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Country Life Wednesday, August 14, 2019 • •

Dairy • B8 Gardening • B8

Kids and animals at the 2019 Lynden fair

Youth and their animals seemed to be the combination of the day Monday as the 2019 Northwest Washington Fair got underway. From top left, clockwise: cousins Henry Todd and Ella Lembo admire sheep entered by Henry’s brother and sister; Madison Reimer shows her golden retriever Oakley in dog judging; Frankie Reyna, a Ferndale High School sophomore in FFA, keeps the bedding area of his four Hereford cattle clean; the trio of Hale Van Dyk, Jacob Tolsma and Ryan Van Berkum clip a calf in the 4-H Start to Finish competition. (Calvin Bratt/Lynden Tribune)

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B8 • Wednesday, August 14, 2019 • •



Farmers’ milk price highest since 2014

Add structure to your garden to balance summer color

Small-fruit growers event set for Dec. 4-6    LYNDEN ­— Sponsorship and vendor opportunities are still available for the Washington Small Fruit Conference & Lynden Ag Show that will be held Dec. 4-6 at the Northwest Washington Fairgrounds.    The conference focuses on the latest research and

By Lee Mielke

below a year ago. Alfalfa hay averaged $193 per ton, down $11 from May, but $12 per ton above a year ago.    The June cull price for beef and dairy combined averaged $65.90 per cwt., up 30 cents from May, 40 cents below June 2018 and $5.70 below the 2011 base average of $71.60 per cwt.    Milk cow replacements averaged $1,240 per head for the quarter in July, up $100 per head from April although $80 below July 2018. Prices averaged $1,300 per head in California, up $200 from April and unchanged from a year ago. Wisconsin cows averaged $1,210 per head, up $80 from April but $40 below July 2018.    Cash dairy traders are no doubt concerned over President Trump’s July 31 announcement that the U.S. will impose an additional 10 percent tariff on $300 billion in Chinese imports starting Sept. 1. Exports to that country were already hurting.    The Chicago Mercantile Exchange cheddar blocks closed the first Friday of August at $1.82 per pound, down a half-cent on the week but 23.25 cents above a year ago. The barrels finished at $1.6925, down 2.75 cents, 21.75 cents above a year ago, but an unsustainable 12.75 cents below the blocks.    Dairy Market News says most Midwest cheesemakers report that demand is meeting expectations, but

developments in small fruit farming, delivered firsthand by the scientists involved. For attending, continuingeducation credits can be earned.   Presentations of the conference in Lynden will be livestreamed to viewers in Prosser and Vancouver.    The Lynden Ag Show is the largest agricultural trade show in western Washington, featuring vendors serving small-fruit growers with their latest innovations, equipment and services on

some say the early summer upticks have steadied. Cheese production has slowed, as milk availability is dwindling.   Western cheese production remains active with plenty of milk on hand and plants are running near full capacity. Cheese inventories are generally comfortable as steady end user and consumer demand has been able to offset production.    CME butter, hurt from a higher-than-expected cold storage report, fell to $2.3275 per pound July 30, regained some, then fell again to close the week at $2.32, down a nickel, 11.5 cents below the July 16 high and dead even with a year ago.    Butter sales are slower and more bulk butter has become available in recent weeks. Butter producers suggest buyers are waiting on potential price drops.   The western butter market varies by area. Butter output remains active but decreased somewhat as more cream continues to move to ice cream plants. Butter stocks are plentiful.    Grade A nonfat dry milk closed Aug. 2 at $1.02 per pound, down a penny on the week but 19.25 cents above a year ago.    The Northwest Dairy Association made these price projections in July for the Class III price and Pacific Northwest blend price: Month Class PNW III Blend July $17.55 $17.45 (current) Aug. $17.35 $17.80 Sept. $17.85 $17.90 Oct. $17.90 $17.70 Nov. $17.70 $17.50 Dec. $17.25 $17.30 Jan. $16.80 $17.00 Feb. $16.70 $16.90 June $16.27 $16.95    Lee Mielke, of Lynden, is editor of the Mielke Market Weekly. Whatcom County has about 85 dairy farms. display. It is the event of the year for the berry farming community with over 200 growers gathered together.   This is the link for exhibitor and sponsor registration: https://www. Or call the Lynden offices at 360354-8767 for more details.

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great hardy option for growing in a pot outdoors year-round.   Similar in texture to “Primo” arborvitae, several varieties of dwarf hinoki cypress are also great focal points for the garden and are about as low-maintenance as one could expect of a plant. “Thoweil” is one of my favorites with chunky, asymmetrical branching. Topping out at six feet tall and two feet wide, it can fit in just about any size flowerbed and will provide year-round interest with its rich green foliage.   Another unique conifer perfect for adding a splash of bright color to the garden is golden fernspray cypress. Also in the hinoki cypress


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family, this variety has a very different look than its cousins with finer textured foliage evocative of fern fronds. Also different from most hinoki cypress varieties, golden fernspray boasts bright gold and chartreuse hues year-round, great for brightening up the garden during the drab late fall and winter months. This shrub grows larger than the previous two, reaching 10 to 12 feet tall and four to eight feet wide, but is still compact enough to enjoy as a large shrub or small tree even in small yards.   Finally, if you struggle to find plants that will look good yearround in a shady spot in your yard, dwarf hemlocks are the answer. “Jeddeloh” grows to just two feet tall and four feet wide with spreading branches cascading with bright green needles, while “Gentsch White,” with bright white needles at the tips of each branch, fills out to six to ten feet tall and wide but can be kept trimmed smaller if desired.    For all the fun that annuals bring to the garden, conifers are the anchors that a wellrounded yard needs to look its best. As you begin to look ahead to fall, consider where your garden could use some evergreen color.   David Vos is manager of Vander Giessen Nursery Inc. in Lynden.

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  The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Aug. 2 announced the July benchmark Class III milk price at $17.55 per hundredweight, up $1.28 from June, $3.45 above July 2018 and the highest Class III price since December 2014.    It equates to $1.51 per gallon, up from $1.40 in June and $1.21 a year ago.    Also, the Aug. 2 Class III futures portended a peak of$17.79 in September.    The seven-month Class III average stands at $15.58, up from $14.37 at this time a year ago but below $16.02 in 2017.    The July Class IV price is $16.90, up 7 cents from June, $2.76 above a year ago and the highest Class IV since November 2014.   Rising milk prices are welcome news to the troubled bottom lines of dairy farmers throughout the country. However, rising feed prices and continued clouds on the export horizon will temper some of the increase.    USDA reported another slip in one of the measures of farm profitability. The June milk-feed price ratio was 2.08, down from 2.10 in May, but above 1.98 in June 2018.    The index is based on the current milk price in relationship to feed prices for a dairy ration consisting of 51 percent corn, 8 percent soybeans and 41 percent alfalfa hay. One pound of milk today purchases 2.08 pounds of that ration blend.    The U.S. All-Milk price averaged $18.10 per cwt., up just a dime from May but $1.80 above June 2018.   The national average corn price averaged $3.98 per bushel, up a whopping 35 cents from May and follows an 11-cent jump in May. Corn was up 40 cents per bushel from June 2018. Soybeans averaged $8.31 per bushel, up 29 cents from May, after dropping 26 cents in May, but $1.24 per bushel

  Summer in the Pacific Northwest is a glorious time of year filled with cascading colorful hanging baskets, blooming perennials and abundant bouquets of hydrangea, roses and dahlias, to name just a few!   It’s easy in the abundance of the season to forget that it’s not always this way, but as much as I hate to remind you, summer’s glory will soon begin to fade. With fall planting season just around the corner, now is the time to begin assessing your garden for spots that could use more structure for the fall and winter months.    For all the beauty annuals add to the garden, evergreen shrubs — namely conifers — provide a steady, anchoring presence in the yard year-round, something annuals simply cannot do. No matter the season, conifers look good and, placed properly throughout the garden, they can define a space and provide a suitable backdrop for the seasonal additions of more colorful annuals and perennials.   Historically, many conifers available in nurseries would quickly grow to be unmanageable in size, regardless of whatever pruning they could take. Thus, many gardeners gave up on conifers, opting for deciduous shrubs that could at least be hacked down when they got too big. But, much like so many varieties of plants that have seen a renaissance in recent years, the conifers of today aren’t your parents’ overgrown evergreens.   One such plant that I’m particularly excited about this year is “Primo” arborvitae. This newly introduced dwarf arborvitae is in the same family as the ubiquitous Emerald Greens used in hedging, but looks more like a bonsaied hinoki cypress with its coarse texture and sculpted appearance. Slow growing, it eventually reaches to just four feet tall and only a foot wide, and since it’s hardy to minus-20 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s also a


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Country Life August 2019  

Country Life August 2019