State

State Senate passes $43 million budget proposal

Leg Report

By Diana Carlen WAWG Lobbyist Early this morning, the Washington State Senate passed a $43 billion budget proposal that earmarks $1.8 billion for education funding in a 25-24 vote. Unlike the governor’s proposed budget, the senate budget does not raise new taxes such as a carbon tax. However, it does rework the state property tax to replace local property tax ... Read More »

WAWG comments on Snake River dams

Ice Harbor Lock and dam

Before the Feb. 7 comment period closed, the Washington Association of Wheat Growers submitted comments in a letter on the proposed scoping process for the Columbia River Systems Operations Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The letter outlined the organization’s opposition to any consideration of dam removal or breaching, saying, “…it is important that the scoping effort recognize that there is no ... Read More »

Legislative update: Revenue forecast shows increased dollars

WACapitol

By Diana Carlen WAWG Lobbyist Yesterday marked the 71st day of the legislative session. Policy committees are busy hearing bills passed by the opposite chamber. The next legislative deadline is March 29 in which all bills must pass out of their opposite chamber’s policy committees to remain alive. Revenue forecast and budget news Four times a year, the Washington State Economic ... Read More »

Wheat farmers seek out ways to wait out low prices

From the Capital Press Mark Sheffels doesn’t plant as much wheat as he once did. Sheffels, who farms west of Spokane near Davenport and Wilbur, Wash., started reducing his wheat acreage several years ago in favor of winter peas. He made the move because of low wheat prices and the high costs of raising it. “Even when markets suggest we ... Read More »

Stripe rust in PNW could be severe

Active stripe rust pustules found in a commercial wheat field near Walla Walla on March 8, 2017.

By Xianming Chen Stripe rust will be likely severe in the eastern Pacific Northwest Based on the forecast models using the temperature data from November 2016 to February 2017, stripe rust will potentially cause yield loss of 32 percent on highly susceptible varieties. This number is much higher than the 6 percent forecasted in January based only on the November-December ... Read More »

Wheat growers face waiting game on snow mold severity

From the Capital Press Farmers worried about snow mold damage in their wheat fields need to wait three to four weeks to determine whether their crop will recover, a plant expert says. Snow mold can look worse on the surface than it actually is, said Tim Murray, plant pathologist at Washington State University. The fungi that cause the disease occur ... Read More »

Legislative update: House of origin deadline closing in

WACapitol

By Diana Carlen WAWG Lobbyist Monday marked the 57th day of the legislative session. Over the next two days, all bills must pass out of their house of origin to remain eligible to move forward this year unless they are necessary to implement the budget. The deadline to pass bills out of the house of origin is Wednesday, March 8 at 5 ... Read More »

Pesticide alert proposal stalls in Washington legislature

From the Capital Press Legislation to require farmers to alert neighbors at least two hours before spraying pesticides has died for this year, though it’s likely to resurface in the future. Farmworkers gathered in a conference room Monday on the Capitol Campus to talk about their issues, including the risk of being exposed to drifting pesticides. read the rest of ... Read More »