Your guide to the 2013 annual agricultural conference in Okanogan County.
2013 In conjunction with the 78th Okanogan County Horticultural Assocation Feb. 7 annual meeting A supplement to The Omak-Okanogan County Chronicle, Jan. 30, 2013 Page 2 — Agriculture 2013, The Chronicle, Omak, Wash. Meeting features speakers, fruit topics Elections, trade show offered; lunch is available on-site By Dee Camp The Chronicle OKANOGAN – The 78th Okanogan County Horticultural Association annual meeting will be Thursday, Feb. 7, in the Okanogan County Fairgrounds Agriplex, 175 Rodeo Trail Road. The Washington State University and horticultural association event features speakers on a variety of apple, pear and cherry topics. Admission is $10. Activities get under way at 9 a.m. with a review of and update on agricultural labor and the federal H2A program, association Secretary Dan McCarthy said. Jon Wyss, president of the Okanogan County Farm Bureau, will speak about the guest-worker program. His employer, Gebbers Farms of Brewster, uses the program. At 9:20 a.m. Ines Hanrahan of the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission in Wenatchee will speak about sunburn protection, cherry cracking, and Honeycrisp pre- and post-harvest research. “Cracking is always an issue, McCarthy said. Production is increasing for Honeycrisp, a high-value apple with a recent f.o.b. price of $54.44 per box, but because it’s relatively new, there are many unknowns about its production, he said. The bi-colored red apple generally is large – up to size 64 (64 apples per 40-pound box) – and very sweet if picked at maturity. It’s consumed mostly Agriculture fresh. As a segue from the Honeycrisp discussion, Tom Auvil, also of the research commission, will talk about trends in current cultivars and future rootstocks at 9:45 a.m. As new varieties become available, growers tend to ask, “Should I plant this?” McCarthy said, noting that trees take several years to start producing so growers want to plant varieties that will be worth the investment. Pests are an ongoing concern, so several presentations focus on pest control. “Using HIPV Lures to Monitor Natural Enemies and Enhance Biological Control in Orchards” is the 10:10 a.m. topic, with Andrea Bixby-Brosi of the Washington State University Tree Fruit Research and Education Center leading the discussion. Another tree fruit center researcher, Angela Gadino, will talk about enhancing biological control in western orchards at 10:35 a.m. Pest control, growing techniques and other topics are being researched by a pair of Extension agents hired by Washington State University using money generated by a per-box assessment on apples and pears. Growers approved the $1-per-ton assessment in 2011. The money – estimated at $27 million over eight years – is the largest single gift in the university’s history and will be used for research and extension, the WSU Agricultural, Human and Dee Camp/The Chronicle Delicate pink blossoms are a welcome sight to growers each spring in Okanogan County. Natural Resources Sciences said.. Cherry and stone fruit growers rejected assessments on their crops. An update on the special assessment is planned at 11 a.m. Jay Brunner of the tree fruit center is the speaker. Rounding out the morning is a presentation on the WSU Digital Advisory System with Ute Chambers of the tree fruit center. That program begins at 11:15 a.m. The association’s business meeting runs from 11:40 a.m. to noon. Elections are planned. Roland Smith is in line to succeed Brent Van Buskirk as president and Tracy Zahn is poised to take the vice presidency. McCarthy will continue as secretary. A lunch break and opportunity to visit the trade show are planned from noon to 1 p.m. See Meeting 3 MAKE YOUR SPRING PRUNING EASIER! ✓ ■ ✓ ■ ✓ ■ HT 131 Pole Pruner. New telescope shaft adjusts from 5’ 7” to 11’ 6” Enjoy more torque and power with the fuel efficient 4MIX™ motor © 2013 The OmakOkanogan County Chronicle Only $ 66995 • Gear driven oil pump and large capacity oil tank. Owned and operated by Eagle Newspapers Inc. P.O. Box 553, Omak, WA 98841 618 Okoma Drive, Omak 509-826-1110 • 800-572-3446 509-826-5819 fax www.omakchronicle.com Roger Harnack, Editor and Publisher Dee E. Camp, section editor Lynn Hoover, Advertising Manager Katie Montanez, production manager ! # ##" #!! Floyd and Charlotte 826-2321 • 560 Riverside Dr. • Omak Agriculture 2013, The Chronicle, Omak, Wash. — Page 3 Horticulture meeting at a glance 9-9:20 a.m. 9:20-9:45 a.m. 9:45-10:10 a.m. 10:10-10:35 a.m. 10:35-11 a.m. 11:00-11:15 a.m. 11:15-11:40 a.m. 11:40 a.m.-noon Dee Camp/The Chronicle Props lean against trees, waiting for fruit to grow heavy and bend the branches. Meeting from 1 Lunch will be available on-site for $10. The menu includes barbecued sandwiches, soup and salad. The Tonasket FFA Alumni group is offering lunch as a fundraiser. The meeting resumes at 1 p.m. with a program on spotted-wing drosophila research and crop infestation in 2012. The presenter is Betsy Beers of the tree fruit center. Beers also will lead a 1:30 p.m. program on the brown marmorated stink bug, what meeting organizers call “an unwelcome new introduction in Eastern Washington state.” The insect isn’t in the area yet, but growers need to be aware of it, McCarthy said. It’s causing problems in the East and Midwest. Both the spotted-wing drosophila and the marmorated stink bug are non-native species. A “clicker survey” is planned at 2 p.m. Those attending will use electronic devices to take a survey to tell association leaders how they can help growers more effectively. WSU Extension Agent Tim Smith will wrap up the meeting with a 2:30 p.m. presentation on “Fire Blight Management With and Without Antibiotics, and What Happened with Blight in 2012.” Smith serves Chelan, Douglas and Okanogan counties from the Tree Fruit Research and Education Center. Those attending can earn three pesticide education certification. Only the presentations relating to pesticide use are eligible for credit hours. Noon-1 p.m. 1-1:30 p.m. 1:30-2 p.m. 2-2:30 p.m. 2:30-3:15 p.m. 78th Okanogan County Horticultural Association annual meeting Feb. 7, Okanogan County Fairgrounds Agriplex Agricultural Labor, H2A — Review/Update Sunburn Protection, Cherry Cracking and Honeycrisp Pre- and Post-Harvest — research update Trends in Current Cultivars and Future Rootstocks Using HIPV Lures to Monitor Natural Enemies and Enhance Biological Control in Orchards Enhancing Biological Control in Western Orchards: A summary of new information and future directions An Update on the WSU Special Assessment for Tree Fruits WSU Digital Advisory System Update Elections and Nominations — Choosing Your Representatives Okanogan County Horticultural Association business meeting Lunch and trade show Spotted Wing Drosophila — Research and Crop Infestation in 2012 Brown Marmorated Stink Bug - an unwelcome new introduction in Eastern Washington state Clicker Survey — tell us how to help you more effectively Fire Blight Management With and Without Antibiotics, and what happened with blight in 2012. 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Trade show vendors (As of Jan. 23) • Antles Pollen Supply, Wenatchee • Brant’s Fruit Trees Inc., Parker • Bayer Cropscience, Chelan • Burrows Tractor, Wenatchee • C&O Nursery, Wenatchee • Cameron Nursery, Eltopia Columbia Basin Nursery, Quincy • Columbia Homes, Yakima • Crowder Horticultural Services, Manson • Dow AgroScience, Wenatchee • Dupont, Spokane • Exten-A-Day, Wenatchee • Washington Tractor, Okanogan • JP’s Ladder Repair, Wenatchee • Miller Chemical and Fertilizer, Yakima • Northwest Farm Credit, Prosser • CSI Chemical, Naches • Nulton Irrigation, Oroville • Nutrient Technologies, Wenatchee • North Cascades Propane, Twisp • Okanogan Conservation District, Okanogan • Okanogan County Noxious Weed Control Board, Okanogan • Okanogan Truck and Tractor, Okanogan • WorkSource, Omak • Packerdata.com, Wapato • Pace International, Wapato • Cascade Wind Machine, Yakima • Pacific Biocontrol, Vancouver • Suterra, Bend, Ore. • Sunrise Chevrolet, Omak • Tree Connection, Dundee, Ore. • Tree Top, Cashmere • Van Well Nursery, Wenatchee • Willow Drive Nursery, Ephrata • Wilson Orchard Supply, Wenatchee • DJ Repair, Manson • SHUR Farms, Colton • Honeybear Growers, Brewster • Cultiva, Portland, Ore. • Data Service, Omak Agriculture 2013, The Chronicle, Omak, Wash. — Page 5 Easterners’ apple loss is Washington’s gain By Al Camp The Chronicle WENATCHEE – Apples crops in Michigan and New York were decimated by bad weather in 2012, but Washington state produced a record crop. While prices normally plummet with record crops, the misfortune back east is producing fortunate circumstances for North-Central Washington. All this good fortune comes despite the annual problem of finding enough pickers to harvest the crop and growing competition on grocers’ shelves. “We’ve had a substantial increase, record,” Washington Growers Clearing House Assistant Manager Dan Kelly said. “Last year, we had a good crop, good prices,” Kelly said. “This year we’ve gone one step even better than last year.” The 2012 crop of apples is estimated at a little less than 130 million boxes, which shattered the previous record of 109 million boxes from the 2010 crop. The 2011 crop was close behind at 108 million boxes. Part of the record can be attributed to orchards are using more dense tree plantings. This has been happening for a few years, Kelly said. Where in the past an acre might produce 30-40 bins of apples, the denser grows produce 80-100 bins on the same size plot. “We’ve been on a steady climb anyway, improving productivity per acre each year,” Kelly said. “Some orchardists took land out (of production), but they have put it back to produce more fruit.” Prices are doing well this year, with an average 40-pound box of apples at $26.73 as of Jan. 12. That compares to $23.22 last year for the 2011 crop and $20.11 two years ago for the 2010 crop. “The reason the prices and shipments have been so good this year is there is a shortage of the crops in the rest of the United States, Europe, the Southern Hemisphere and other areas in the world,” Kelly said. New York, normally the No. 2 producer of apples in the U.S., ended up with a crop of about 12 million boxes, compared to a 2528 million normal range, Kelly said. Michigan, the nation’s No. 3 grower, produced about 3 million boxes. The state normally produces 20-25 million boxes, Kelly said. “Both had an early spring and then a hard freeze,” which knocked off blossoms, Kelly said. He wouldn’t say if orchards would go bust from the freeze, but he said it will be interesting to see how much the freeze harmed the trees. “I know a lot of those guys wrote off this season, cut their losses,” Kelly said of keeping losses down by not hiring labor or using gas. “But how will the damage to the trees effect next year’s crop? There’s not enough details to judge that. Who knows Apple House Warehouse & Storage, Inc. Pateros 509-923-2050 what is going to happen down the road?” Kelly said one outgrowth of the freeze found Michigan growers See Apples 6 Page 6 — Agriculture 2013, The Chronicle, Omak, Wash. —Washington Growers Clearing House Dee Camp/The Chronicle Chart shows a comparison of per-box f.o.b. prices for selected varieties of apples, as of Jan. 12 in three successive years. Apples from 5 installing wind machines. “We’ve had them all over here,” Kelly said. “They tell me growers are going crazy around Michigan installing them.” Hail could have damaged some North Central Washington apples in July, but for the most part the only evidence was some apples with little dimples — like on a golf ball — in places, Kelly said. “If the hail has not broken the skin, the apple can be sold on the regular retail market,” Kelly said. “If any skin breaks at all, the apple goes into processing.” The total U.S. apple crop, despite the huge increase by Washington state, is the smallest since 1986, Kelly said. Demand also is up because China, which produces about 10 times what the U.S. does, is keeping more apples for its expanding middle class, an npr.org story said. “But there’s a caveat to the strong prices,” Kelly said. “There’s been extra labor costs (some growers paying up to 15 percent more in wages, bonuses) and climbing fuel costs. “The growers should do fine, but they will not become millionaires overnight,” he said. “We are fortunate there is a big demand in the rest of the country.” Kelly doesn’t see any reason prices should not remain firm in the coming months. “We are actually flying along with a level playing field,” he said. Crops are down in the Southern Hemisphere from an Dee Camp/The Chronicle Trees and fallen apples are encased in ice that formed when sprinklers were left to run on a cold fall morning. early spring followed by a freeze. The region exports fruit to the See Apples 7 ! ! ! " ! ! # $ + + % " #+ $" % ! + # # !% % ! ! $ ! # " ! ! ' #) $ ! !# # !&% !&# * ' # + % * # ! % ## %! ( ! %! $ + $ %) ' ## ! $% %! ) # ) %&# ) ! $% + %! ! ! # %) + ! * !( + ! $% " + ' # #$ )" # #' #& + ! ! # $$ $% + + " %! " " MAC’S TIRE OF OMAK 509-826-0586 • 631 Okoma Dr, Omak Agriculture 2013, The Chronicle, Omak, Wash. — Page 7 Pears: Resilient,profitable “ By Al Camp The Chronicle WENATCHEE – Pears may not garner the attention of more glamorous fruit, but pears resist storm damage and bring a respectable profit. “Pear season (this year) is kind of boring,” Washington Growers Clearing House Assistant Manager Dan Kelly said. After a record-breaking crop in 2011, last summer’s harvest fit a more normal amount, Kelly said, noting the five-year average is around 20 million boxes. This year’s estimated 19.2 million 44-pound boxes compares to the record 20.5 million-box record in 2011. The 2010 crop was about 18 million boxes. “We’ve been in that high-teen to 20 range last five to eight years,” Kelly said. The 2012 crop got off to a fast start in the market. Through early November, Northwest growers had shipped 31 percent of the 2012-13 crop, up from 25 percent at the same time last year, said Kevin Moffitt, president and chief executive officer of Pear Bureau Northwest, Milwaukie, Ore. # We’re having a very good year. Pear Bureau Northwest’s Kevin Moffitt ” “We’re having a very good year,” Moffitt said in a Nov. 15 story on www.thepacker.com. Pricing has been strong, despite the good-sized crop, Moffitt said, but expectations are right at the five-year average. Despite the higher percentage of fruit shipped for the year to date, and despite expected shortages of apples this season, Moffitt was confident the Northwest pear crop would last for the duration of the season. “The industry is pretty good about modulating the supply,” he said. Pears hang around, waiting to be picked. GEBBERS FARMS ! # # VI P ,%) )$-"(+*"'$&' )', )$-"*,-"$-$( U.S. market from February through April. “I don’t see any negative effects on our market now or what it will do on down the road,” Kelly said. The crop’s strength lies in six popular apples – Red and Golden Delicious, Gala, Fuji, Granny Smith and Honeycrisp, which easily moved past the previous No. 6, Braeburn, Kelly said. A break down of prices for the apples, with carloads shipped and prices for 2013 (2012 crop) followed by 2012 and 2011 prices per box, as of Jan. 12 of this year. Red: 2013, 8,067.7 carloads, $22.20; 2012, 6,803.9, $19.11; 2011, 7,393, $16.49. Gala: 2013, 7,254.3, $26.52; 2012, 6,650.8, $22.83; 2011, 6,407.6, $19.44. Fuji: 2013, 4,686.9, $24.11; 2012, 3,238.3, $23.06; 2011, 3,076.8, $20.34. Granny Smith: 2013, 3,743.6, $24.91; 2012, 3,397.6, $21.63; 2011, 3,033.7, $18.87. Honeycrisp: 2013, 2,358.9, $54.44; 2012, 1,749.5, $46.23; 2011, 1,454.4, $45.16. Golden: 2013: 2,299.3, $23.28; 2012, 2,063.1, $21.11; 2011, 2,100.6, $18.67. See Pears 8 # # # The Chronicle Apples from 6 ! '&' )$-"(,*"&-%+ & )$-",&*"%%)* !!! )&$% )$-"(-("-'+( " $ Page 8 — Agriculture 2013, The Chronicle, Omak, Wash. Washington Growers Clearing House Dee Camp/The Chronicle The Chronicle Pears ripen on the branch in the late-summer sun. Pears from 7 “ Pears did not suffer from freezes, and hail in July did not seem to affect the final pear quality, Kelly said. As of Jan. 12, the average price for a 44-pound box of pears was $23.47 for 2012 pears. That compares to $19.70 per box at the same time in 2012 (2011 crop) and $20.85 per box in 2011 (2010 crop). Pears will be shipped for about 12 months after harvest, compared to about 13 months for apples. Pears benefited this year by a lack of a freeze for this region which, along with Oregon and California, produced about 90 percent of the country’s pears. The highest price per box was for Asian pears ($55.63), which look like an apple but taste like a tart pear. Those Top 3 pears (Bartlett, D’Anjou, Bosc) probably make up 90 percent of the crop. If it’s worth sharpening, bring it to Omak Saw and Tool! Dan Kelly, Washington Growers Clearing House ” Shipments as of Jan. 12 for the most-grown varieties include The chart shows a comparison of per-box f.o.b. prices for selected varieties of pears, as of Jan. 12 in three successive years. Bartlett pears (1,330 cars), which differ from red Bartletts, and D’Anjou (1,275 cars). Bartletts were bringing $23.82 per box as of Jan. 12, compared to $19.50 at this time last year and $19.56 in 2011. D’Anjous were bringing $23.46 this year, compared to $19.05 last year and $20.99 two years ago. Bosc is the third-most-grown pear, with 410 cars shipped. Prices were $23.11 this year, $18.78 last year and $21.63 two years ago Bosc supplies are a bit tighter this year for Domex, said Howard Nager, vice president of marketing at Domex Superfresh Growers in Yakima. “Those Top 3 pears probably make up 90 percent of the crop,” Kelly said. Most of the pears are grown in the Wenatchee River valley between Wenatchee and Leavenworth. Washington grows the majority of the region’s pears, B E E F. Farm Services to Meet All Your Needs ! ✓ ! ✓ ✓ " " ! # # ! 509-826-1047 ate lly Owned and Oper d oca L 208 Riverside Drive Omak with 40 percent coming from Oregon, Kelly said. ! " ! " Agriculture 2013, The Chronicle, Omak, Wash. — Page 9 Record harvest produces decent return By Al Camp The Chronicle WENATCHEE – Despite a hailstorm that ruined cherries in a few portions of the Okanogan Valley, a record regional cherry harvest in 2012 produced a decent return for growers. Last summer’s record 22.9 million 20-pound boxes of cherries finished with an average Washington price of $35.67 per box, Washington Growers Clearing House Assistant Manager Dan Kelly said. “That’s a pretty good size crop on cherries,” Kelly said. The $1.83-per-pound price compares with $2.17 ($43.50 per box) in 2011 (17 million boxes) and $2.09 ($41.77 per box) in 2010 (13 million boxes), according to clearing house records. The previous record crop for cherries, which are harvested from early June through Labor Day in early September, was 20.4 million boxes in 2009. That crop proved a bust in the market, averaging $28.49 per box ($1.42 per pound). The difference this year in a higher price per box was both more people eating cherries and the season being spread out twice as long as in 2009. That year, orchardists had about 45 days to pick their crop, which then flooded the market. Most cherry varieties bloomed about the same time in the spring, rather than over a spread-out period. That led to the majority of cherries being ready for harvest at roughly the same time. “All of a sudden it came to harvest,” Kelly said. This year, a more spread-out bloom period led to 80 days for harvest and allowed twice as long for consumers to purchase the fruit. “Even if there were no labor issue, it would have been really difficult to pick that fast,” Kelly said, noting a lot of cherries were left on trees. “This year, there still were some labor issues, but we had more time to pick.” Cherries are one of few fruits with consumption on the upswing in recent years, Robert Kershaw, president and chief executive officer of Domex Superfresh Growers in Yakima, said at the recent 70th annual Cherry Institute of Northwest Cherry Growers meeting. That is good news for a region that’s doubled production in the last 10 years, Kershaw said. In North Central Washington, hail damaged several orchards July 20. The thunderstorm, accompanied by thumbnail-sized hail, rain and pounding winds, damaged cherries along with other fruit and canola crops. The storm also ruined nearly the entire canola crop at the Townsend Ranch east of Okanogan. But during harvest, packers were seeing good quality fruit from most areas with some size problems in certain areas, Kelly said. Rain damaged some fruit, but most escaped splitting. Harold Schell, horticultural director with Chelan Fruit in Chelan, said some areas received severe hail damage from the July 20 storm and several other storms later in the summer, while others weren’t touched. His company has growers from Quincy to the Canadian border. Hail also damaged some apples, but pears are a little hardier and can handle the pounding better, he said. Rain and heat are cherries’ main enemies. What rain the region received did not split cherries, Schell said. Heat can foster decay. Washington Growers Clearing House Dee Camp/The Chronicle The chart shows a comparison of per-box f.o.b. prices for selected varieties of pears, as of Jan. 12 in three successive years. “But we’ve got a lot of good cherries to harvest,” he said last summer. “It all depends on the location of the orchard and variety and how close to harvest they are.” Kelly said growers had no trouble marketing the fruit, which was sold as a fresh-market crop. “Cherries are picked, packed and shipped in a very short time 24 to 48 hours,” Kelly said. Washington produces mostly sweet cherries, but a few growers have tart cherries, regarded by some as pie cherries, Kelly said. Those who have tart varieties should do well, since Michigan, the nation’s leading producer of tart cherries, lost many of its cherries and almost all its apple crop to weather this year, Kelly said. There was a big demand for tart cherries. Skirko Business Services ,%$!! $(#' # %$# % $ %$# & % $ (& # && $" & $ %) & &' $+ % *&' % + The Chronicle A record number of cherries came off the trees in the state during 2012. ! !$ ! #!" !! ! ! "" # % ! !"# ! ! $ ! " ! ' " " ' # "& # $ #" & ! # ! """ ! # ) Page 10 — Agriculture 2013, The Chronicle, Omak, Wash. Guest workers swell business activity Jamaicans join Hispanic workers in orchards, area stores By John F. Cleveland II The Chronicle BREWSTER – Temporary workers, brought into the country from Jamaica, spend a lot in local businesses from June through November. “Department of Labor issued labor certifications for 16 different contracts for 2,693 H-2A certifications in Okanogan, Douglas and Grant Counties in 2012,” state Employment Security Department spokesman Bill Tarrow said. For six months of the year, businesses benefit from both temporary — or guest — workers, seasonal workers and tourists. “Business is off the charts during that time,” Triangle Exxon 1 “ owner Bob Fateley, 64, said. “There are big retailers up north and the government agencies in Okanogan, but the amount of people here in Brewster throughout the summer is definitely the most in the county during those times.” Local growers have been using the federal H-2A temporary agricultural program to bring nonimmigrant foreign workers to the U.S. to perform agricultural labor if they anticipate a shortage of domestic workers. Gebbers Farms participates in the guest-worker program. Company officials declined to comment. In Brewster, H-2A workers have included people from Jamaica the last few years. Transportation and housing are provided for most. “The Hispanic workers from California that are brought in usually have a car or some type of transportation, but most of the * , (*' "$ 2 ",+ ,!*'- ! ," !, +( *-", *'. %'* *-", ( * * 1 '. (*' "$ "+ *''%0 & % ",'& $ *'$$ - * "+ & ,+ 1 *'&, & * * " * &," $ $' # 2 ", "+ % /"%-% ,* ,"'& "& + .",!'-, +, & I think the Hispanics do a lot more shopping, but the more people that are brought in town help the businesses. La Milpa owner Ernesto Santos ” Jamaican workers have to wait for the bus to bring them into town,” La Milpa owner Ernesto Santos, 57, said. “There is a difference between the Hispanic and Jamaican workers and it seems that most of the Jamaican workers don’t seem to spend as much as the others,” he said. “I think the Hispanics do % 1 *'&, & * (-$$"& "& 1 * + 2 &' !"$$+" ,* ,'* '* 1 + ,*'$ ,* , a lot more shopping, but the more people that are brought in town help the businesses for those months.” “Most of the H-2A workers have everything provided for them, so it is a lot different than it used to be around here,” Brewster Marketplace Manager Victor Vargas, 36, said. “We used to sell a lot of pots, pans and silverware during the harvest months, but now most of those things are provided for them.” Most seasonal workers travel elsewhere once the area’s harvest is finished, but some are staying year round. “I think there are around 1,000 more people around during the summers,” Brewster Drug owner Bryan Johnson, 36, said. “So yes, it is busier in the summer.” Another difference between the Hispanic and Jamaican is in the amount of food they buy at one time. The Hispanic workers seem to like to pool together their money to have a big feast and buy a lot of things in their trips to the local businesses, while Jamaican workers seem to buy just a few necessities every week, Vargas and Santos said. “It isn’t like it used to be, but they are still sending most of their See Workers 11 * . , "+ * # + 2 +-( *"'* +,'(("& ('. * .! & $$'& +(* 0 * '.& +, ( !"$$+" * + ' '+ "$$ ,"'& 2 %'* +, + $ & + &,0 ' '', *''% 2 +0 ,' , '& & ' ,* ,0 " 0'- & ,' , ' )-" #$0 # &' & ... . +!"& ,'&,* ,* ,'* '% , -"& 0 '& +, ( ,'* 2 "& * + + Agriculture 2013, The Chronicle, Omak, Wash. — Page 11 Twisp rancher leads state cattlemen “ Predators, water quality proposals are top concerns He is very thoughtful and looks at everything through a broad scope. By John F. Cleveland II The Chronicle TWISP – New Washington Cattlemen’s Association President Vic Stokes is a fourth-generation rancher running about 200 head of cattle on his ranch just south of town. Stokes, 58, was elected association president in November 2012. “As a member of the cattlemen’s association, it is always good to participate as much as you can to help the association,” the Twisp native said. “The political part of the association is something I have always enjoyed, so this was just the next step for me. I just wanted to do everything I could to help out the cattle farming industry.” He said the top issues for cattle ranchers are controlling predators, management of cattle operations and new proposals for water quality. “The water quality issue is a grazing issue and there is talk of fairly aggressive buffers being put in to keep away cattle from water sources,” Stokes said. “I don’t feel grazing around water takes anything away from the water Workers from 10 money back home,” Brewster Marketplace owner Sabrina O’ Connell, 38, said. “I think the Jamaicans are more of a breadand-butter type of person, just buying the essentials, but they are Not the first Cattleman Dale Smith ” Washington Cattlemen’s Association Twisp rancher Vic Stokes will lead the state cattlemen this year. quality, and the rancher can properly graze around the water source and not have to be excluded from it.” Wolves also are “a major concern” for cattle ranchers, he said. “It even goes beyond the killing of the cattle to the harassment of the cattle, because this can cause weight loss in the cattle,” he said. “There has been increased wolf sightings, especially in the northeast, and even a collared wolf sighting from Pend Oreille County. This means the wolves move the most easygoing and friendly people around. “There have been very few problems. “I think the number of people that the orchards are hiring has been steadily increasing from year to year, and it has been great for businesses.” around a lot and cover great distances quickly, and it is a concern for local farmers.” Stokes plans to give a local voice to the association and help in the management of the cattle operations as a whole, and give his outlook and opinions as a longtime rancher. He said he will keep a watch on public land issues, along with state and federal agencies that manage wildlife habitat and endangered species. “Vic Stokes is going to be a great representative for the Okanogan County cattle business,” Brewster cattleman Dale Smith, 53, said. “He is very thoughtful and looks at everything through a broad scope.” Loomis cattleman Jerry Barnes is serving as state cattlemen’s secretary under Stokes. TWISP — Vic Stokes is the latest, but not the first, Okanogan County cattleman to lead the state association. Local predecessors were R.L. Picken, Tonasket, 1930; Ross Woodward, Loomis, 1946; Walter Schrock, Okanogan, 1949; Bill Fancher, Tonasket, 1954-55; John Woodward, Loomis, 1968-69; Bill Barnes, Tonasket, 1972-73; Jick Fancher, Tonasket, 1976-77, and Don McClure, Nespelem, 1982-83. In addition, eight county women have led the state cattlewomen. Central Washington Grain Growers Proud to serve Okanogan County and the Agriculture Industry! 104 E. Ash, Waterville, WA • 509-745-8551 Page 12 — Agriculture 2013, The Chronicle, Omak, Wash. Grazing changes have ranchers concerned Cattlemen concerned about permit renewal By John F. Cleveland II and Dee Camp The Chronicle TONASKET – U.S. Forest Service and Colville Confederated Tribes are considering changes to their grazing programs, and local ranchers are upset. The Forest Service wants to make changes in the Bannon, Aeneas, Revis and Tunk cattle and horse allotments. The area includes Bannon and Tunk mountains; Crawfish Lake; Aeneas, Barnell, Lost, Cole, Bench and Jungle creeks, and Barnell Meadows. Range analyses are conducted periodically, forest officials said. “It is Forest Service policy to make forage available to qualified livestock operators from lands suitable for grazing consistent with land management plans,” according to the Forest Service’s notice of intent to prepare the environmental impact statement. “The proposed action authorizes continued livestock grazing at current levels using a combination of range improvements and adaptive management strategies,” the Forest Service said. Some changes under consideration for the 36,803-acre study area are additional fence construction, moving and removing or installing new water troughs, relocating corrals and resting or keeping cattle off portions of the allotments for specified periods to help the grazing lands recover. “Monitoring would be designed for early detection of resource ) ) ) & '"( " # ! # ! conditions that would trigger management changes,” the Forest Service said. “Triggers would be developed to identify when a specific threshold is about to be reached and cattle need to be moved. The length of time each pasture is grazed and whether additional fences would be installed would be determined by monitoring results.” Comments were taken earlier this winter, with a final environmental impact statement due in February. Twisp rancher and Washington Cattlemen’s Association President Vic Stokes, 58, said water quality is a concern. “The water quality is a grazing issue and there is talk about making some fairly aggressive buffers to keep cattle away from streams, and our feeling at the cattlemen’s association is that farmers can manage their grazing around the water,” said Stokes. “We don’t agree with the buffers and fencing, and don’t think they are necessary to improve water quality.” Riverside rancher Albert Wilson, who runs cattle on federal land under four grazing permits including three in the area under study, said it is “nip and tuck right now. They are always trying to cut back our cattle all the time and it is concerning. Our Aeneas and Tunk grazing permits used to be for 1,200 head of cattle and now it is 600, and they want to cut them even more. “It is quite a concern and I feel sorry for my kids and grandkids. I was hoping they could take over the farm like I did with my dad and he did with his dad, and now they are making it more work for us and it getting to where it isn’t cost effective.” !" % ! " " ! " #$ % !' Dave’s Radiator Service !% ) ) Al Camp/The Chronicle Cattle saunter along a forest road near Okanogan prior to round-up. In the are under study, Forest Service range improvement proposals include: • Removal of three miles of fence no longer needed for livestock management and two non-functioning water developments. • Relocation of four troughs and one corral, and 1.5 miles of fence. • Development of 16 springs, including exclosures around spring sources. See Grazing 16 Owners Al and June Apple Service of all makes and models of pumps Pump Sales: Berkeley Goulds Grundfous Sta Rite Jacuzzi Hot tub, sewage, swimming pools: No problem! Toll free: 800-610-2684 505 Okoma Drive, Omak • 826-1030 Cont. Lic. #OMAKMS1100Q9 Agriculture 2013, The Chronicle, Omak, Wash. — Page 13 Fruit is a challenge in Ferry County Short growing season, critters make ripening difficult Ferry County Extension REPUBLIC — One of the many challenges in Ferry County is to grow fruit that lives long enough to produce and ripen to harvest before the bees, bears or birds get it first. It is nice to have enough quantity to eat in the summer, and preserve or freeze the rest for winter. Tree- or vine-ripened fruit has many more nutrients than fruit picked green and shipped as it ripens. It also tastes better as well as being healthier for you. The county has a growing season that can vary from 60-220 days, depending on the area. Plant- and blossom-killing frosts have been seen every month of the year in the Republic and many other areas of the region. Growers who want something that produces enough quantity to feast on, will want varieties more adapted to the garden or orchard’s climate. Winter provides a good time to start planning and working for spring fruit production. Those in the colder climates of the county - Republic area and side valleys in all directions always choose the shortest season and most winter hardy of the varieties offered. The Curlew, Danville, Inchelium, Keller and Barney’s areas of the county can ripen Italian prunes and many other varieties almost every year — for those in the right spot. At the north end, the land usually has to be located on sun-exposed benches that allow for the air Many fruit trees, small evergreens, juniper tams and others shrubs die from the little critters. As they are burrowing along, they run into the stem or trunk of the bush or tree and eat the bark all the way around, right above ground level, and sometimes up to 12 inches high if the snow is deep WSU Extension or the shrubbery Pruning do’s and don’ts are shown in tree graphic. dense. This girdles the bark and the tree drainage and the growing degree or shrub dies the following spring. days needed to ripen. It is not too late to protect A wide variety of stone fruits, them now. The tree or shrub’s apples and even blueberries have base can be wrapped to ground grown for home use on the east level with a heavy plastic wrap side of the Curlew-Malo valley on such as an old, two-liter jug with some of the benches. Raspberries the ends cut out, or tree wrap or and strawberries do great in screen secured with wire ties. almost all parts of our county, as For fruit trees, late winter and do many currants, pie cherries, early spring are good times to and transparent, Lodi, Earligold prune in Ferry County. and many of the older, winterThe five main reasons for hardy varieties of apples. pruning are: Always go for the shorter • Removal of rubbing, season variety unless the property interfering or badly placed is along Lake Roosevelt or up by branches, and narrow “V” crotches Danville. to avoid serious future problems. For those who have small fruit • Removal of cracked, broken or other trees, one of the biggest or dead limbs, and hazardous low dangers this time of year is the limbs to increase safety around the meadow vole. It is a small, mouselike rodent with a shorter tail that burrows along the ground under the snow, eating grasses, bark and seeds all through the winter. A grower will know they’ve been around if, as the snow leaves, their little pathways are seen all through grasses and gardens. Pacific Calicium, Inc. Soil amendments and organic fertilizer Healthy plants grow in healthy soils Calpril Dolopril 9-3-4 Rock Phosphate Bonemeal Feathermeal Gypsum www.pacificcalcium.com 32117 Hwy. 97 Tonasket, WA 98855 Ph. (509) 486-1201 Fax: (509) 486-1701 Tree trimming tips The Chronicle REPUBLIC — Here are some tips for pruning and shaping: • Most pruning cuts should be thinning cuts, that is, cutting a branch back to the point of origin. • Make heading cuts only on small branches just above a bud. • Make all cuts outside the branch collar, but do not leave stubs that will not heal. • Select the main scaffold branches when the tree is young. This will avoid many problems later. • Use spreader sticks to build strong and wide tree branch crotches. This is especially desirable in heavy snowfall areas such as Ferry County. Washington State University Extension for Ferry County offers DVDs: “Easy Steps to Fruit Tree Pruning with Gary Moulton” and “Pruning Apple Trees: Basic Concepts.” Both are available free too check out from the office, 350 E. Delaware Ave., No. 9, Republic. tree. • To train main scaffold branches when the plant is young for greater fruit production later. • To shape the tree to accentuate, but not alter, its natural form. • To improve or balance flower quality and quantity. This can improve fruit quality and quantity. Davenport, WA SALE EVERY MONDAY • 1-800-372-6845 Jack McGuinness - 509-703-3982 Kale McGuinness - 509-703-3981 24 hour Market Report • 509-725-1008 Page 14 — Agriculture 2013, The Chronicle, Omak, Wash. Gardeners offer help Insurance deadlines draw near By Mary Schilling and Laura Jones-Edwards Okanogan County Master Gardeners OKANOGAN — Are you familiar with the Master Gardener Program? Maybe you wonder what we do. The master gardener title comes from Germany’s “gartenmeisters,” who were highly respected horticulturists in their communities. Unbeknownst to many, the Master Gardener Program began in Washington state in January 1973. Unable to keep up with public demand for gardening information, Washington State University Extension faculty in King and Pierce counties began training volunteers to serve as master gardeners. There are great photos of the original master gardeners hosting question-and-answer booths in the middle of the Northgate Mall in Seattle. They had no idea that this idea of training volunteers would spread across the country and even overseas. Nearly all master gardener programs within the U.S. administer training through a state land-grant university and its extension service. “The purpose of the WSU Master Gardener program is to provide public education in gardening and environmental stewardship built on researchbased information from WSU Extension and other universities to address such critical issues as enhancing natural resources and environmental stewardship, sustaining vibrant communities, and improving health and wellness of residents of Washington,.” According to the Master Gardener Program Handbook. We do this through activities such as plant clinics, training of new volunteers, community service projects, classes and demonstration gardens. Master gardeners are at the Okanogan County Fair and operate demonstration gardens, the xeriscape garden at the fairgrounds and the rose garden on Okoma Drive near Mid-Valley Hospital in Omak. Our plant clinics are a great opportunity for you to ask questions about gardening, plant pests and diseases, water-wise gardening, transplanting, starting plants from seed — the list is endless. When gardening questions leave us scratching our heads, we can access great resources, including WSU faculty and staff. We offer weekly office hours in the Extension office at the Okanogan County Courthouse, 149 N. Third Ave., taking a bit of a break during the cold winter months. You may have seen us answering questions at the local farmers markets as well. We are truly here to help home gardeners be successful. One of our most popular events is the annual spring plant sale. We took a break last year, but are on schedule for a great event this year and we hope you will join us. This is a great opportunity to get an early start on purchasing plants that need a head start or to try something new. Watch for posters coming in the next month for more information. In the meantime, stay warm and enjoy those seed catalogs that will start to show up in your mailbox. Spring is right around the corner. The Chronicle SPOKANE ― Spring sales closing dates for Multiple Peril Crop Insurance programs are approaching rapidly. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency said the closing dates also include whole farm insurance programs, Adjusted Gross Revenue Pilot and Adjusted Gross Revenue-Lite. Dates include: • Jan. 31 — Final date to buy or change AGR insurance in select counties in Idaho, Oregon and Washington. It’s the final date to submit required documents to continue or change 2013 AGR-Lite insurance for existing policy holders. • March 15 — Final date to buy or change spring-seeded MPCI, excluding wheat in counties with fall and spring planted types, and onions. It’s the final date to buy 2013 AGR-Lite insurance for new “ Producers are encourage to visit with their crop insurance agent. Risk Management Specialist Jo Lynne Seufer ” application/enrollment policies. “Producers are encouraged to visit with their crop insurance agent to learn specific details for the 2013 crop year,” Risk Management Specialist Jo Lynne Seufer said. Federal crop insurance policies are sold and delivered solely through private insurance companies and agents. A list of crop insurance agents is available at all USDA Service Centers or at www3.rma.usda.gov/tools/ agents/. Custom Cutting and Wrapping Locker beef for sale “We feature lean Charolais beef” Larry and Tara Brownlee 23253 Hwy. 20 S. Okanogan 509-422-5116 GOLD DIGGER APPLES " !! # ' & " $# " " $" " % "# " ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! Agriculture 2013, The Chronicle, Omak, Wash. — Page 15 Farming is challenging in Ferry Hay and cattle are predominant factors in county agriculture By Zachary Van Brunt Special to The Chronicle MALO — Ferry County’s geographic location and terrain, mean farmers and ranchers face difficulties in getting goods to consumers and higher prices because of fuel costs. At least one Ferry County hay producer welcomes that challenge. “It’s challenging, but not impossible,” Malo farmer Dan Miller said. Irrigation to the area is crucial. “In our area, anybody who produces any quantity of hay does so under irrigation,” he said. Weather plays a major role in getting hay from Miller’s farm to buyers. Typically, he starts fertilizing and cultivating the ground in the first part of April, then begins to irrigate in May or June, depending on the weather. Seeds are planted, then Miller expects anywhere from two or three cuttings per season, each resulting in five to seven tons per acre of alfalfa or grass hay. The summer harvest yields plenty of feed for ranchers throughout the region, and his supply is typically sold out by the end of August. “I’ve had years where everything is sold before I put in the in the barn,” he said. He’s been on the farm for 10 years. Miller, a former IBM employee in Seattle, was born and raised in the Malo area, and said he enjoys the challenges his old stomping grounds present. He said fields in Ferry County are often irregularly shaped because mountains and rivers, and that poses problems with getting water to crops. “If you have a long field, it’s hard to get your irrigation spread across it,” he said. Transportation costs amount to price increases for the relatively isolated county. “If I have to drive to Spokane to get something, that costs me $100 in fuel alone,” Miller said. And if Republic – the county’s only incorporated city – doesn’t have what Miller needs, trips to Spokane, Colville or Okanogan are not unusual. To keep prices down, he said he has parts and equipment shipped as often as possible. Miller said growing hay is part hobby, part income for him. “We can’t pull the same market price in Ferry County that you could if you were selling to the outlets in Moses Lake,” he said. “But, then again, generally speaking, we’re a pretty isolated market.” There’s a constant tight rope walk with pricing, as neighboring Stevens County hay producers vie for the same buyers. Miller said it’s a delicate balance to make sure the time and energy going into hay production are compensated, but he doesn’t want to gouge the market either. “One of the things that I find amazing is that a lot of people really don’t understand what it takes to put up good hay,” he said. “A lot of times when you’re putting up hay, there are days where you’re working 20 hours straight.” A typical window for baling is between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m., and Dee Camp/The Chronicle Horses munch on hay in an Okanogan-area field. Hay is one of neighboring Ferry County’s biggest crops. Miller said he often has to go back into the field three hours later, at 6 a.m. Ideal harvest windows are so small – two to three hours – that a lot of extra time goes into researching weather reports and forecasts to ensure optimal outlooks. “If people really understood how much time, effort and work went into producing really good hay, they wouldn’t beat us up about the price,” Miller said. Hay and cattle make up the backbone of Ferry County’s agricultural industry, retired Washington State University Extension Director Dan Fagerlie said “We have a combination all the across the board: Not a lot of anything, but a lot of everything,” he said. Multi-generation ranchers compose a vital part of the county’s ag industry, with some ranch families some being around more than 100 years. Another main industry component is a contingent of part-time farmers – like Miller – PEARS APPLES CHERRIES Grower Owned Cooperative Since 1913 “Ideas to Grow With!” who take agriculture on as a hobby to supplement their income or provide food for neighbors. Other than hay, cattle ranching is the other major force in shaping agriculture in the county. Transportation issues do not escape cattle ranchers in the county, either. With only two major highways – and the only state Department of Transportation ferry crossing east of the Cascades – getting product to market is a challenge, ranchers said. Since 1921 We salute your hard work and sincerely appreciate your business # ( ', % #' & %) " * ' $%# && #" +$ % " '# , . * * #! ' #$$#%'(" ', '# #(% %#* % $%# % !& * ' ,#( WILBUR-ELLIS Tonasket Brewster Chelan 418 S. Western Ave. 509-486-2142 322 7th N.W. 509-689-3113 1680 Chelan Station Rd. 509-682-5315 #+ - + & &' " &' & (&& Page 16 — Agriculture 2013, The Chronicle, Omak, Wash. Researchers study frost hardiness By Nella Letizia Washington State University Extension PROSSER — A more accurate way to measure cold hardiness in apple and sweet cherry buds and blooms during early spring is under development by researchers at Washington State University Prosser Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center. The three-year project, funded by the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission this year, will help Pacific Northwest growers better protect their orchards during frosts. Led by AgWeatherNet Director Gerrit Hoogenboom and research associate Melba Salazar-Gutierrez, the project ultimately will provide more updated information about how new apple and cherry varieties handle cold at different stages of growth. “Historical cold hardiness data are based on research that was conducted more than 30 to 40 years ago and with older varieties,” Salazar-Gutierrez said. “These data are still being used today, even for new varieties. So Grazing from 12 • Reconstruction of three existing spring development. • Construction of two new corrals. • Construction of one hardened crossing on Aeneas Creek. • Possible construction of about 13 miles of new pasture fence for rested areas. Meanwhile, another concern for area cattle ranchers has been rangeland management for nontribal members on tribal land. far, little is known about the hardiness of new cultivars under local weather conditions. “There is, therefore, a need to update this information using current varieties with new scientific methodologies,” she said. Frost in early spring often damages apple and sweet cherry buds and blooms, and crop resistance to freezing temperatures varies depending on the buds’ development, she said. This variable susceptibility to cold makes it difficult for growers to know when to take measures to protect their orchards when the mercury plummets. “From dormancy to fruit set, the flower bud undergoes a number of developmental changes that are associated with a progressive, increasing vulnerability of the pistil (the female reproductive part of a flower) to low temperatures,” Salazar-Gutierrez said. “In dormant flower buds, the effect of freezing temperatures is not uniform, with ice crystals formed in only some floral tissues. At full bloom, the damage may be more extensive, depending on the The Colville Confederated Tribes is trying to promote the use of the range resource by tribal members to support them in earning a living in whole or in part through grazing their own livestock. That might affect some non-tribal members who graze their cattle on the reservation. “There is certainly a concern raised on non-tribal members using grazing lands on tribal grounds,” Stokes said. “Public land grazing in general is a concern, because the grazing permits for the amount of cattle needs to be Your Tractor Engine Specialist • Kubota • New Holland • Ford • Massey Ferguson • John Deere • Catepillar • White • Oliver Tractor and Automotive Engine Building ✓ Drivelines and PTO Shafts ✓ Hydraulic Hose Service ✓ Welding and Fabrication Trees in bloom stand in a solid row in an Omakarea orchard. Researchers are studying how blossoms react to freezing weather. Dee Camp/The Chronicle severity of the freeze. With cherry, flower buds are more susceptible to injury than vegetative buds.” Previous cold hardiness measurements were not as specific as the new system. Researchers made observations and took samples of buds and flowers after naturally occurring freeze events to determine injury, SalazarGutierrez said. They also tested freeze Quality Fruit deserves a Quality Ride Carrier Transports, Inc. See Cold 17 kept big enough to maintain a large enough herd to make it profitable to the beef cattle farmer.” “They have a new tribal range manager and I think he has some new plans,” Okanogan rancher Rick Timm said. “So far, there haven’t been any changes but we haven’t had our range meeting yet. “They have been issuing fiveyear permits and those ran out Jan. 1 and there are always stories going around that there will be some changes, but we haven’t had that meeting.” "# ("&# !"' " ! " %! $ "& %# ''' " % ) #! " Hunting for big savings? Dave’s Gun and Pawn has you covered! Reloading Supplies Used Tools Shooting Supplies Dave’s Gun and Pawn 22 Years in Business! MACHINE WORKS 521 S. Western Ave. Tonasket Over 30 years experience (509) 486-0511 Monday-Thursday 8 a.m.-7 p.m. 112 N. Main • Riverside • 509-826-0544 Open 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays and Saturdays 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Friday Agriculture 2013, The Chronicle, Omak, Wash. — Page 17 Legislators concentrate on landowner rights Farm and ranch concerns show up in proposed legislation By Zachary Van Brunt Special to The Chronicle OLYMPIA – Legislators from Washington’s 7th and 12th districts are proposing laws that would protect and enhance landowners’ rights, particularly those of farmers and ranchers. Many legislators agree that, despite several bills introduced, it’s too soon to tell what might impact agriculture. “It’s strange Short right now,” Rep. Shelly Short, RAddy, said. “We’ve got bills coming forward, but there’s nothing that’s jelling right now. We haven’t seen anything from the new governor (Jay Inslee) in Kretz terms of any priority of legislation he might have.” “It’s just starting to shape up right now. There are a lot of different ideas that are coming in,” Rep. Joel Kretz, RSmith Wauconda, said. Topping those lists are issues concerning agriculture taxation and gray wolf packs, which continue to concern ranchers throughout Eastern Washington. Kretz is sponsoring a bill that would allow relocation of wolves to “areas where they will be welcomed and there is the habitat that allows them to flourish.” That could mean out of Okanogan, Ferry, Stevens and Pend Oreille counties. “Right now it’s no secret that the cattle industry is being threatened by wolves,” Sen. John Smith, R-Colville, said. He was appointed in early January to fill the seat left vacant by the resignation of Sen. Bob Morton. “One of my prime objectives in (coming to Olympia) is to point out that what happens on the east side of the state is valuable.” Smith has sponsored three bills in the state Senate that would work toward protecting property owners’ rights against wolf attacks. “Private property owners don’t have the right to protect their own property,” Smith said. One of the bills he introduced, what he calls the “caught-in-the-act” bill, would allow landowners to defend their property – including livestock and crops – with lethal force against gray wolves and other wildlife predators. Short has a similar bill in the House. “Private property owners don’t See Lawmakers 18 Cold from 16 tolerance using differential thermal analysis to come up with predictions of critical lethal temperatures, but this technique is only effective for early stages of bud development. The new system more accurately determines lethal temperatures for later bud and bloom growth, she said. An automated freezer sampler, called the “vending machine,” exposes the buds to different durations and controlled cold temperature combinations. Created by John Ferguson, research center staff member who also came up with a coldhardiness prediction model for grapes, the vending machine is a standard environmental chamber with a built-in slot at the bottom of the door, hence its nickname. Four plastic racks inside the chamber hold perforated cylinders for samples. When samples reach a designated temperature, they are automatically released from the racks and fall through the door’s slot into a basket outside the chamber. The custom-modified freezer sampler can hold smaller cuttings of limbs and flowers and run samples overnight, thus processing more samples faster. Hoogenboom, Salazar-Gutierrez and their AgWeatherNet research team studied Red Delicious, Gala and Fuji apples and Bing, Chelan and Sweetheart cherries beginning in February. They collected samples from the WSU Roza Research Farm and C&M Orchards near Prosser, and tested temperatures ranging from minus 40 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit at varying times to learn when buds and flowers will die. The team is still analyzing the results from last spring. Salazar-Gutierrez said the next step is to continue collecting samples on new orchards for two more seasons, which will depend on cooperation from growers willing to participate in the project. The researchers also want to study how apple and sweet cherry buds fare as orchards enter dormancy in fall and winter. The researchers will then develop a model for growers with a range of early spring temperatures that buds at all stages of development will tolerate. “The overall outcome of this project will be updated hardiness charts for apples and sweet cherries that include the critical temperatures for each of the different stages of spring bud development,” Salazar-Gutierrez said. “This is a very important tool for growers who are monitoring their individual apple and cherry orchards for appropriate crop management and activation of frost protection systems. This will allow for better planning to improve fruit quality, enhance yield and ultimately increase net returns.” '( &'' ( ! - # &$$*% )-% ) &$ +$# ( &% &% (" ) *( , We Have Tractors and Equipment for all Orchard and Farm Crops! Kuhn Specialized Shredders: For shredding clippings and vine shoots and excellent for cutting grass. For regular upkeep of green spaces, vineyards, nurseries and orchards. 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Lawmakers from 17 have the right to protect their own property,” Smith said. “But sometimes we’re being painted by some conservation people as wanting to go out and completely annihilate the wolf population. And that’s just not true.” Smith, who sits on both the Senate’s Natural Resources and Parks, and Trade and Economic Development committees, owns a small farm in northern Stevens County in the middle of three of the state’s verified gray wolf packs. “When we look at the cattle industry, Condotta perhaps what some people are missing is that it really is an industry,” he said. The taxes that ranchers supply to a community help local business, grocers, restaurants and others stay afloat. “The impact from hurting the industry is not just felt by cattlemen, it’s felt by the entire community,” he said. Short agrees. Her House Bill 1191 would allow a landowner, family member or employee to protect property from wildlife predators. “I want people to have an option, and it’s not about eradicating the wolves,” she said. “It’s about giving that person the tools necessary so that they can take care of the problem. People are afraid to do that because of fear that they’ll be penalized or fined, and I just don’t think that’s right.” Other than cattle and livestock issues, Eastern Washington legislators also are taking up labor taxation. “Any law having to do with labor is a really high priority in the The safety of cattle and other livestock is a concern for both ranchers and legislators as gray wolf populations grow. Dee Camp/The Chronicle “ It’s not about eradicating the wolves. Rep. Shelly Short ” state, and they need to be reformed,” Kretz said. The lack of access to labor also is a concern. “We didn’t get a lot of fruit picked last year because we didn’t have the people to do it,” he said. Rep. Cary Condotta, R-East Wenatchee, serves on the House finance committee. “Our concern is, that when we go to look toward revenue, the growers, workers and ranchers all have tax exemptions,” he said. Those exemptions have been mentioned as possible targets, which Condotta said he is against. Newly elected 12th District Rep. Brad Hawkins, R-Wenatchee, and Sen. Linda Evans Parlette, RWenatchee, could not be reached for comment. “Come taste the Fruits of Our Labors” • Cherries • Peaches • Apples • Nectarines • Pluots Monday- Saturday • 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. • Sunday noon- 5 p.m. Hwy. 97 located at milepost 275, Malott • 509-422-3145 Proudly supporting agriculture in Okanogan County! Diebel’s Welding & Machine, Inc. Patriot Steel Okanogan Valley’s Complete Steel Supply Spanky’s FOR AN EVEN GREATER SELECTION SHOP S E A R S . C OM PICK-UP IN YOUR LOCAL SEARS STORE EXCLUDES ALASKA Locally owned and operated Rodger and Dawna Nicholas 317 S. Main, Omak • 509-826-1730 Precision industrial machine shop Heavy equipment rebuilding, fabrication, line boring Automotive and industrial parts Drive lines Hitches 2254 Elmway • Okanogan • 509-826-4426 Agriculture 2013, The Chronicle, Omak, Wash. — Page 19 Weed board treats targeted invaders OKANOGAN — During 2012, the Okanogan County Noxious Weed Control Program treated all of the new invader, Class A and priority control weed species. Garlic mustard is a new Class A weed first detected in the county lat year. The office treated noxious weeds in several areas and purchased herbicide to give to landowners to help control hoary alyssum. The weed office paid for the treatment of 18.4 acres of wild four o’clock, 31 acres of leafy spurge, 6.1 acres of rush skeletonweed, 51 acres of Scotch thistle, 6.5 acres of musk thistle, six acres of hawkweed, 3.25 acres of yellow starthistle, 1.5 acres of garlic mustard, 80 acres of spurge flax, .5 acre of common bugloss, .1 acre of Syrian bean caper, five acres of hoary alyssum, 107 acres of various other weeds and 92 acres of roads on tribal and state Department of Natural Resourcesmanaged lands. Grants paid for most of the projects, plus a calendar and Weeds Cross Borders Tour. Farm Bureau watches legislative bills OLYMPIA — The Washington Farm Bureau is watching a number of bills that could affect farmers. Among them: • SB 5112 — Granting scheduling authority for qualified retrospective rating plan employers and groups. The bill would result in more claims efficiency by allowing retro groups to schedule certain independent medical exams and vocational rehabilitation assessments. • SB 5127 — Amending provisions governing structured settlements by removing age barriers and clarifying legislative intent. The bill would allow workers of all ages to qualify for structure settlement agreements. EHB 2123 from 2011 established the option of structured settlement agreements but limited it to older workers. • SB 5126 — The bill would corrects a court decision that misinterpreted Washington’s third party recovery law. Passage of the bill would help save workers’ compensation dollars. • SB 5124 — Wage simplification. The bill simplifies the formula used to calculate workers’ compensation benefits and makes it more in line with what other states use. It would ensure fairness in that calculation and streamline administrative costs for our workers’ comp system. • SB 5125 — Occupational disease. The bill would amend the currently broad definition of “occupational disease” and restore it to the original, narrower legislative intent. • SB 5128 — Addressing compensation for injured workers. The bill is an updated version of SB 5566 from 2011, which was the Senate’s comprehensive workers’ compensation reform package. • SB 5128 — It would allow voluntary settlement options (as opposed to just structured settlement agreements) and would grant that option to injured workers of all ages. • HB 1113 — The bill would require the state Department of Ecology to identify peer-reviewed science, scientific literature and other sources relied upon for the significant agency action before taking a significant agency action within the water quality, shorelands, or environmental assistance programs. This is another step toward ensuring sound science is used in public policy making. Pesticide drift bill taken off table OLYMPIA — A pesticide drift bill apparently has been taken off the table for the current legislative session. Washington Farm Bureau representatives testified at a House Labor and Workforce Development Committee work session last week. “We reiterated our steadfast commitment to providing safe work places,” the organization said in its weekly legislative update. “Many of the points we made against last year’s proposal — namely that mandatory requirements will not work for an industry that needs to be able to respond to the changing conditions of nature.” The existing framework of pesticide education and enforcement through several state departments works well and should be maintained, the group said. Weed board warns of wildflower seeds OKANOGAN — The Okanogan County Noxious Weed Control Office warns that wildflower seed packets may contain invasive and noxious weed seeds. A University of Washington study showed that wildflower seed packets from several different distributors contained anywhere from three to 13 varieties of invasive plants and eight packets contained seeds for species of noxious weeds listed in at least one state or Canadian province. A third of the packets did not list which species were included and just a handful correctly listed the types of seeds they contained. ‘Early response’ weed workshop planned workshop is planned in April. Farm Bureau plans Legislative Days OLYMPIA — The Washington Farm Bureau’s Legislative Days will be Feb. 5-6. The event includes issue briefings, training, updates from key legislators, a reception, banquet and opportunity to meet with legislators. Registration and additional information is available at www.wsfb.com/legislativedays. Pesticide licensing class offered OKANOGAN — A pesticide license recertification class will be March 27 in the Agriplex Annex at County weed office has new hours OKANOGAN — The Okanogan County Noxious Weed Control Office has new hours. Field season office hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Wednesday. Thursdays and Fridays will be dedicated field days and will allow for follow-up on landowner concerns. —The Chronicle WINTER WELL DRILLING RATES ARE BACK! REPUBLIC – A free “early response” weed workshop is from 5-8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13, in the Extension Training Center in the Ferry County Courthouse, 350 E. Delaware Ave. The Ferry County Noxious Weed Control Board workshop will concentrate on new invaders, early herbicide applications and early weed identification. A question-and-answer period is planned. Three state pesticide license recertification credits will be available. Advance registration is required by contacting the Weed Board office, 509-775-5225 Ext. 1111 to by 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 8. A hands-on sprayer calibration Smith & Nelson, Inc. Tonasket, Washington 302 S. Western, Tonasket 509-486-2104 the Okanogan County Fairgrounds, 175 Rodeo Trail Road. The class will be worth up to eight credits at a cost of $5. Lunch will be available for an additional fee. More information is available from the Okanogan County Noxious Weed Control Office in the courthouse, 149 N. Third Ave. WA Lic. #FOGLEPS095L4 " ! # # # ! ! + %& ( + %& $! ( + $ "! % & !" !+ $ )%& $ + )* + "'& ! ) %# $"(