Capital press. (Salem, OR) 19??-current, April 15, 2016, Page 11, Image 11

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    April 15, 2016
Auvil Fruit
adds more
tree netting
Capital Press
ORONDO, Wash. —
Seemingly endless rolls of
white cloth netting stretch
over acres and acres of young
Gala apple trees in an orchard
along Highway 97 about 16
miles north of Orondo.
It’s a new sight for trav-
elers on the highway. Workers
have been busy for several
weeks assembling the cloth
into sausage-like tubes, which
they spread over trellises. The
intent is to protect apples from
sunburn and wind.
More than 25 acres have
been covered, another 10
soon will be and eventually,
in another year or two, all
130 acres of Auvil Fruit Co.’s
Ranch 5 will have the netting,
says John Baile, assistant or-
chard manager at Auvil Fruit
Co. in Orondo.
“Sunburn is probably the
biggest cullage factor we
have. Some blocks probably
range up to 30 percent dam-
age from sunburn,” said Brett
Drescher, the company safety
officer and former orchard
Next to sunburn, wind
causing fruit to rub limbs is
the second greatest factor
damaging fruit, Drescher said.
Auvil Fruit has used net-
ting, in a more limited fash-
ion, for years to protect cher-
ries from birds but it’s been
expanding its use in apples
for wind and sunburn protec-
tion. About two-thirds of the
company’s 1,200 acres of ap-
ple orchards on the west bank
of the Columbia River south
of Vantage are covered now,
Baile said. That effort began
more than 10 years ago.
At Ranch 5, new Gala
trees were planted a year ago
on V-trellises. Full fruit pro-
duction is another year or so
away. One reason to cover the
trees now is to protect new
growth from wind, Baile said.
It’s a pedestrian orchard.
That means trees will be kept
about 6 feet tall and the prun-
ing, picking and other work
will be done by workers on
the ground without ladders.
The cloth is unfurled in
32-foot-wide strips, each cov-
ering four rows and 8.5 feet
high. Toward the highway
the netting slopes upward to
13 feet high to keep pesti-
cide spray drift from reaching
passing vehicles.
Ecology committee addresses anonymous complaints
Department to
outline process to
Capital Press
SPOKANE — Agriculture
representatives and Washing-
ton Department of Ecology
officials are examining how
the agency responds to anon-
ymous complaints against
From agriculture’s per-
spective, someone could
easily take advantage of the
department’s current process,
said Aaron Golladay, first
vice president of the Wash-
ington State Farm Bureau and
co-chairman of Ecology’s ag-
riculture and water quality ad-
visory committee.
He gave an example of a
community “selectively us-
ing” the complaint process to
call in “frivolous” complaints
against producers. The de-
partment has to investigate
and the producer has to ex-
plain the situation, which is
time-consuming if a producer
is not at fault, Golladay said.
Matthew Weaver/Capital Press
Washington Department of Ecology agriculture and water quality
advisory committee co-chairs Aaron Golladay, first vice president of
the Washington State Farm Bureau, and Maia Bellon, Ecology di-
rector, touch base during a break in the committee meeting March
30 in Spokane. The committee was looking at Ecology’s process
for handling complaints after several people expressed concern
over those made anonymously.
Ecology director Maia
Bellon said the department
will provide more information
to committee members about
responding to complaints,
whether they are anonymous
or not. She also hopes to de-
termine the percentage of
anonymous complaints.
“Our staff are very
thoughtful when they see that
they’re getting complaints
that appear to be of a nature
that are not showing us there
is a water quality problem,”
she said. “I don’t want people
taking advantage of the com-
plaint process, I want us to
spend our time trying to help
out and finding solutions to
the big issues that we see.”
Bellon is worried about the
possible chilling effect that
could come from cracking
down on anonymous com-
plaints. Washington Senate
Bill 6551 was introduced in
January to require Ecology
to provide the name of a third
party providing notice of a vi-
olation. The bill did not pass
out of the Senate.
“I don’t think that’s good
public policy,” Bellon said,
“especially when we do have
a lot of smaller communities
where people know each oth-
er, and it might be awkward
if someone identifies a prob-
lem in their neighborhood and
they don’t want to be treated
poorly for raising that issue.”
“I think you should be
able to face your accusers,”
said committee member Scott
Nielsen, Cattle Producers of
Washington vice president.
“I think (anonymous com-
plaints) are less troubling if
you trust the agency. To me,
it’s how that anonymous com-
plaint is handled.”
During the meeting, com-
mittee members talked about
educating the public about
proper water quality and
farming techniques.
That’s fine, Nielsen said,
as long the message says it’s
OK for cows to have access to
“I think some people look
at that and think, ‘Oh my god,
there’s a cow down there at
the creek — call the cops!’”
he said. “I think some (com-
plaints) are vindictive. The
ones I’m thinking of had very
little to do with water quality
and had to do with wolf man-
Nielsen wants to make sure
Ecology officials investigat-
ing complaints are objective.
Department special as-
sistant to the director Kelly
Susewind will outline the pro-
cess to the committee, Goll-
aday said. Golladay said the
committee has also recom-
mended the department notify
landowners when the problem
has been resolved.
“Ag’s not out here to de-
stroy the universe, regardless
of what a lot of people think,”
he said. “My goal is to have a
fair and transparent complaint
process. We have guilty par-
ties, we know we do, we want
them caught and taken care
of. We don’t want the good
guys getting beat up in the
TPP ‘not close’ to passing, McMorris Rodgers says
Capital Press
COLFAX, Wash. — The
Trans-Pacific Partnership has
a long road ahead of it be-
fore it is approved, an Eastern
Washington member of Con-
gress says.
“TPP needs a lot of work,”
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodg-
ers said. “We’re not close to
being at a place to pass TPP.”
McMorris Rodgers, a Re-
publican, said lawmakers are
still determining whether the
trade deal meets 150 criteria
laid out in the trade promo-
tion authority that Congress
The U.S. negotiated the
TPP with major trade part-
ners such as Japan, Mexico,
Canada, Australia and New
Zealand and developing na-
tions such as Malaysia, Peru,
Vietnam, Chile, Brunei and
Supporters say it creates a
level playing field for regional
trade, but critics say it doesn’t
deal with the potential for oth-
er nations to manipulate the
value of their currencies.
McMorris Rodgers said a
lot of work remains to be done
on trade in general, educating
Matthew Weaver/Capital Press
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., talks with farmers and
ranchers April 6 during an agricultural roundtable in Colfax, Wash.
Farmer David Lang looks on.
people about its importance
for Washington agriculture
and the economy.
McMorris Rodgers met
with representatives of wheat,
cattle, sheep, hay and other in-
terests to hear their concerns
during a roundtable discus-
sion April 6 at the McGregor
Co. headquarters in Colfax.
Other topics covered in-
cluded increased regulatory
burdens, changes in veteri-
nary feed requirements and
the impact of labor slow-
downs at the ports.
Of particular interest was
the Environmental Protection
Agency’s funding of a group
that campaigned against agri-
culture through social media
and advertising. Billboards
and other advertising claimed
agriculture is largely “unreg-
ulated” and putting rivers and
streams at risk.
“We face many challenges
in agriculture, but being un-
derregulated is most assuredly
not one of those challenges,”
said Alex McGregor, presi-
dent of the McGregor Co.
“It takes a lot of money
to keep telling that lie ... and
they’re using federal mon-
ey to do it,” Palouse, Wash.,
wheat farmer Ben Barstow
said. He suggested that EPA
could split its advertising
budget to spend equal time
promoting agriculture to the
The EPA last week stopped
funding for the advertising
and website after two Mid-
western senators questioned
its legality and called for an
Among the other issues
discussed was:
• Crop insurance. Barstow
also stressed the importance
of having crop insurance for
food production. As many
acres need to be insured as
possible to ensure a big pool
for farmers, he said.
“It’s all set up to ensure that
the American people get fed,”
farmer David Lang said.
Walla Walla meat processor honored
Capital Press
Courtesy Northwest Meat Processors Association
Bone-in ham award winners at the Northwest Meat Processors
Association convention in March included, from left, Adam Olson
of Olson Meats in Enumclaw, Wash., who received second place;
grand champion and best-in-show winner Jerry Haun of Walla
Walla, Wash., center; and Nathan Sultemier of Sweet and Smokey
Diner in Bremerton, Wash., who received third place.
and kind of affirms what
you’re doing, “ he said. “Cut-
ting meat and slaughtering,
there’s a lot of pride and skill
in your work, but it gets to be
a lot of hard work. The curing
and smoking meat is kind of an
outlet for me.”
Haun has owned Haun’s
Meat and Sausage for nearly
21 years, primarily offering
custom pork cuts. He plans to
continue competing.
“It’s nice to get the acco-
lades, it makes you feel good
Walla Walla, Wash., meat
processor Jerry Haun recently
received top honors for a tried-
and-true recipe.
Haun received the best-in-
show award for his bone-in
ham at the Northwest Meat
Processors Association’s con-
vention and trade show in
Moscow, Idaho, in March. It
was his 10th grand champion-
ship for the recipe, but his first
best-in-show honor, he said.
Bone-in ham is one of 14
categories in the competition.
A full leg of ham is cured and
smoked, and cut by the judg-
es. It is judged on appearance,
aroma and the characteristics
upon cutting. Best-in-show is
selected from the winner in all
14 categories.
“Forty or 50 percent of the
score is on the flavor. Flavor
kind of rules percentagewise
over some of the criteria,”
Haun said.
Haun said he attended
workshops through the asso-
ciation and helped in smoked
meats rooms at national and
regional competitions, al-
though never in contests where
his meat was competing.
“You learn a lot of the in-
tricacies of it,” he said. “A
lot of the thing with the ham
is getting the right balance of
salt, sugar and seasonings. My
hams sit four or five days after
I cure them.”
Haun usually cooks four to
five hams and picks the one
that looks the best.
“You only can tell what’s
on the outside, obviously,” he