Author Archives: Trista Crossly

Congress working on rail safety issue threatening grain, fertilizer movement

From Agri-Pulse Key lawmakers involved in transportation issues are working to come up with a compromise that would push back the current end-of-year deadline for implementation of a rail safety system – avoiding a threatened disruption of grain and fertilizer deliveries. In the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008, Congress directed rail providers to install Positive Train Control (PTC) on ... Read More »

Years later, dam removal still an issue in PNW

Their marketing might suggest Patagonia can create a Better Sweater®, but that doesn’t make them experts when it comes to the Snake Columbia River System. Efforts by the California-based clothing company to reinvigorate the dam breaching debate with its Oct. 3 flotilla protest not only goes against the last dozen years of scientific studies by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ... Read More »

President signs ag bill into law

On Wednesday, Sept. 30, President Obama signed into law HR 2051, the Agriculture Reauthorizations Act of 2015, which reauthorizes the Grain Standards Act (GSA). The bill also extended the Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act of 1999 and authorized appropriations for the National Forest Foundation. The GSA component of the bill requires the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Federal Grain Inspection Service to immediately take ... Read More »

In the West, women farmers carry economic clout

From the Capital Press The percentage of Pacific Northwest and California farmers who are women easily tops the national average, according to statistics released by the USDA. Nationally, 31 percent of farmers are women, and they farm more than 301 million acres and have a $12.9 billion annual economic impact, according to USDA. In Oregon, 39 percent of farmers are ... Read More »

NAWG applauds House action on ag reauthorizations

Following House passage last night of the Agriculture Reauthorizations Act of 2015, Brett Blankenship, NAWG president and wheat grower from Washtucna, Wash., issued the following statement: “This bill establishes more transparency and ensures there is no disruption in inspection services should a delegated state agency discontinue providing services. This bill provides the certainty wheat growers need. It’s important to have ... Read More »

Shutdown Showdown: What farmers need to know

From AgWeb.com If you’re wondering if there’s anything you need to know about the current budget battles in Congress, the answer is yes. If the House and Senate can’t reach an agreement on the federal budget—or more likely, a continuing resolution to fund the government while they hammer out a budget—by Sept. 30, the federal government will shut down on ... Read More »

Comment sought on plan to bolster oversight of GE wheat field trials

From Agri-Pulse USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is inviting public comment on a proposed plan to strengthen oversight of field trials for genetically engineered wheat, following two recent detections of GE wheat where the plants should not have been growing. No varieties of GE wheat have been deregulated by APHIS. Read the rest of the story here. Read More »

‘All bets off’ for policy agenda as embattled Boehner quits

From Agri-Pulse House Speaker John Boehner abruptly relinquished his leadership amid a growing rebellion in his caucus, throwing into doubt the prospects for getting an agreement on highway funding and on policy issues critical to agriculture. Boehner’s announcement that he will step down next month comes as he was struggling to avoid a government shutdown next week and preparing to ... Read More »

Washington’s drought predicted to extend into second year

From a 09/24/15 Washington State Department of Ecology news release Even though cooler temperatures and fall colors are returning, Washington’s historic drought isn’t over. Not by a long shot. “The recent rains were nice, but we’re not out of the woods yet,” said Director Maia Bellon with the Washington Department of Ecology. “We’re carrying a huge water deficit into this ... Read More »

What is Positive Train Control?

One of the issues WAWG has been following is Positive Train Control. PTC uses GPS and other communication and sensors to enhance the safety of train operations. Invention and installation of this sophisticated system was mandated by Congress in 2008, after a tragic commuter train crash. Congress has set a deadline implementation for railroads of Dec. 31, 2015. Though the railroads have ... Read More »