Author Archives: Trista Crossly

WDFW drops rural land buys as counties complain

From the Capital Press The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has dropped plans to buy a ranch and riverside grasslands in Eastern Washington, signaling the agency’s increasing sensitivity to complaints that state land purchases rob taxes from rural counties. WDFW had identified 5,542 acres of Lincoln County rangeland and 2,560 acres in Walla Walla County along the Touchet ... Read More »

2018 Farm Bill: Integrate CSP with the later sustainability movement

By Bruce Knight From Agri-Pulse In our ongoing discussion of the next farm bill, I want us to consider carefully the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), which has become the largest USDA conservation program for private working lands. Of immediate interest, of course, is the 2016 sign up, continuing through March 31. NRCS is making available $150 million through CSP this ... Read More »

Strong dollar only part of trade picture, ag reps say

From the Capital Press The high value of the U.S. dollar in relationship to foreign currencies is affecting U.S. commodities on the global market, but industry representatives say it’s only part of the export puzzle. The impact of a strong dollar is “huge,” said Ken Ballard, relationship manager with Northwest Farm Credit Services in Pasco, Wash. When the dollar is ... Read More »

Idaho grain growers brace for yellow dwarf problems

From the Capital Press Based on the volume and distribution of recent grower reports about barley yellow dwarf infections in winter wheat, University of Idaho Extension cereals pathologist Juliet Marshall said it’s clear the disease will be rampant again this season. Last season, southern and eastern Idaho grain growers coped with the most widespread barley yellow dwarf outbreak they’d ever ... Read More »

General Mills second food giant to label biotech products

From Agri-Pulse General Mills Inc. has become the second major food maker to announce that it will start labeling its products for biotech ingredients as required by a Vermont law set to take effect this summer. The General Mills announcement, which follows a decision by Campbell Soup Co. in January, comes as legislation to preempt state GMO labeling laws has stalled in the ... Read More »

USDA makes case for ag research dollars

From Agri-Pulse The leaders of USDA’s research agencies told lawmakers on the House Agriculture Appropriations panel Wednesday why federal investment in agricultural research is critical to protecting the national food system and supporting American producers. In fiscal 2016, Congress approved the highest ever budget – $2.94 billion – for USDA ag research. The Obama administration’s 2017 budget proposal asks for $38 million less in discretionary funds compared to last year, ... Read More »

New NAWG president seeks more wheat innovation, productivity

From the Capital Press The need for more innovation to increase productivity is among the wheat industry’s top priorities, the new president of the National Association of Wheat Growers says. “We’re actually backsliding, we have not made progress,” Outlook, Mt., wheat farmer Gordon Stoner said. He replaces Washtucna, Wash., wheat farmer Brett Blankenship as the NAWG president. Read the rest ... Read More »

County updates from March state board meeting

County reports from yesterday’s state board meeting in Ritzville: Adams-So far, spring has been very good. Lots of rain and crops look good. Spring crops are slowly being put in. Aston-There’s been a little bit of spring wheat seeded. Winter wheat looks good. Benton-DNS planting is in full swing. Spring wheat is coming up. It’s been wet, a far cry ... Read More »

Biotech labeling fight heads to Senate floor

From Agri-Pulse The Senate looks to settle the issue of biotech labeling once and for all this week with a historic debate on legislation that would block states from requiring GMO disclosure According to a source familiar with the negotiations, a compromise version of the legislation is likely to be released today. The bill is expected to be on the ... Read More »

Legislative Update: Governor convenes special session after Legislature adjourns without a supplemental budget

By Diana Carlen WAWG Lobbyist Last night, the Legislature adjourned on the 60th day of the legislative session without passing a supplemental budget. While each chamber had previously passed competing supplemental budget proposals, they could not reach a final agreement by the deadline on how much more to spend for the upcoming year and whether to use the Budget Stabilization ... Read More »