Pin It
Favorite

Letters to the Editor 

As a senior citizen who has not actively participated in politics for years (except to vote against Bush and most others in his party except John McCain), I would like to commend your writer Robert Herold.


In his editorial about the River Park Square deal, "Semantics of the deal," (8/9/01) he explained so I could understand what he believes John Powers, the City Council and Betsy Cowles should do to resolve the mess over the River Park Square parking garage.


Public-private partnerships have gone on in the political world long before I came on the scene. And I understand deals for the good of the cause. But many of the seniors -- and those much younger -- who I talk to in trying to understand all the fighting that's going on between our leaders in the city have given up and do not even expect a solution to the River Park Square deal.


I voted for John Powers, as I believed this new face would bring Spokane to its rightful place as a desirable place to live in the state of Washington.


Now, let's see if his abilities can bring him to the level of statesmanship Herold so clearly pointed out is needed to bring us to peace and serenity -- and again make me proud to be a citizen of Spokane.





Yvonne D. Farrell


Spokane, Wash.





In your recent article, "Food Without Labels," in The Inlander's August 2 edition, Sheri Boggs wrote, "How are you to know that your bread comes from wheat treated with no less than 25 pesticides?"


In reality, no farmer can afford to apply 25 pesticides to a crop of wheat. Used broadly, the term "pesticide" includes herbicides, insecticides and fungicides. Disease and insect infestations occur infrequently, and most modern wheat varieties have good resistance to them. So while farmers usually treat wheat seed to prevent it from rotting in the ground, they seldom need to apply insecticides or fungicides to the growing crop.


Weeds, however, are always a challenge, and farmers use various practices, including herbicides, to manage them. In our area, a wheat grower will generally use four herbicides that control different weeds and act in specific ways to increase weed control.


That means that the farmer typically applies five (not 25) pesticides to a wheat crop. If the grower occasionally has to use an insecticide or a fungicide, the number of applications rises to six or seven.


Consider the economics. The average winter wheat yield in Spokane County is about 60 bushels per acre, but it will probably drop this year due to the drought. The current price is $3 per bushel, which means an optimistic income of $180 per acre. The average pesticide bill is about $33 per acre. Fertilizer costs between $45 and $70 per acre, depending on soil type and the previous crop. So fertilizer and pesticides swallow about half of the projected income, which must still cover land rental, fuel, insurance, employee salaries and benefits, and the purchase and maintenance of equipment; tractors, grain drills, combine harvesters, sprayers, etc. A new tractor or combine costs $200,000 to $250,000. So even if the farmer would like his or her wheat fields to be as weed-free as a typical lawn on Spokane's South Hill, one extra pesticide ($10 to $15 per acre) could make a big difference to the color of the annual budget sheet.


Using that lawn as a reference point, if you hire a lawn care company to manage it, they will usually apply five or six different herbicides over the growing season. So if you're concerned about your overall exposure to pesticides, don't forget those used in your immediate home environment and the cans stored in your garage or under your kitchen sink.





Diana Roberts, PhD


Area Extension Agronomist


WSU Cooperative Extension


Spokane, Wash.

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Seven Ways Drought is Impacting the Inland Northwest
  • Seven Ways Drought is Impacting the Inland Northwest

    No, it's not as bad as in California, but drought is taking a hefty toll
    • Jul 29, 2015
  • Hopeless for Heroin
  • Hopeless for Heroin

    As heroin deaths continue to rise in Washington state, what can a parent do to save a child from the depths of addiction?
    • Jul 29, 2015
  • Call Mr. Yuk
  • Call Mr. Yuk

    Gov. Inslee avoids the "poison pill"; plus, pushing back against empty Kickstarter promises
    • Jul 29, 2015
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue
Moscow ArtWalk 2015

Moscow ArtWalk 2015 @ Downtown Moscow

Tuesdays, Thursdays, Sundays. Continues through Aug. 31

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by n/a

  • Iron Upgrade
  • Iron Upgrade

    The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.
    • May 12, 2010
  • Seeing Gay
  • Seeing Gay

    A festival showing GLBT from all angles
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • Get Out the Vote
  • Get Out the Vote

    With all the uncertainty in the world these days, hot wings and cold beer are two things we can get behind
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Patrolling While Black

    Gordon Grant's nearly 30 years as a Spokane cop have been affected by race, but that's not the whole story
    • Jul 8, 2015
  • Rushing's Rant

    The Airway Heights City Council has asked the mayor to resign after posting a racist Facebook message
    • Jul 15, 2015
  • More »

© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation