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New farm-worker housing opens

The Cashmere, Washington, facility can house 200 people.

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Sharing workers saves costs

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Small growers who can’t justify the high costs of employing foreign guest workers through the H-2A program can reduce the financial burden by sharing workers with other growers.

Growers employing H-2A workers must pay all attorney

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H-2A is doable – with help

Get the housing and transportation parts right, growers advise.

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Make sure workers are happy

Supervisors must treat them with dignity and respect.

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Growers League opens farmworker housing

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U.S. Congressman Dan Newhouse took the opportunity to visit the new Brender Creek seasonal farmworker housing complex in Cashmere while in Washington State this week.

The Washington Growers League, a non-profit organization based in Yakima, held

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Lowering injuries by reducing ladder work

The shift to pedestrian orchards gives workers a safer footing.

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Dealing with DACA

Programs allow undocumented workers to defer deportation, but present pitfalls for employers.

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Child care could expand labor pool

Providing child care could allow women to work more hours.

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Litigation lurks

Attorneys are looking for opportunities to sue, says a grower who’s spent years fighting a frivolous lawsuit.

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Labor flow changes direction

Changes in Mexico are reducing the pool of workers available to U.S. growers.

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Wine wastewater permits are coming

Final rules for Washington State wineries expected by next spring.

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Automated pruning with robotics

Robots can follow pruning rules as well as humans, but a key was writing the rules.

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Arctic apple Q&A: Expect more GMO apples in the pipeline

Okanagan Specialty Fruits plans to submit more GMO apple varieties for deregulation within the year.

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Few bees in vineyards

Grape pest practices in Washington aren’t harming bees.

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Growers urged to join stewardship project

Agriculture in Washington has not been affected by growth management regulations—yet.

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Health Canada approves Arctic apples for growth and sale

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Health Canada has approved two varieties of Arctic apples, Arctic Granny Smith and Arctic Golden Delicious, for growth and sale in Canada.
The announcement was made on the Health Canada website five weeks after deregulation was

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Judge blisters EEOC for "frivolous" case against growers

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A federal judge has issued a blistering critique of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, saying the agency had brought a lawsuit against growers that was “baseless, unreasonable and frivolous.”

The decision on March 18 by U.S.

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Washington governor declares drought in three regions

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Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has declared a drought emergency for three areas of the state, setting in motion money, temporary permitting and other relief for those affected by water conditions.

According to the Associated Press, the

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Fine growth regulator receives EPA approval

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Fine Americas, Inc., has received a Section 3 registration from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the plant growth regulator Kudos (prohexadione calcium) for use on apples, sweet cherries, and other crops.

The product is designed

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Bees as flying doctors

Honeybees deliver brown rot control to sweet cherry orchards.

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What should growers do before the piece rate ruling?

Attorneys suggest how to protect yourself from being sued.

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Millions of dollars at stake in piece-rate case

Workers and employers can attend Washington State Supreme Court hearing in Toppenish on payment for rest breaks.

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DeVaney: Why telling our story matters

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By Jon DeVaney

While not yet ratified, an agreement on a new contract for West Coast port workers has been reached, ending four months of work slow-downs and temporary closures that have severely harmed our industry

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Why telling our story matters: Good Point

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By Jon DeVaney

While not yet ratified, an agreement on a new contract for West Coast port workers has been reached, ending four months of work slow-downs and temporary closures that have severely harmed our industry

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Search continues for stinkbug predators

Will brown marmorated stinkbug take hold in desert climates?

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Make the most of biocontrol

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Beneficial insects and mites can play a role in controlling key orchard pests if they’re not exposed to harmful pesticides. Dr. David Biddinger, entomologist with Pennsylvania State University in Biglerville, explains how to take advantage

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Let us (not) spray

Entomologists test alternative ways of applying plant protection materials to trees.

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Crab apple pruning demos

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Two pruning demonstrations have been scheduled this month to help orchardists understand how to prune Manchurian crab apple trees in order to be eligible to export apples to China.

The Chinese apple market, closed between 2012

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Ag job fairs planned in Eastern Washington

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Agricultural job fairs have been announced for three communities in Eastern Washington centered on educating Spanish speaking workers about employment programs in the state. The job fairs will take place in Bridgeport, Yakima and Kennewick,

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SWD research continues

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Great progress has been made in the last five years in learning about spotted wing drosophila, but much more is needed, says a Washington State University entomologist.

Dr. Betsy Beers of WSU checked off a list

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Fryhover: USDA’s Arctic apple decision means differentiation and education will be imperative

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The recent approval by USDA of the Arctic apple brands wasn’t unforeseen by our industry. We have been preparing for months knowing that approval was coming.

Washington and other U.S. apple-producing states have provided comments and

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Corr: Was USDA’s GMO decision a black cat crossing America’s orchards?

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To hear some critics tell it, the government’s decision Friday the 13th to deregulate a GMO apple was bad luck for growers and consumers. You could almost see the black cat crossing America’s orchards.

The U.S.

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Sign up for free pesticide disposal

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Washington growers looking to safely dispose of unwanted pesticides for free need to contact the Washington State Department of Agriculture before February 27, 2015, to be included. Last year WSDA collected and disposed of more

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Worker education is a priority at Klipsun Vineyards

Lots of eyes in the vineyard help Julia Kock stay on top of things.

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Hands-on winemaking: Owen Roe

O’Reilly’s minimalist approach to winemaking is labor intensive.

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China agrees to accept all varieties of U.S. apples

The reciprocal agreement will allow China to ship apples into the United States.

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Packing apples in Italy

Presizing and presorting apples into storage changes the way apples are packed in Italy.

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Beating the odds

Packing lines should be designed with more concern about food safety, says fruit grower and packer Warren Morgan.

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Associations seek grower support in piece-rate case

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Two associations are asking tree fruit growers to help defend a Washington State Supreme Court case regarding extra pay for piece-rate worker rest breaks. Read the request below from The Washington Farm Labor Association and

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Order on immigration

Executive Order is not the answer to ag’s labor problems, but it does help.

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Supreme Court to address piece-rate breaks

Farm workers are entitled to rest breaks, but how does this apply to piece-rate labor?

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Growers urged to return labor survey

The survey will help determine the wage that employers may have to pay H-2A workers.

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People count at Duckwall Fruit

Duckwall’s mission is to mold a team who will achieve the best possible results for its growers and customers, and ultimately consumers.

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Who will pick the fruit? : 2014 Growers of the Year

Craig O’Brien designs his orchards to be attractive to workers.

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Latino Leadership Award 2014: José Ramirez

His philosophy has always been that you can’t wait for things to happen around you. You have to make them happen.

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New tree fruit association will expand services

The new Washington Tree Fruit Association plans to expand its services to the industry, says President Jon DeVaney, who will be busy working on legislative affairs in the state capital of Olympia in the coming session.

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Growers’ advocate ends 42-year career

During his four decades working at the Washington Growers Clearing House Association, Kirk Mayer saw the Washington apple crop grow from 25 million boxes to 140 million and availability of labor become an increasing concern.

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Night shift: Harvesting apples at night

A shift from ladders to illuminated platforms allows pickers to work day or night.

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A tale of two harvesters

Two ladderless apple harvest machines vie for grower approval. They are now for sale.

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Organic fruit attracts customers

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Steve Tennes, who operates the Country Mill orchard and farm market at Charlotte, Michigan, became convinced several years ago that there was a future in organic fruit production. Today, some of his customers will come

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