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Bob Larson NASS Ag Production Report Pt 1 with Fruit Bites
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Fruit Grower Report
Date: October 18, 2018

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With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. Numbers for 2017 Ag production in Washington state are out with a total of $10.6-billion dollars, up 4-percent from the previous year, but short of the record high of $10.7-billion in 2015.

For the top ten commodities, USDA-NASS regional director, Chris Mertz says king of the hill is no surprise …

MERTZ … “Apple remains the number one commodity in terms of value of production in the state of Washington at $2.43-billion. Value production is a basic function of production and price. So, for apples production went up 4-percent which was offset a little bit by the price that went down 1-percent.”

Mertz says the top ten remains pretty steady …

MERTZ … “For the last two years they’ve been the same commodities for the top ten commodities. There’s been some shuffling around. Hops was a relatively new addition a few years ago and hops jumped up to number seven this year where production increased 20-percent and price was also up 6.5-percent so that mad hops move up to $489-million.”

He says with apples, cherries, grapes, and pears, the fruit industry is a big player in Washington commodities …

MERTZ … “Correct, and if you add all those up together, but if you put 1, 2, 3, 4 commodities in the fruit industry together it makes a pretty good sizeable number.”

From top to bottom, the top ten Washington commodities are apples, milk, all wheat, potatoes, cattle/calves, hay, hops, cherries, grapes, and pears.

Listen tomorrow for more on the value of Washington fruit on the list of commodities.

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BL: Welcome back to another “Fruit Bites” brought to you by Valent U.S.A. With us as always is Valent’s Allison Walston. And this week Allison, we’re talking about why we need to stop squashing wasps.

AW: A recent study an entomology journal stated that bees are universally loved while people hate wasps, like worse than flies.

BL: But, wasps can sting and are mean …

AW: I get it that wasps can be aggressive at picnics and if you step on one of their ground nests.

BL: Like yellowjackets and hornets?

AW: Yes, but they make up less than 1% of stinging wasps. Most of the 75,000 species are solitary. Plus wasps play an important role in the ecosystem, by being predators.

BL: But, aren’t wasps more dangerous?

AW: Sort of, but mostly because they are predators. They prey on aphids, psyllids, flies, and other pests. Danger-wise, yellowjacket stings rate equal to a honeybee sting on the Schmidt sting pain index.

BL: Is that helping?

AW: just because they don’t have the “cute” appeal doesn’t make the threat of their extinction any less. So when you helps bees, don’t squash the wasp.

BL: Well, thanks Allison. Join us again next time for Fruit Bites, brought to you by Valent. Until then, I’m Bob Larson.

https://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/why-we-really-need-to-be-nicer-to-wasps/

https://extension.psu.edu/programs/master-gardener/counties/lackawanna/news/2015/not-just-pests-bees-and-wasps-have-their-benefits-too

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