New from Extension: Invasive tree killers; tradeoffs of harvesting straw; organic blueberries; reducing fire risks

New guide help Northwest communities prepare for an damaging insect, and let wheat farmers calculate tradeoffs of cutting straw.

Emerald ash borer

‘A good straw year’: Bales are in big demand in the Northwest

To bale or not to bale? That’s a question farmers face every year about wheat straw, which can be seen stacked in large quantities throughout Washington’s wheat country as harvest season ends. A secondary crop for farmers whose prime concern is grain, Northwest straw is sought after by mushroom growers, livestock owners and, increasingly, for pulp.

Wheat straw bales stand along State Route 270 near Pullman, Wash. Demand for straw was high this year in the inland Northwest. (Photo by Everett Martin)

Picking Straws

SPOKANE — Can straw products provide an alternative to grass field burning? A forum, “Agri-Fiber Alternatives,” will address the question on Friday, Nov. 8. It will be held 12:30 p.m. – 4 p.m. at the Spokane County Agricultural Center, 222 N. Havana, Spokane. “Straw houses and barns? How about straw paper? These are examples of […]