Current Issues

Legislative report 03/20: Summary of 2018 Legislative Session

By Diana Carlen WAWG Lobbyist The 2018 Legislative Session was scheduled as a short, 60-day session, focused on passing supplemental budgets and addressing the Supreme Court’s McCleary decision mandating that the Legislature speed up funding basic education. The Legislature also had carry-over work from last session to complete, including finding a legislative fix to the Supreme Court’s Hirst decision and ... Read More »

Stripe rust update 03/08: Stripe rust will likely reach a normal epidemic level in the eastern PNW

By Dr. Xianming Chen Based on the forecast models using the weather data from November 2017 to February 2018, stripe rust will potentially cause yield loss of 17.9 percent on highly susceptible varieties. This number is much higher than the 6 percent forecasted in January based only on the November-December weather conditions. The number is an average of the prediction ... Read More »

February D.C. trip focuses on trade, crop insurance, conservation

In February, leaders of the Washington Association of Wheat Growers (WAWG) took their advocacy efforts to Washington, D.C. For four extremely busy days, they met with policymakers to discuss farm bill, trade, crop insurance and conservation. “Because of the relationships we’ve developed with our congressional delegation, we were able to get access to high level meetings such as the office ... Read More »

U.S. wheat trade: A farmer’s perspective

By Gary Bailey Washington Grain Commission Chairman, USW Director and a wheat farmer from St. John, Wash. As Washington Grain Commissioners, trade has consumed a great deal of our time this past year. Relationships with our international partners are critical to the survival of our trade with countries such as Japan. Most of us have seen the proposed effects on ... Read More »

Wheat organizations ask USTR to work toward rejoining TPP to prevent serious revenue loss

U.S. Wheat Associates (USW), the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) and 33 state wheat organizations have expressed hope in a letter to U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer that the administration will immediately prioritize accession to TPP to save the valuable Japanese market for U.S. wheat farmers. “Once TPP is ratified, U.S. wheat exports to Japan will be at serious risk,” ... Read More »

Legislative report 03/06: Carbon tax ballot measure filed

By Diana Carlen WAWG Lobbyist This Thursday is the last scheduled day of the legislative session. Unlike recent years, there is no talk of a special session. Another important legislative deadline occurred last week, in which all bills must have passed out of both chambers to remain “alive”, unless they are deemed necessary to implement the budget. Over the next ... Read More »

Legislative Report 02/28: 2018 session winding down

By Diana Carlen WAWG Lobbyist Today marks the 52nd day of the 2018 Legislative Session. With just more than a week left remaining for the regular session, the legislature is focused on moving the supplemental budget through the final days of the session and passing bills off the floor. This Friday at 5 p.m. is the deadline to pass bills ... Read More »

Carbon tax calls for refashioning rural Washington

From the Capital Press A carbon tax bill in the Washington Senate seeks to shelter farmers from higher fuel costs and calls for investing in rural economies with electric vehicles, public transit and a faster internet to encourage telecommuting. Farm groups and rural Republican legislators, however, have not warmed to the bill. Farm groups say they’re worried about increasing off-farm ... Read More »

Washington wheat growers warn Trump TPP withdrawal could prove catastrophic

TPP Withdrawal Threatens the Stability of the U.S. Agriculture Industry When President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the agricultural industry warned that the consequences could be dire for our country’s farmers. That warning appears to be coming true, as the remaining 11 TPP countries are close to formalizing the deal without the U.S., threatening the ... Read More »

Legislative Report 02/21: Revenue forecast gives budget writers good news

By Diana Carlen WAWG lobbyist Today marks the 44th day of the 2018 Legislative Session. Last Wednesday, the legislature reached a milestone—the deadline to pass bills out of the house of origin. Bills that did not meet that deadline are ineligible to move forward this year unless considered necessary to implement the budget. It is important to note, bills are ... Read More »