Drought Not Over & Ant Invasion

Drought Not Over & Ant Invasion

Drought Not Over & Ant Invasion plus Food Forethought. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Northwest Report.

Last year at this time we were talking a lot about the devastating drought conditions over a large portion of the U.S. and while things are better this year, meteorologist Brad Rippey says they’re still some areas in need of moisture.

RIPPEY: Texas, New Mexico. Really the entire southern high plains and southwestern part of the country dealing now with a third consecutive year of drought. A drought that began during the winter of 2010-11 and has continued with varying intensity to present. We’re seeing current impacts on summer crops such as cotton as well as continuing impacts on rangelands, pasturelands and obviously the recently or soon to be harvested winter wheat crop.

A strange weather pattern that began in May has brought on a explosive invasion of winged carpenter ants to parts of the northwest. Just last week I battled hundreds of them in my back yard and waiting to see where they pop up next. There have been numerous reports to pest control and university extension folks on how to rid your home of them. Turns out they are really just looking for a mate.

Now with today’s Food Forethought, here’s Lacy Gray.

The newest craze - “pigs on pot”. No it’s not a bad joke about police officers gone bad, it’s actually about a Washington farmer who decided to feed his hogs a mixture of wheat mash left over from the production of vodka, nutritional pellets and the leaves, stems and byproducts of medical marijuana. What do you get with this mixture besides some really happy and mellow pigs? Well according to farmer Jeremy Gross you get the best tasting pork ever. But sorry, eating the pork won’t get you “high”. So just what inspires and motivates a farmer to feed his pigs pot? Good question. Perhaps an intense need to “green-cycle”, or maybe the desire for media attention, which it is getting on a worldwide level. But maybe it was just a way to put a unique twist on the concept of locally sourced food that would help Gross sell more pork at a premium price - chops go for over $16 a pound and bacon is $17 a pound. Next question, while the use of medical marijuana has been legalized in Washington for humans, is feeding the byproducts of medical marijuana to livestock legal? According to the USDA’s website it “approves the additives or drugs that are used in feed products”.

Thanks Lacy. That’s today’s Northwest Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network. 

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