We’ve certainly had our fair share of rain this spring, in fact, more than our share in the opinion of most Tri-Citians. This spring has brought us weather we aren’t used to, mainly the wet stuff, and with that rain come the headaches that hay farmers and orchardists would rather avoid. In the wee hours of the morning of late, this writer has heard the low chop-chop-chop of helicopters flying above the orchards in an attempt to dry the rain from their crop of cherries. If the water sits too long, the sun comes out and the temperature warms up – the dreaded split occurs and there goes the profit. The hay growers in Franklin County lost more than 70% of the 1st cutting lost to rot and asparagus farmers have been affected as well. Unfortunately, Mid-Columbia farmers have experienced these weather-related losses and thus the visit from the state’s top agricultural chief to determine the need for federal disaster funds. Growers have asked Dan Newhouse, Washington Department of Agriculture Secretary, to visits farms from Franklin to Walla Walla Counties to assess the damage with hopes of receiving federal compensation for the losses.
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