Dairy • B8 Gardening • B8 4-H • B8
B7 • lyndentribune.com • Wednesday, May 9, 2018
Raspberry growers in ‘planning our future’ vote Referendum info meeting is in Lynden today, ballots out in June By Calvin Bratt firstname.lastname@example.org
WHATCOM — The Washington Red Raspberry Commission is asking its grower members to “plan for our future” via a referendum vote over the next six weeks. In short, the commission seeks “flexibility to adjust to evolving challenges facing our raspberry industry,” according to a recent newsletter of the Lyndenbased organization. The WRRC board of directors urges approval of the measure. The Washington State Department of Agriculture, which conducts the referendum, is hosting a public hearing at 11 a.m. Wednesday, May 9, in the WRRC offices, 204 Hawley St., Lynden. Should all go as planned, a ballot will be mailed to all growers on June 1, with a deadline of June 22 to return it. Approval must be by a majority of growers and twothirds of WRRC production in order for the changes to be implemented. Growers have already been sent more detailed information
Whatcom County’s thousands of acres of raspberry plants are progressing well toward summer production. (Calvin Bratt/Lynden Tribune) from WSDA. Two main reasons are cited for seeking the expanded authority: 1. The National Processed Raspberry Council will have a vote on continuing its mission in the next year. The Washington state commission has relied on the national council for nearly all general raspberry promotional activities for the past six years. In
the event the national council is dissolved, the WRRC wants to be ready to pick up this work of market promotion, with an emphasis solely on domestic production. 2. The raspberry plant breeding program at Washington State University is about to undergo changes, related to the upcoming retirement of longtime breeder Pat Moore. WSU is willing to fill the position and move it to Lyn-
National board recap of issues Evaluation and WA board positions are on the docket LYNDEN — The National Processed Raspberry Council met April 13 in the Jansen Art Center, as it has several times per year, and these were topics: NPRC Effectiveness — According to U.S. Department of Agriculture data, frozen raspberry per-capita consumption increased from 0.36 pounds in 2013 to 0.54 pounds in 2015, a 50
percent jump. Consumption of 2016 will be published in summer 2018. A USDA-required third-party effectiveness evaluation of the council has been completed and the full results will be published soon. In short, the evaluation finds that marketing and research programs have performed well and are positioning processed raspberries favorably within marketplace trends. The council’s 2017 Annual Report provides a high-level recap of key activities completed by the council in 2017 as well as results from a financial audit. The
results can be found at http:// www.redrazz.org/wp-content/ uploads/2018/04/Annual-Report2016-17.pdf. Health Research — The NPRC has 14 research studies underway investigating the potential health benefits of red raspberries, including help with metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular function, diabetes, cognitive performance, gut health and bone health. In coming months, a health research database will be launched on redrazz.org, linking to published health studies related to red raspberries.
den provided that WRRC solidifies its commitment to the partnership by endowing a faculty position. For that, $150,000 would need to be raised annually. The proposed changes to governing rules are designed to give WRRC the flexibility needed to address these foreseen challenges, according to the newsletter. Specifically, the requested changes are:
• Authority to allow the WRRC board to set the annual assessment rate at the end of harvest rather than having the set rate of one-half-cent per pound every year. • Authority to allow the WRRC board to set the assessment rate at whatever is felt to be needed within the range of zero to 2 cents per pound. “The commission is committed to ensuring the sum of all federal and state assessments does not exceed 2 cents.” • Changing the requirement that all assessments are collected by Oct. 15 of a year. Instead, quarterly payments would be allowed, better reflecting the cash-flow needs of both farmers and processors. Board members say they are willing to stop by a farm to talk about why the changes are sought. “We rely on good feedback from you and to hear your ideas about where we should be focusing our time and resources.” WRRC is now in a new base of operations, the Ag Central building at 204 Hawley St., Lynden, just north of Vander Giessen Nursery. The main contacts are 360-3548767 and henry@red-raspberry. org, with Henry Bierlink as executive director. The vast majority of Washington’s red raspberry production is concentrated in the Lynden area.
Referendum on NPRC’s Future — USDA programs such as the council require periodic approval of growers in order to continue in force. This vote-ofconfidence referendum is due for NPRC in 2019. However, it may occur earlier, as over 10 percent of raspberry growers have signed a petition calling for that, meaning See Raspberry on B8
Time to start gardening!
Tips for a high-yield vegetable garden
Raised Garden Beds These allow you to create a deep, organically rich soil, encouraging healthy extensive root growth and providing more nutrients. Garden Pattern The way you arrange your plants can provide more yield in your garden bed. Instead of planting in rows or patterns stagger the plants in triangles. You can fit almost 15% more plants per bed this way! Garden Up Create areas for your vegetables to climb. Vining plants such as pole beans, peas, tomatoes and squash can grow straight up on supported trellises which can be provided by fences, ladders, cages or stakes. Thhe vegetables will be easier to get to when they are ready, making harvesting easier. Variety Mix up your garden. It is okay to plant corn, pole beans and squash in one area together. The corn will grow up providing a sturdy support for the pole beans and the squash will grow below keeping the weeds away.
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B8 • Wednesday, May 9, 2018 • lyndentribune.com
Milk price in slow climb
Exciting new color for your garden and pots
By Lee Mielke
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the April Federal Order Class III benchmark milk price May 2 at $14.47 per hundredweight (cwt.), up 25 cents from March but 75 cents below April 2017. It equates to $1.24 per gallon, down from $1.31 a year ago. California’s Class 4b cheese milk price is $14.27 per cwt., up 31 cents from March and 3 cents below a year ago. Some of the wind in dairy’s global “sales” got knocked out at the May 1 Global Dairy Trade auction. The weighted average of products offered slipped 1.1 percent, following a 2.7 upshot on April 17. Anhydrous milkfat was down 1.9 percent after having jumped 5.3 percent the time before, and whole milk powder was off 1.5 percent after it had inched 0.9 percent higher earlier. The gains were led by skim milk powder, up 3.6 percent, which followed a 3.6 percent increase in April and cheddar was up 3.1 percent, following a 4.6 percent boost. FC Stone equates the GDT 80 percent butterfat butter price to $2.4991 per pound U.S., and GDT cheddar cheese is equated
to $1.8252 per pound U.S. A small increase in the U.S. All Milk Price average could not overcome sharp increases in corn, soybean and hay prices and thereby pulled the March milk feed price ratio lower. The USDA’s latest Ag Prices report shows the March ratio at 1.97, down from 2.03 in February and 2.40 in March 2017. Block cheddar cheese closed the first Friday of May at $1.6650 per pound, up 4.5 cents on the week and 6.5 cents above a year ago. The barrels skyrocketed to $1.6025 on May 1, highest price since Dec. 15, 2017, and finished May 4 at $1.60, up 11.25 cents on the week and 15 cents above a year ago. The tone of the cheese market remains uncertain, according to Dairy Market News, although Central region sales activity is reported as fair to up slightly. Butter finished at $2.3525 per pound, down .75 cents, but 24.5 cents above a year ago. Grade A nonfat dry milk closed Friday at 84.5 cents, unchanged on the week and a .25 cent below a year ago. The Northwest Dairy Association made these price projections for the Class III price and Pacific Northwest blend price: Month Class PNW III Blend April $14.47 $14.30 (current) May $15.10 $15.00 June $15.50 $15.50 July $16.00 $15.80 Aug. $16.30 $16.20 Sept. $16.50 $16.40 Oct. $16.55 $16.30 Nov. $16.40 $16.30 Dec. $16.30 $16.25 Lee Mielke, of Lynden, is editor of the Mielke Market Weekly. Whatcom County has about 100 dairy farms.
Raspberry: NPRC formed in 2013 Continued from B7
the vote is likely to be in late 2018 or early 2019. NPRC Board Membership — Two seats representing Washington state raspberry production are up for election, needing nominees by May 11. The Washington Red Raspberry Commission will then coordinate a grower survey to determine who the industry wants as representatives on the national board. Anyone with an interest or inclination to serve in this capacity, or to nominate someone with capabilities, should contact the WRRC office at 360-3548767 immediately to fill out nomination forms.
The NPRC was formed in 2013 following a multiyear process to unite the raspberry industry under one organization. It is made up of growers and importers into the American market. The mission is to direct nutrition research on the health and wellness benefits of raspberries and to promote consumption of processed raspberries based on research results. Funding is a penny per pound of raspberries produced or imported. As Whatcom County is the country’s predominate red raspberry growing area, top officers of the NPRC currently are local growers John Clark as president and Ravinder (Rob) Dhaliwal as vice-president.
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After a cool, wet start to spring, pleasant weather has finally arrived, and with it the opportunity to once again plant a garden and watch your flowers grow. As you enjoy time spent outside this month, here are a couple of my favorite plants to find a spot for this year as well as some tips to keep your garden growing and healthy. First, May is the best time to start planting annuals in your pots and flower beds for color all summer. Each year, I enjoy the hunt for something new for my garden, often a new color of a favorite plant or an improved version of an old standby. One plant I’m particularly excited about this spring is the Calliope family of geraniums. For ages, geraniums have been one of gardeners’ most-loved plants — and for good reason. They’re easy to grow, bloom all summer and have few issues with pests or diseases. Calliope, however, takes geraniums to the next level. Calliope geraniums are a cross between a traditional (zonal) geranium and a trailing ivy geranium.
By David Vos
By crossing the two types, breeders were able to create a new type of geranium with the look of a zonal geranium but a semi-trailing or spreading growth habit perfect for containers or filling up more space in a flowerbed. Originally introduced in red, Calliope has now expanded to several colors, my favorite of which is Calliope Medium Burgundy. Slightly less aggressive than the original Calliope, Calliope Medium geraniums will still quickly fill a pot or flower bed. Medium Burgundy has a rich dark red color and velvety appearance, lending extra depth of color that most red geraniums can’t match. Another great new plant I’m looking forward to finding space for in my
Cover crops can help control erosion, take up nutrients and enrich the soil organically. (Courtesy photo) LYNDEN — Share with other local farmers about cover crop successes and challenges. Learn about managing nitrogen contribution and choos-
ing varieties. The conversation will be guided by Washington State University researcher Chris Benedict, who will also talk about a current cover
4H Reports COUNTRY PARTNERS Sarah Klem, reporter Happy spring, everyone! The weather is gorgeous. It’s quite beautiful out in Lynden. Old business at our last meeting included looking back at the Whatcom County Youth Fair that was held at the Lynden fairgrounds April 6-7. We had a great turnout. Many teen leaders helped run some of the events. It’s always great to see all the different kinds of animals. Our club members who are doing a market hog at the fair in August got to pick their pig on the last weekend in April. I picked out a very nice female pig whose litter of piglets are all very nice quality and are going to be nice show hogs later in the summer.
The Lynden Farmers Day Parade is coming up on June 2 in the morning. Our club always has a float entered in it. We bring along animals as well, all having fun riding the float or walking some goats down Front Street. We participated in a 4H hike on April 21 to Oyster Dome. It was a pretty hike, good times. All Country Partners 4H members need to remember to sign up on the Livestock Auction website to register their market animal as soon as possible. New business: At our last 4H meeting, we picked our fair theme as ID Tie-Dye. Also, this Saturday at Hovander Park in Ferndale at 11 a.m. our club is having a bake sale. I highly recommend you go out and support our
crop study going on. It’s from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, May 14, at the Cloud Mountain Farm Center farm at 5979 Lawrence Rd. south of Ever-
son. RSVP to the event online at https://www. cloudmountainfarmcenter.org/workshops/covercrops-frt/.
club. Our Country Partners Fun Fair is coming up fast on June 30. This is a time to practice
showing our animals and make some fun projects. I hope everyone enjoys this beautiful weather. Summer is coming!!
Enjoy no-fuss blooming color all summer!
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plants’ needs. May is also the perfect time to start planting your vegetable garden. Whether you grow in pots on your patio or have a large garden plot in the backyard, nothing beats the fresh taste of homegrown produce. However, growing your own garden can be a letdown if bugs beat you to the harvest. To prevent insects from spoiling my garden, I sprinkle Eight (brand name) insect dust around my veggie starts and seeds when planting. Depending on what you grow, Eight is safe to apply up to within just days of harvest, and it kills a wide range of insects including aphids, cutworms, weevils and others. A great organic alternative is Captain Jack’s insect dust, which also kills many insects and can be used throughout the growing season. Spring is a delightful time of year full of promise. As you begin to fill your garden, enjoy the fresh colors and tastes the season has to offer! David Vos is the general manager of Vander Giessen Nursery Inc. of Lynden.
Cover crops is speaker topic Monday, May 14
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pots this year is Tangerine Slice A-Peel Thunbergia, or black-eyed susan vine. Like its yellow counterpart, Tangerine Slice is a fast-growing climber perfectly suited for a trellis or arbor in a sunny spot in your yard, but with a striking twotone orange flower. This climber will bloom from now through early November — I challenge you to try find any perennial vine that will do that! After you plant your flowers, don’t forget the most important ingredients for success: water and fertilizer! Plan to water your containers and hanging baskets once a day until the water runs through, and fertilize once a week with a high-quality water-soluble fertilizer like Jack’s Classic. Unfortunately, lower-quality fertilizers like MiracleGro can cause more harm than good, as undissolved fertilizer salts build up in the soil and can burn your plants, leaving them looking wilted and eventually killing them. Slow-release fertilizers are another good option, although for hungry annuals they may not release plant food fast enough to keep up with
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