Agricultural News

California Drought Bad Tidings for Rice Harvest

California’s deepening drought is shrinking its rice harvest, and that’s bad news for farmers, migratory birds and sushi lovers. The $5 billion industry exports rice to more than 100 countries and specializes in premium grains used in risotto, paella and …

Montana Crops Besieged by Floodwaters

The round hay bales in the Saco flats have turned dark with mud and mildew. The high-water mark rises halfway up these slumping, soggy bales – thousands of which dot the fields along U.S. Highway 12 – bearing the ruin …

Barley Crops In Montana, Idaho Rain Damaged

That rain on the plain that saturated Montana’s malt barley crop in late August could be tears in the beer of American brewers in 2015. Heavy late-August rains have damaged crops in the nation’s largest malt-barley producing states, Montana and …

Hay Prices Soaring Thanks to California Drought

The cost of feeding California’s horses and cows is skyrocketing as the state’s persistent drought sends hay prices to historic highs. Tracy Underwood of the Santa Rosa Equestrian Center told the Press-Democrat these days she pays more than $20 for …

Crop Damage Assessment Underway in Hawaii

Farmers on the Big Island of Hawaii are assessing damage to crops after Tropical Storm Iselle made landfall last weekend. “It was pretty clear to us that the papaya farmers took the highest amount of damage,” Richard Ha, president of …

Oregon Irrigators out of Water as Drought Persists

In the third year of a drought, reservoirs in far Eastern Oregon are low, and farmers are running out of irrigation water. South of Ontario, Jay Chamberlin of the Owyhee (oh-WEYE’-hee) Irrigation District in Nyssa (NIS’-uh) says he’s been telling …

Drought Threatens To Dry Up California Farm Wells

Farmers in pockets of California hardest hit by the drought could begin to see their wells run dry a year from now if rain and snow remain scarce in the agriculturally rich state, according to a study released Tuesday. Richard …

Disaster Loans Made Available for New Mexico Small Businesses

Small businesses in eight New Mexico counties are eligible for federal disaster loans due to the drought. The U.S. Small Business Administration made the announcement Friday, saying the loans can help offset economic losses from reduced revenues caused by the …

California Drought Spawns Well Drilling Boom

The scarcity of irrigation water in drought-stricken California has created such a demand for well drilling services that Central Valley farmer Bob Smittcamp is taking matters into his own hands. He’s buying a drilling rig for $1 million to make …

Wildfire Bill Again Delayed In Colorado Legislature

The Colorado Legislature has once again delayed a vote on a bill aimed at preventing agricultural fires from starting wildfires. The move on Friday came after its sponsor said he wanted to kill the proposal because farmers oppose it. The …