Wenatchee exported a record-setting $638 million of goods in 2018

WENATCHEE — The Wenatchee Metropolitan Area exported $638 million of goods in 2018, setting a record for the area.

Despite an ongoing international trade war, more than 95% of those goods came from the agriculture industry, according to data released Aug. 27 by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Washington growers in 2018 struggled with double-digit tariff increases in multiple countries.

By the end of the year, apple exports to Mexico were down 25% and exports to China were down 33%, Washington Apple Commission spokeswoman Toni Lynn Adams said in December.

The USDA awarded the Apple Commission about $8.5 million in February to help mitigate the tariff’s effects.

Along with the agricultural goods, the computer and electronic manufacturing industry exported $5 million worth of goods in 2018. Machinery manufacturing kicked in $4.3 million.

Overall, exports from the Wenatchee Metropolitan Area increased 4% from 2017, according to the data. They’ve more than doubled since 2005, the earliest year with available data, when the Wenatchee area exported $286 million.

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Michelle and Louie Lee, and their daughter Cara, 10, Kirkland, wander through a Stutzman Ranch peach orchard on Easy Street near Wenatchee in mid-August, picking fruit. 

U-Pick, you haul

WENATCHEE — Floyd and Betsy Stutzman operate one of the few U-Pick orchards in the Wenatchee Valley.

This is the second year they have foregone taking their 20 acres of fruit to a warehouse, instead, operating the U-Pick business and also selling fruit they pick at their fruit stand and other stands toward Leavenworth.

Their ranch is at 2226 Easy St. About 70 percent of their business comes from U-Pick, Floyd Stutzman said. Throughout one day this year, he had 1,400 people pick Rainier cherries.

He gives a 1/2 price discount for people picking their own fruit. The public creates a little more damage to the trees but not much more than commercial pickers, he said.

His season is finishing up with apples at the end of September.

Science in Our Valley fall series underway

WENATCHEE — The fall Science in Our Valley seminar fall lineup is an opportunity for the community to learn about research happening in the region.

The Wednesday seminars, open to the public, run = 4 to 5 p.m. at either the WSU Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center or the Confluence Technology Center. The content is intended for a science-based audience.

K-12 educators are also encouraged to attend the seminars to learn about local career connections and research efforts that they can bring back to their students. Clock hours are available for the series.

Speakers and Topics for the Science in our Valley fall seminar series:

Oct 2: Dr. Vincent P. Jones of WSU, “Using Decision Support tools to understand the past, improve the present, and anticipate the future of tree fruit IPM,” 4 to 5 p.m., Confluence Technology Center

Oct. 9: Deborah Wells of CWU, “Protecting Our Critical Infrastructure (Cyber Security),” 4 to 5 p.m., WSU Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center

Oct. 16: Raquel Gomez of WSU, “Modifying Tree Transpiration and Nutrient Mobility” 4 to 5 p.m., WSU Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center

Oct. 23: Nadia Valverdi, of WSU, “Abiotic Stress Physiology in Apple Trees,” 4 to 5 p.m., WSU Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center

Oct. 30: Dr. Yanmin Zhu, of USDA – Agricultural Research Station, “Dissecting the molecular defense responses in apple roots towards infection from soilborne pathogens.” 4 to 5 p.m., WSU Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center

Nov. 6: Dr. Carolina Torres, Endowed Chair, WSU, will speak about her work in Post-Harvest Systems, 4 to 5 p.m., WSU Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center

Nov. 13: Dr. Virginia Emery of Beta Hatch, “Innovation in Agriculture: Animal feed from Bugs, from Forklift to Farm,” 4 to 5 p.m., WSU Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center.