New members on Hort Association board...
Bryon McDougall of McDougall and Sons, Inc., Wenatchee, and John Verbrugge of Valley Fruit in Wapato have been elected to three-year terms on the Washington State Horticultural Association's board. McDougall succeeds Gus Heinicke of Columbia Fruit Packers, Wenatchee, and Verbrugge succeeds Gene Wood of Custom Fruit Packers, Quincy.
Reelected for three-year terms were: Sara Broetje-Dahle of Broetje Orchards, Prescott; John Doebler of Doebler Orchards, Mattawa; and West Mathison of Stemilt Growers, Inc., Wenatchee.
Crop insurance changes... Changes have been made to the Adjusted Gross Revenue federal crop insurance programs for the coming year. The AGR Pilot and AGR-Lite programs provide protection against low returns due to unavoidable natural disasters and market fluctuations.
The most significant change for 2006 is an increase in the maximum AGR-Lite coverage from $250,000 to $1 million. The AGR-Lite sales closing date has been extended to March 15 for 2006 crop coverage. The sign-up deadline for AGR Pilot is still January 31.
For more information, contact a multiperil crop insurance agent. A list of agents is available at all U.S. Department of Agriculture Service Centers or on-line at www3.rma.usda.gov/tools/agents/.
An on-line video presentation providing an overview of the AGR-Lite program can be viewed on the Web site of the Washington State University Western Center for Risk Management Education at http://westrme.wsu.edu. Select "AGR-Lite Video Stream Conference" and your preferred download method.
Washington's Wahluke Slope receives AVA status...
Washington State's Wahluke Slope will become the state's eight American Viticultural Area when it is awarded official appellation status by the U.S. Tobacco, Tax, and Trade Bureau in early January. The Wahluke Slope American Viticultural Area currently has 2,500 acres of wine grapes on about 81,000 acres within the AVA boundaries. Located in the heart of the Columbia Valley between the Saddle Mountains and the Columbia River, the appellation is known for producing bold, full-bodied wine grapes.
New look for Sonoma County wine industry...
The Sonoma County Wineries Association, a trade group representing wineries and winemakers in California's Sonoma County, has taken on a new name, look, and office. The association is now called Sonoma County Vintners and will share an office in Santa Rosa with the county tourism board and county grape growers association. Along with a new name, logo, and office, the group is launching a Web site at www.sonomawine.com that will contain an interactive appellation map for Sonoma County's 14 subappellations, individual sites for each member winery, and a database for media, trade, and consumers. The association has more than 170 winery members.
Kenoyer joins Northwest Hort Council trustees...
The Washington Apple Commission has named Jerry Kenoyer, general manager of Blue Star Growers, Inc., Cashmere, as its representative on the Northwest Horticultural Council's board of trustees. He replaces Nick Buak, who resigned in September.