Capital press. (Salem, OR) 19??-current, April 15, 2016, Page 4, Image 4

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April 15, 2016
California starts cherry harvest early
Capital Press
Daniel Moznett/Grower Direct Marketing
Coral cherries grown in hot
houses near Stockton, Calif.,
were packed for shipment on
March 31. These cherries go to
local farmers’ markets and to
Asia. Outdoor crop harvest is
just starting near Bakersfield.
California growers have
begun what may be a record
early cherry harvest.
They also expect a large
crop that might be sold out
about the time the Washing-
ton harvest starts.
Packing of fruit picked in
Arvin near Bakersfield be-
gan April 9, which may be
an early record, said Daniel
Moznett, director of market-
ing at Grower Direct Mar-
keting in Stockton.
Arvin harvest began last
year on April 11, which was
10 days ahead of the norm
of late April and beating the
most recent early record of
April 14, 2005, Chris Zano-
bini, executive director of
the California Cherry Advi-
sory Board in Sacramento,
said last April.
California’s 2015 cherry
crop ended up at 5.9 million,
18-pound boxes, short of its
8.5-million-box norm due to
lack of winter chill and too
much heat during pollina-
This year, trees had the
best winter chill they’ve had
in three years, Moznett said.
“And we welcomed back
another stranger this winter,
which was rain,” he said.
Moisture and chill have
set up what should be a more
normal crop, he said.
OG Packing in Stock-
ton, the parent company of
Grower Direct, began pack-
ing hot house cherries for
local farmers’ markets and
export to Asia in late March,
Moznett said.
Harvest of the outdoor
crop always begins at Arvin
and spreads north to Stock-
ton. This year’s peak volume
should be around April 30
and volume should be strong
through Memorial Day,
Moznett said.
The crop will wrap up the
first week of June, he said,
which should dovetail nicely
with a much larger crop an-
ticipated in Washington.
“We will need domestic
retail partners involved early
with two ad periods between
Mother’s Day and Memorial
Day to help move this vol-
ume,” he said.
B.J. Thurlby, president of
Northwest Cherry Growers
in Yakima, said California’s
early crop is lining up nicely
for growers in California and
“They went years missing
Memorial Day. The last two
years they hit it and it’s a help
because it avoids an over-
lap,” Thurlby said. “Then
it’s important for us to hit the
Fourth of July.”
The California crop ap-
parently had good fruit set on
the front end because of bet-
ter winter chill but is lighter
on the back end because of
rain during pollination, he
said. But that should make
for good fruit size, he said.
Washington’s crop is
blooming and should be good
at around 20 million boxes,
he said. The question grow-
ers have is whether there will
be any residual effect on trees
from last June’s heat.
Washington, Oregon, Ida-
ho, Montana and Utah packed
19.3 million, 20-pound box-
es of cherries in 2015 and a
record 23.2 million in 2014.
Washington is traditionally
80 to 85 percent of the Pacific
Northwest crop.
Vegetable oils remain in
Washington’s rail safety rule
Capital Press
A new railroad safety rule,
which stems from a boom
in the use of crude oil tank-
ers, would apply to railroads
hauling vegetable oils, though
the two substances would be
regulated differently under a
state Department of Ecology
proposal released April 6.
The rule, expected to be
finalized by late summer, will
require nine railroads to plan
for oil spills. Lawmakers di-
rected DOE to write the rule
in response to thousands of
tankers hauling crude oil from
North Dakota to Washington
oil refineries.
DOE indicated early this
year it would apply the “crude
by rail” legislation to small
railroads that carry vegetable
oils and animal fats and serve
seed and food processors in
Eastern Washington.
The application puzzled
some lawmakers, but the Leg-
islature declined to intervene.
While interstate crude-oil
haulers will have extensive
planning requirements, DOE
proposes to let railroads that
carry only “biological oils” to
submit an “easy-to-use boiler-
plate plan.”
DOE made the concession
after an economic analysis
determined that planning for
spills will have a dispropor-
tionately heavy economic
burden on small railroads,
DOE spill preparedness man-
ager Linda Jarvis-Pilkey said.
DOE has not developed
the boilerplate plan, prefer-
ring to wait until after the
public comments on the pro-
Courtesy of USDA
Phil Morrisey and Ivan Geroy, with USDA’s Natural Resources
Conservation Service, take measurements at the Elk Butte SNO-
TEL site on March 31. Following a wet March, measurements from
the site were well above the median level, and the moisture outlook
is favorable for most of Idaho.
Wet March means favorable
Idaho irrigation outlook
Capital Press
Don Jenkins/Capital Press
Rail tankers park on a railroad spur April 8 in southwestern Washington. The state Department of Ecol-
ogy wants railroads that haul all types of oils, including vegetable oils, to develop and submit plans for
cleaning up spills.
posed rule, she said.
Patrick Boss, a lobbyist
for short-line railroads, said
the proposed rule doesn’t pro-
vide enough details about the
“boilerplate approach.”
“That sounds good, but
until we have a better idea of
what that means, it’s hard to
know what to say about it,” he
Sen. Judy Warnick, R-Mo-
ses Lake, who introduced a
bill this year to exclude veg-
etable oils from the rule, said
Friday she wants DOE to
meet with railroad officials to
flesh out what the agency has
in mind.
She called the proposed
rule “a very small start.”
“It’s disappointing they
Notice is hereby given that a public hearing will be held pursuant
to ORS 576.416 (5), on Monday, May 9, 2016, at 7:00 a.m., at
Elmer’s Restaurant, 3950 Market Street NE, Salem, Oregon, upon
a proposed budget for operation of the Fine Fescue Commission
during the fiscal year July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017. At this
hearing any producer of Oregon-grown Fine Fescue seed has a
right to be heard with respect to the proposed budget, a copy of
which is available for public inspection, under reasonable
circumstances, in the office of each County Extension Agent in
Oregon. For further information, contact the Fine Fescue
Commission business office, P.O. Box 3366, Salem, Oregon 97302,
telephone 503-364-2944. The meeting location is accessible to
persons with disabilities. Please make any requests for an
interpreter for the hearing impaired or for other accommodation
for persons with disabilities at least 48 hours before the meeting
by contacting the Commission office at 503-364-2944.
weren’t able to get more
done,” Warnick said. “It
sounds like there’s a willing-
ness to work with the rail-
roads. I’m happy about that
part, but I wish they had done
a little more.”
Even railroads that carry
just vegetable oils will have
to meet higher planning stan-
dards than currently required
by federal rail safety rules, Jar-
vis-Pilkey said.
“Everyone is going to have
to participate in drills,” she said.
The railroads covered by the
rule are BNSF Railway, Union
Pacific Railroad, Central Wash-
ington Railroad, Columbia Ba-
sin Railroad, Great Northwest
Railroad, Portland Vancouver
Junction Railroad, Puget Sound
& Pacific Railroad, Tacoma
Rail and the Western Washing-
ton Railroad.
The per-employee cost for
small railroads to comply with
the proposed rule would be
$6,848 to $11,562, depend-
ing on whether the rail line
needs outside help to develop
a spill-response plan, according
to the DOE analysis.
DOE has defended includ-
ing non-petroleum oils in the
rule by noting that vegetable
oil spills damage the environ-
ment. The department points
to a warehouse fire in Winlock
last summer that released veg-
etable oil into a creek, killing
thousands of fish.
Jarvis-Pilkey said that if
railroads are better prepared to
clean up spills, it might spare
them liability costs.
“This is really an upfront
investment to reduce your dam-
ages if there is a spill,” he said.
Boss criticized DOE for
citing a warehouse fire to jus-
tify a railroad rule. “I’m just
amazed this is even happen-
ing,” he said.
BOISE — Irrigators in
most of Idaho should have
ample water this season fol-
lowing a cool and wet March,
according to USDA’s Natural
Resources Conservation Ser-
As canal company man-
agers prepare to start deliver-
ies, they say exceptional soil
moisture at the start of the irri-
gation season should also help
seeds germinate.
March precipitation ranged
from 120 to 170 percent of
normal throughout the state,
with the exception of Owyhee
Basin, which received 106
percent of average precipita-
tion for the month. Precipita-
tion for the water year, which
began Oct. 1, also ranges
from about average in the
Henry’s Fork and the Upper
Snake and Bear River basins
to 130 percent of average in
the Bruneau and Salmon Falls
NRCS water supply spe-
cialist Ron Abramovich said
streamflow forecasts range
from 90 to 115 percent of
average in most drainages.
The outliers are the Oakley
and Salmon Falls drainag-
es, which are forecast at 135
percent of normal streamflow,
and the Bear River at Stewart
Dam, forecast at 69 percent of
“March precipitation was
great across the state, and
that bumped our streamflow
forecast back up,” Abramov-
ich said. “It was just what we
needed to put the icing on the
cake for this year’s water sup-
Abramovich said the wet
March also helped ease pos-
sible irrigation shortages in
the Big Wood Basin, and the
water outlook has improved
to “marginally adequate” for
the Big Lost and Little Lost
Reservoir storage should
also be ample this season.
Henry’s Lake, Grassy Lake
and Island Park Reservoir will
fill this season, and in the Up-
per Snake, Jackson Lake and
Palisades Reservoir are ex-
pected to nearly fill, according
to the report.
American Falls Reservoir
is expected to fill and should
have more storage later into
the season than last year. In
Northern Idaho, Priest Lake
has 123 percent of its average
storage for the date, and Lake
Coeur d’Alene is at 110 per-
cent of average.
The Payette reservoir sys-
tem contains 103 percent of
its average storage to date,
and the Boise system is at 125
percent of average.
NGFA chairman calls for TPP, voluntary federal GMO labeling standard
Capital Press
Approval of the Trans-Pa-
cific Partnership trade deal is
one of the biggest needs for
all sectors of agriculture, an
industry leader says.
The heavy duty, hydraulically powered horizontal Bale Reclaim system, with
“Vertical cut positioning”
“From producers through
grain handling and feed com-
panies to food companies, we
think that trade bill would be
very critical and contribute a
big economic impact in the
future,” said John Heck, who
was recently elected chair-
man of the National Grain and
Feed Association.
Heck is senior vice presi-
dent of the Scoular Co., based
in Omaha, Neb. The NGFA
chairman position is a two-
year term.
The associa-
tion was among
220 U.S. food
and agriculture
groups to send
a letter urging
Congress to ap-
prove TPP this
Heck also
said the organization is “very
interested” in seeing Congress
pass a voluntary GMO label-
ing law that would pre-empt
a Vermont law scheduled to
• The HB System 2000 comes complete with hydraulic cylinder and controls for powered cut
depth adjustment through the cut.
• Automatic bar oiler system is a standard feature on this unit.
• This saw splits bales using an L-M DE-68 inch saw bar running .404 pitch chain designed for
parallel cutting through any type of hay or straw.
P.O. Box 82111, Portland, OR 97282
Leasing available • Call for video
Phone (503) 235-3146 - Fax (503) 235-3916
go into effect July 1. That
law would require a label if a
product contains genetically
modified ingredients.
“We would like to not see
a patchwork of state laws that
would require nightmares
for the distribution, packag-
ing and supply chain of food
companies,” Heck said. “We
would like to see one federal
Heck called the labeling
law “worrisome.”
“We just think it would
raise the price of food to all
consumers unnecessarily,” he
The Scoular Co. has ex-
panded its operations in
the Pacific Northwest in re-
cent years, purchasing five
grain-handling facilities in
Idaho and Oregon and ac-
quiring the Legumex Walker
special crop division, de-
voted to pulses, sunflower
seeds and kernels, flax and
Heck said Scoular is happy
with its footprint in the West,
and will continue to invest in
facilities to improve efficien-
cy and better serve farmers in
Idaho, Western Oregon and
Further expansion may
“give producers a bigger
menu of products, see if re-
turns from those might be a
opportunity for them to grow
some new crops,” he said.