 2014 28 - Daily Sun News On-farm assessments address pneumonia in beef cows Free, voluntary, on-farm assessments will continue through March to help beef cow-calf producers across the state reduce the risk a deadly respiratory disease poses to their herds. “These workshops have been developed to address pneumonia, also known as bovine respiratory disease complex – the number one killer in calves,” said Susan Kerr, veterinarian and Washington State University livestock and dairy specialist based at WSU Mount Vernon’s Northwestern Washington Research and Extension Center. In the United States the disease each year results in the death of more than 1 million animals and financial losses exceeding $700 million. Research shows feedlot cattle suffering from pneumonia are worth $23 to $150 less per animal than healthy cattle. “Reducing pneumonia cases will also reduce the need for antibiotics to treat the disease,” Kerr said. Efforts continue through March To schedule a risk assessment workshop, farmers can contact WSU veterinary extension coordinator Sandy Poisson, email@example.com or 509-335-8225. Timing of the assessments is key to helping farmers more productively and profitably manage their herds, Kerr said. “Just like there is a flu season for humans, fall and winter constitute the main pneumonia season for cattle,” she said. “During this time animals are closer together and more susceptible to seasonal stressors, such as transportation and weaning, which are associated with bovine respiratory disease,” Kerr said. “We’re teaching producers that one of the most successful ways to prevent bovine respiratory disease in weaned calves going to the next phase of production is to use pre-conditioning programs that include vaccinations, ration adjustments and a 45- to 60-day waiting period before weaned calves are shipped,” she said. Nationwide research, education initiative The workshops are part of the Bovine Respiratory Disease Complex Coordinated Agriculture Project funded by a $9.75 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The project integrates research, education and extension activities to develop costeffective ways to battle the disease. WSU is one of eight institutions – and the only one in the Pacific Northwest - included in the project. More information is at http://www.brdcomplex.org/. Yellow YellowBackground Background The WSU Beef Team was awarded some of the project funding specifically to produce educational materials to help producers reduce the prevalence of pneumonia in beef cow-calf herds, improve animal welfare and increase farm profitability. A second grant from the Western Center for Risk Management Education funded delivery of educational workshops and on-farm assessments. 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Call Me for all of your vehicle Call Me for all of your vehicle sales, parts, or service needs sales, parts, or service needs parts, or service needs! mike gibson Fleet/Commercial Manager 509-378-7889 Mike Gibson Valley Farmer –– Spring Edition March 25, 2014 Daily Sun News - 29 Lots of information provided in the 2012 Census of Agriculture by Laura Gjovaag Every five years a census is held of farms across the United States, with the results helping to determine where the government will invest in infrastructure and other programs. Results from the census are also available to researchers and the public, and are used in a variety of different ways by organizations both public and private, according to Chris Mertz, the regional director of United States Department of Agriculture’s National Agriculture Statistics Service. “This information is used all over,” he said. “It’s important data for all kinds of businesses. It can tell the government what kind of road is needed where. It’s information that benefits everyone.” The first census of agriculture was conducted in 1840 throughout 26 states and the District of Columbia. It now encompasses all 50 states, Puerto Rico and some outlying areas. In 1997, the National Agriculture Statistics Service took over the census from the Census Bureau and has been conducting it ever since. “What I do for a living, I count things,” said Mertz. “This is just collecting data. We just gather it.” The goal of the census is to get an accurate idea of the state of agriculture in the country. The census defines a farm as any place from which a minimum of $1,000 of agricultural products were produced and sold during the year of the census. The National Agriculture Statistics Service mailed out three million questionnaires in late 2012, and accepted responses through the mail, online, through telephone interviews and face-to-face interviews. The number of responses through the internet jumped from 4 percent in 2007 to more than 13 percent. The release of the 2012 data was delayed due to the government shutdown, but the preliminary data is now available on the USDA website at agcensus.usda. gov. The full census data will be available in May 2014. Some highlights of the 2012 census: Farms: numbers, acreage, size • In 2012, the United States had 2.1 million farms - down 4.3 percent from the last agricultural census in 2007. This continues a long-term trend of fewer farms. • Between 2007 and 2012, the amount of land in farms in the United States declined from 922 million acres to 915 million acres. This decline of less than 1 percent was the third smallest decline between censuses since 1950. • In 2012, the average farm size was 434 acres. This was a 3.8 percent increase over 2007, when the average farm was 418 acres. • Middle-sized farms declined in number between 2007 and 2012. The number of large (1,000 plus acres) and very small (1 to 9 acres) farms did not change signifi- cantly in that time. Agricultural sales • In 2012, the market values of crops, livestock and total agricultural products were each record highs. • U.S. farms sold nearly $395 billion in agricultural products in 2012. This was 33 percent – $97.4 billion – more than agricultural sales in 2007. • Crop sales were $68.7 billion more in 2012 than 2007 (a 48 percent increase) and livestock sales were up $28.6 billion (a 19 percent increase). • In 2012, crop sales exceeded livestock sales for only the second time in census history; the other time was in 1974. • Per farm agricultural sales averaged $187,000 in 2012. 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STIHLdealers.com Valley Farmer –– Spring Edition March 25, 2014 30 - Daily Sun News Census continued from page 29 ments of $1 million or more increased, but most farms in the United States are small – 75 percent had sales of less than $50,000 in 2012. United State farmers • In 2012, the average age of principal farm operators was 58.3 years, up 1.2 years since 2007, and continuing a 30-year trend of steady increase. The older age groups all increased in number between 2007 and 2012. • In 2012, the number of beginning farmers – on their current operation less than 10 years – was down 20 percent from 2007. Nearly 172,000 farmers were on their current operation less than 5 years. • 1.0 million operators considered farming their principal occupation in 2012. The number who identified something other than farming as their primary occupation was 9 percent lower in 2012 than 2007. • The census counted more minorityoperated farms in 2012 than in 2007. Hispanic principal operators increased by 21 percent. • In 2012, more than 90 percent of female farmers operated farms with sales less than $50,000. More than a third of Asian farmers operated farms with sales of $50,000 or more. Organic dust cover Dust is a huge problem around dairies and in orchards, but Granite Construction has a solutions. “We’re not talking counter tops,” according to Jerry Walker, who displayed bins of various ground covers at the 2014 Ag Show held recently. Walker said farmers have a choice of recycled asphalt was well as rock, mined locally. The granite and rock mixtures are sold by the ton and are suitable for keeping down weeds and grasses between tree rows or on dairy driveways. ‑ Laura Gjovaag can be contacted at 509-837-4500, or email LGjovaag@DailySunNews.com Julia Hart/Daily Sun News Toppenish Livestock Commission Serving the Northwest’s Beef and Dairy Cattle Marketing Needs Toppenish 509-865-2820 John Top • Jeff Wiersma • Chad Lowry R.E. Powell Distributing Co. See what can do for you We support the dedicated, hardworking farmers and ranchers because Agriculture is the Lifeblood of our Business! Here at Blueline Equipment Company Inc., we specialize in designing and building equipment for the Orchard and Vineyard industry. We also build custom and specialty items unique to your operation that are not currently in production. Blueline Manufacturing Stop by any of our 6 locations and see what Blueline can do for you! www.bluelinemfg.com R.E. Powell Distributing Co. Our main office is located at 1506 E. Mead ave. UNION GAP, Wa 98903 509-248-8411 A Powell Christensen Company Grandview 501 E. Wine Country Rd. Grandview, WA 98930 800-572-9634 Pasco 151 N. Commercial Ave. Pasco, WA 99301 509-547-6122 Toppenish 69443 Hwy. 97 Toppenish, WA 98948 509-865-3415 Yakima 311 West I Street Yakima, WA 98902 509-453-3191 Sunnyside 509-839-2066 walla walla 509-525-4550 pasco 509-544-6678 george 509-785-2595 UNION GAP 509-248-8411 cle elum 509-674-4544 March 25, 2014 Valley Farmer –– Spring Edition Daily Sun News - 31 USDA grants to help meet water challenges Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced that USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture will make $6 million in grants available this year, and up to $30 million total over the next five years as part of a new initiative to provide solutions to agricultural water challenges. The grants will be used to develop management practices, technologies and tools for farmers, ranchers, forest owners and citizens to improve water resource quantity and quality. “Cutting edge research holds the key to tackling the complex challenges posed by prolonged drought and ensuring the future food security of our nation,” said Vilsack. “These grants will help arm America’s farmers and ranchers with the tools and strategies they need to adapt and succeed, and build on ongoing, cross-governmental efforts to provide relief to those impacted by severe drought,” he said. The grants build on USDA efforts to help farmers, ranchers and forest landowners mitigate the impacts of drought, including implementation of the livestock disaster assistance programs provided through the 2014 Farm Bill and $40 million in additional conservation dollars. The National Institute of Food and Agriculture has identified three critical topics that will be funded through this new challenge area: 1) ensuring the water security of surface and ground water needed to produce agricultural goods and services; 2) improving nutrient management in agricultural landscapes focused on nitrogen and phosphorous; and 3) reducing impacts of chemicals and the presence and movement of environmental pathogens in the nation’s water supply. The agency’s approach will link social, economic and behavioral sciences with traditional biophysical sciences and engineering to address regional scale issues with shared hydrological processes, and meteorological and basin characteristics. The National Institute of Food and Agriculture is expected to make $30 million available over the next five years for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative water challenge area, with the expectation that the new projects awarded this fiscal year would receive additional funding in the following four years. All additional funding is contingent on future congressional appropriations and achievement of project objectives and milestones. Building on its investment in water research, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture will also fund projects through the National Integrated Water Quality Program, which addresses critical water resource issues, including water quality protection and water conservation. The request for application for this program is expected to be released in the spring of 2014. The program supports research, education and extension projects and other programs that address critical water resource issues in agricultural, rural and urbanizing watersheds. 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