Washington State Department of Agriculture director resigns

OLYMPIA - Director Bud Hover announced yesterday he is leaving the Washington State Department of Agriculture to return to his farm in Okanogan County and spend more time with his family.

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Alive with color

Warmer daytime temperatures and spring rains have brought out the colors in the vineyards and orchards surrounding Sunnyside. Warm weather is expected throughout the weekend.

Meet a farmer event planned

The second annual “Meet Your Farmer” event will be held Sunday, April 19, at Heavenly Hills Harvest, 762 S. Emerald Rd., Sunnyside, according to Merritt Mitchell Wajeeh, event organizer and local farmer.

Drought emergency declaration a ‘positive step’ for local growers

Snowpack conditions across Washington state mountains are at near record low levels, prompting Gov. Jay Inslee to declare a drought emergency for the Yakima Valley.

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Don’t chuck safety precautions when dealing with chicks

The season for seeing chicks and ducklings tweet and quack their tiny ways into people’s hearts is officially underway.

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Unseasonable weather cause for much trepidation

The calendar still says winter, but grain and fruit crops in Washington may already think it’s spring.

Surplus state-held water rights targeted for irrigation, local uses

Local communities could have more access to water if legislators succeed in implementing a new system of leasing surplus state-owned water rights.

Dairies approve actions toward remedying lawsuit

The clock starts ticking next Monday for three local dairy owners who last week agreed to a series of stipulations related to a lawsuit filed against them two years ago.

Irrigation water outlook very dismal

Again, rain and warm temperatures dominated the region over the oh-so desired snowfall in January.

Quarantine lifted on poultry

The Washington State Department of Agriculture lifted a quarantine yesterday that restricted the movement of eggs, poultry or poultry products in Benton and Franklin counties.

Leasing public lands’ surplus water rights could be beneficial to farmers, communities

Farmers, private businesses and neighboring communities could have more access to water if legislators succeed in requiring state agencies to lease surplus water rights on public land. In prior sessions, some lawmakers have tried to push through legislation allowing local communities to tap into state-held water rights.

Newhouse to be keynote speaker

The Center for Latino Farmers will be hosting a small farms conference, featuring U.S. Congressman Dan Newhouse (R-Sunnyside) as the keynote speaker.

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SVID replaces Snipes Lateral liner

There is no winter break for Sunnyside Valley Irrigation District (SVID) crews in the midst of a host of projects to prep and improve the district’s irrigation system for a new watering season this spring.

Water update