Traveling in the Pacific Northwest with the Nebraska Wheat Board this week, Ken Anderson visited the Port of Portland, one of four wheat shipping terminals on the Columbia River and the largest wheat export port in the U.S. At Columbia Grain, they saw a vessel being loaded with 21,000 tons of hard red winter wheat headed for Japan. They also heard about the Columbia River channel deepening project, which has been underway for several years now. It is taking the channel depth from 40 to 43 feet. All but one mile of that project has been completed, but it has been a constant struggle against environmental and salmon fishing interests.
Another interesting stop was the Pasco Food Products plant. Pasco is a Japanese-owned company that is producing frozen dough products. Dan West of Pasco told Ken that bagels are the biggest growth product with Japanese consumers. Sixty percent of Pasco’s production is bagels, which are shipped frozen to Japan and baked by Japanese bakeries.
Ken reports typical winter weather in Portland this week—highs in the 40’s and low 50’s with cloudy skies and rain/drizzle. However, Portlanders are still talking about the 18 inches of snow they received in December. That much snow is very unusual for Portland.