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Lacy Gray Acid Soil Survey & Walla Walla Wineries Host Chinese Trade Officials
by Lacy Gray, click here for bio

Program: Washington Ag Today
Date: August 12, 13

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Acid Soil Survey & Walla Walla Wineries Host Chinese Trade Officials

I’m Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.

In an effort to determine how much soil acidity and aluminum toxicity could be affecting Washington crops USDA ARS researchers recently conducted an anonymous survey of farmers asking if they have noted the range of pH levels in their soil, any declining pH levels, and what efforts they might be doing to mitigate the impacts. It’s been estimated that anywhere from 30 to 50 thousand acres in Spokane and Latah counties have acid soils, but as the number of area farmers who can no longer economically grow wheat due to dropping pH levels, which results in low yields, continues to grow, researchers expect to find even more affected areas. The Washington Grain Commission has offered funding to test whether applications of agricultural lime or calcium carbonate will lessen soil acidity.

Chinese trade officials recently met with members of the Walla Walla Wine Alliance to discuss the import of area wines. Executive Director of the Wine Alliance, Duane Wollmuth, explains.

WOLLMUTH: The Hong Kong Trade Development Council and then also two groups, one from San Francisco and one from Los Angeles both representing Hong Kong - they have been very aggressive in working with the western states, and especially Washington, in importing agricultural products and other goods into Hong Kong from Washington. And one of those items of course is Washington wines.

Hong Kong has eliminated their tariffs and a lot of the other barriers that existed before - opening up that marketplace to get products through Hong Kong to mainland China. Tomorrow Wollmuth will talk about it would take to get Walla Walla wines exported to China.

I’m Lacy Gray and that’s Washington Ag Today on the Ag Information Network. 

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