Investors, Farmers May Return To Grain West Of The Cascades

By Anna King

When you think of Northwest wheat, you might picture the rolling golden carpet Eastern Washington and the vast fields of Eastern Oregon. But it used to be that a lot of grain was grown West of the Cascades … and might be again.

Photo courtesy of Brook Brouwer with Washington State University.Investors, policy makers and farmers are leading an effort to bring grain back to Western Washington, Oregon and British Columbia. Lucas Patzek works for Washington State University and is the lead organizer of the Cascadia Grain Conference being held in Tacoma soon. He says artisan bakeries, breweries and local-food operations have told him that wheat grown West of the Cascades has its own unique flavor profile.

Lucas Patzek: “Each told us that baking wheat out of Western Washington is some of the excellent tasting that they’ve every used.”

Patzek says some of the main challenges for growing wheat and other grains West of the mountains are: linking producers and buyers and reviving the infrastructure to store, transport and market the grain.

Photo: Photo courtesy of Brook Brouwer with Washington State University.

Cascadia Grain Conference:

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