August 2012 Public Lease Auction of new parcel

Part of lease parcel

Washington’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will hold a public auction to lease a 3,358.6-acre parcel for irrigated agriculture production. The land is located just 5.5 miles from Paterson, in Benton County, and is prime ground for irrigated row, orchard and vineyard crops.

Pre-auction tour of lease property July 12
A tour for those potentially interested in bidding will be held on July 12. Call (509) 925-0912 for details and to hold a spot at the tour.

Provides opportunity for proposal on combination of agricultural crops
What:      Sealed bid public auction to lease 3,358.6 acres of state trust lands
When:     August 14, 2012 at 2:00 p.m., pdt
Where:   Southeast Region Office in Ellensburg,  
Details:  Sealed bids (including proposed cash bonus bids) must be received no later than 2:00 p.m. on August 14, 2012. The proposed lease authorizes bidder to propose any combination of irrigated agriculture crops—perennial or annually cropped. Successful bidder will be responsible for future agriculture development and water system costs.

Complete information and lease documents are on DNR’s ‘Leasing State Trust Lands for Agriculture’ webpage. Or call the Southeast Region office: (509) 925-8510.

Currently the site has several hundred acres planted in hybrid poplar. All but 214 acres of trees will be removed by Greenwood Resources within 18 months.

Acquiring replacement property for school trust
DNR finalized the purchase of the 3,300-acre parcel in Benton County in May of this year. The purchased property, which adjoins other trust lands managed by DNR, includes water rights and irrigation systems. The seller of the property was Sandpiper Tree Farm, LLC.

Acquisition funds came from a land replacement account for the Common School Trust, to replace trust properties that had been sold at public auction to private parties or transferred to public agencies—lands that were more difficult to manage, less productive or less likely to provide long-term revenue to the public schools. As replacement trust properties, DNR acquires working forests, agricultural or other natural resource lands.

Pat Ryan, Agriculture Program Manager

Irrigation system on lease parcel in Benton County

Map and graphics showing lease area

Another successful irrigation development project in DNR’s Southeast Region

Irrigation canal breached during off season.A new source of water is now available on a 200-acre school trust parcel in Adams County near Othello. For many years, the parcel had been irrigated with well water from the Odessa aquifer. The new, more reliable water supply comes from the East Columbia Basins Irrigation District’s East Low Canal. DNR had signed a new water service contract for this parcel in November of 2010.

forms built and concrete pouredThe “new” water is extra water that has become available as a result of water saving efforts throughout the federal Columbia Basin Irrigation Project.   

This project involved construction of a new turnout and a new electrical supply connecting the parcel with the canal system.

concrete cured and soils re-compactedLesse instrumental in success of project

DNR’s trust lands lessee was instrumental in coordinating the work, and provided hands-on oversight to assure that the project would be completed in time for the 2012 irrigation season. This photo gallery shows snapshots of the construction process.

 Chad Unland, Natural Resources Specialist, Southeast Region
Photos:  Chad Unland


Turn out constructed with the addition of a new electrical system, water box, irrigation pumps, and overflow.

Cold Storage

Frozen French fries in storage for the three Pacific Coast States and eight Mountain States on April 30, 2012, totaled 568.5 million pounds, and accounted for 64 percent of the Nation’s French fries in storage.

frozen potatoes storedReprinted with permission from 2012 USDA/NASS – Washington Field Office – AgriFacts, Posted online 5/24/2012 at

DNR’s AgForestry Foundations Class 33

Ryan Cloud and Mary McDonald of AgForestry Class 33DNR is proud to congratulate Ryan Cloud, a Natural Resources Specialist in our Southeast Region, and Mary McDonald, Assistant Region Manager, Pacific Cascade Region, for their recent completion of the AgForestry Foundation’s Class 33, which began in 2010.

Ryan and Mary were selected by the Washington Agriculture and Forestry Education Foundation (WAFEF) in a process that began with employee nominations through agency managers. Individuals were selected to move on to the final process by DNR’s Executive Management Team.

New class in leadership development to begin
The selection of participants in Class 35 is underway, and an announcement is likely this summer.

Participation in the AgForestry Leadership Program is part of DNR’s continuing focus on performance management, leadership development, and succession planning.
The AgForestry program is provided by the WAFEF, a non-profit organization. The program allows successful applicants, like Mary and Ryan, to become immersed in the political, economic, social, and environmental issues at the core of DNR’s unique role in natural resources management. Program participants learn how leadership, communication, and vision influence success in the natural resources business environment.

A Few Fertilizer Facts

Fertilizer productionNearly 57 percent of the world’s nitrogen, 47 percent of the world’s phosphorus and 19 percent of the world’s potash is government-owned and controlled. At 29 percent, China has the largest share of world nutrient use (2010/11) followed by India at 16 percent, the U.S. at 12 percent and Brazil at 6 percent. The other 192 countries on the planet use the remaining 37 percent. Between 40 to 50 percent of the world’s food production is tied to fertilizer. Article reprinted with permission:
Washington Association of Wheat Growers. (2012, May). A few fertilizer facts. Wheat Life, 55(5), p. 44.