Federal

BPA corrects public misinformation

From Bonneville Power Administration There are a number of facts and figures that are being misinterpreted during the public comment period for the Columbia River Draft Operations Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).  Information correcting the record on those issues from the Bonneville Power Authority (BPA) is included below. The executive summary for the draft EIS can be found at this link. ... Read More »

More than 3.4 million acres selected for general CRP signup

Last week, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the acceptance of more than 3.4 million acres in the general Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) signup recently completed, the first general signup enrollments since 2016. Through CRP, farmers and ranchers receive an annual rental payment for establishing long-term, resource-conserving plant species, such as approved grasses or trees, to control soil erosion, improve water ... Read More »

FSA makes changes to programs to help customers conduct business

U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) county offices are open by phone appointment only until further notice, and FSA staff are available to continue helping agricultural producers with program signups, loan servicing and other important actions. Additionally, FSA is relaxing the loan-making process and adding flexibilities for servicing direct and guaranteed loans to provide credit to producers ... Read More »

Industry update on the Governor’s ‘stay at home’ order

On March 23, 2020, Governor Inslee announced a new, enforceable, “stay at home” order for the state of Washington to combat the spread of COVID-19. The executive order goes into effect March 25. It directs all residents to immediately heed current state public health directives to stay home, except as needed to maintain continuity of operations of essential critical infrastructure ... Read More »

USDA service centers closed to public

Beginning today, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) service centers will be instituting locked door policies, with no public access to USDA offices. One employee per agency will be permitted in the office (one conservation district employee, one NRCS employee, one FSA employee, etc.) on a rotating schedule. High-risk employees will not be subject to rotation during this full telework plan. ... Read More »

Clear communication, expectations can help farms prepare for coronavirus

From Progressive Farmer Planting season for many is right around the corner, if it hasn’t already started. Meanwhile, the country is dealing with unprecedented times where schools, restaurants and businesses are closed to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, and we are encouraged to keep social gatherings to no more than 10 people. As farms, we simply can’t halt upcoming ... Read More »

Coronavirus impact on ag trade mixed

From the Capital Press The severity and length of trade disruptions caused by the coronavirus won’t be clear for several weeks, but there are signs that logistical problems caused by the disease may have already peaked, according to port and trade group representatives. Read the rest of the article. Read More »

Northwest wheat states respond to draft EIS

On behalf of the Northwest wheat-producing states, we strongly support the findings in the Columbia River System Operations Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), specifically the Preferred Alternative for the operations, maintenance and configuration of the Columbia River System. Together, our four states produce over 500 million bushels of wheat annually. Much of that wheat is bound for export markets.Pacific Northwest ... Read More »

Washington wheat sides with federal report to preserve Snake River dams

From the Washington Association of Wheat Growers and the Washington Grain Commission Nearly four years after U.S. District Court Judge Michael Simon ordered the federal government to develop an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that included a dam breaching alternative for restoring endangered species salmon runs, the draft report reviewed and rejected the approach. Released jointly by the U.S. Army Corps ... Read More »

Grower comments needed on Columbia River System Operations draft EIS

The Columbia River Systems Operations draft EIS was released today by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation and Bonneville Power Administration. The EIS presents a no-action course and five alternatives, one of which includes breaching the four lower Snake River dams. According to the executive summary, “Despite the major benefits to fish expected from (breaching the lower Snake River ... Read More »