Author Archives: Trista Crossly

NAFTA can be improved to benefit wheat farmers

From NAWG As formal renegotiation discussions for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) begin in Washington, D.C., the National Association of Wheat Growers ( NAWG) continues to stress “do no harm.” In the next couple of weeks, negotiators from Canada, Mexico and the U.S. will commence the second round of NAFTA renegotiations in Mexico City, before heading to Canada for ... Read More »

Settlement reached in Duarte Clean Water Act lawsuit

Farmer John Duarte has agreed to pay $330,000 in civil penalties and purchase $770,000 worth of mitigation credits to resolve a federal lawsuit after he was accused of plowing wetlands on his property in Tehama County, Calif., according to the Capital Press. In 2013, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had sought $2.8 millions in fines as well as mitigation credits ... Read More »

Lighthizer: NAFTA has failed many americans


From It’s an historical day for the United States as the first round of negotiations to rewrite the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), got underway Wednesday morning in Washington D.C. In effect since January 1994, NAFTA created a Free Trade Zone between Canada, Mexico and the United States. President Donald Trump has called the trade pact “the worst ... Read More »

New port worker contract adds stability to PNW export operations

From U.S. Wheat Associates Members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) are crucial workers at U.S. export grain elevators. Overseas wheat buyers in the Asia-Pacific region likely recall the challenges faced in 2015 during a lengthy contract negotiation that occasionally interrupted the West Coast supply chain. Although the dispute was finally settled with a contract through June 2019, ... Read More »

Impasse on water bill means no capital budget for now


By Diana Carlen WAWG Lobbyist On July 24, the Washington State Legislature adjourned after 193 consecutive days in session without passing either a state capital budget or legislation addressing the Hirst State Supreme Court water right decision. While a final capital budget providing more than $4 billion for constructions projects across the state had been agreed to by negotiators, the ... Read More »

D.C. fly-in meets with success on trade, research, crop insurance

Members of the Washington group were able to meet with Ray Starling, special assistant to the president for agriculture, trade and food assistance, at the White House. They were joined by representatives from Washington State University (WSU) and U.S. Wheat Associates (USW). Pictured from left are Steve Mercer, USW vice president of communications; Chris Keane, vice president for research at WSU; Colleen Kerr, vice president for government relations and external affairs at WSU; Michelle Hennings, Washington Association of Wheat Growers (WAWG) executive director; Kirk Schulz, WSU president; Starling; Marci Green, WAWG vice president; Derek Sandison, director of the Washington State Department of Agriculture; and Jim Moyer, associate dean of research in WSU’s College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences.

In mid-July, officers and staff of the Washington Association of Wheat Growers (WAWG) flew into the other Washington to talk about the impacts of proposed budget cuts to wheat growers. The group jammed more than 20 meetings into four days, including a visit to the White House to meet with Ray Starling, special assistant to the president for agriculture, trade ... Read More »

U.S. wheat industry outlines trade violations and abuses

From NAWG This week, the National Association of Wheat Growers and U.S. Wheat Associates submitted joint comments on trade agreements violations and abuses to USTR, per the April Executive Order, that have impacted U.S. wheat growers. In general, violations and abuses to wheat are due to domestic subsidies that exceed World Trade Organization commitment levels, sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) regulatory standards, plant ... Read More »

Important crop insurance deadline nears in PNW

From RMA The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) reminds producers in Idaho, Oregon and Washington states to apply for crop insurance coverage for the 2018 crop year before the sales closing dates. Current policyholders who wish to make changes to their existing coverage also have until the sales closing dates to do so. Crop insurance is ... Read More »