More Ag Year In Review
Water was a huge issue in the state this year and the continued drought put a lot of pressure on irrigation systems. In May the Roza Irrigation District planned a shut down. District manager Scott Revell, explains.
REVELL: We got an updated water forecast from the Bureau of Reclamation. On April 20 they had projected a 54% water supply; they revised that downwards to 47%. They also showed a low forecast, low range, what they thought the bottom of the range was was 38%. So, we immediately changed all of our water planning to match the low forecast.
The nations biggest hop growing region has been seeing a shift in varieties and Ann George with the Washington Hop Commission and Hop Growers of America said shift away from alpha variety hops and increased acreage is due largely in part to the explosion of the craft brewery sector.
GEORGE: We've seen a pretty substantial shift in our acreage toward the aroma varieties over the last five years and that's expected to continue. We're not going to sell 100% of the crop into the craft industry certainly; that we want to make sure that we keep a focus on all sectors of our market and what those future needs will be.
Finally, drones became the hot item this year and congress quickly moved to regulate them and their use in agriculture. Congressman Dan Newhouse.
NEWHOUSE: I think that this is a technology that just has a lot of positive uses if done safely, which is what we all want to do, and that is what the FAA is focused on. The one thing that we have going for us is that usually the uses of agricultural drones would be in fairly uninhabited areas, rural areas.
And that's Washington Ag Today. I'm Greg Martin, thanks for listening on the Ag Information Network of the West.