Crop progress report 0505: Sunny days, blooming orchards in Washington

From NASS There were 6.9 days suitable for fieldwork in Washington last week, up from 6.0 the previous week. The Puget Sound had warm daytime temperatures, abundant sunshine and cool nights. Fieldwork and planting were in full swing. Spinach, beets, spring wheat, barley and potatoes were planted. Conditions were dry. Late apples bloomed, and berry crops were leafing out. Annual ... Read More »

Stripe rust update 0502: Stripe rust found in Lind, but not in Palouse region

By Dr. Xianming Chen Last week, we were planting spring nurseries and recording the first set of stripe rust data in winter nurseries at Mount Vernon (Skagit Co.) in northwestern Washington. Winter wheat plants were at Feekes 5-7 and barley plants were at Feekes 6-7. Stripe rust reached 60-80 percent severity on susceptible wheat varieties and 20-40 percent severity on ... Read More »

Crop progress report 0428: Varied weather with varied results in Washington

From NASS There were 6.0 days suitable for fieldwork in Washington last week, up from 5.2 the previous week. More rain helped with the dry spring in Island, San Juan and Skagit counties. Fieldwork slowly increased, and fruit trees were in their final stretch for blossoms. Farmers planted spring crops with full force. Drier weather in Whatcom County encouraged more ... Read More »

Washington lawmakers pass $52.4 billion budget

From NW News Network Washington lawmakers adjourned at midnight Sunday after majority Democrats approved an initiative to restore affirmative action and passed a $52.4 billion, two-year state operating budget. The budget relies on an array of tax increases, including on businesses and real estate transactions, but doesn’t impose a new capital gains tax as had been proposed. Read the rest ... Read More »

Snake River dams—Setting the record straight

From the Pacific Northwest Waterways Association The Snake River dams have been in the news again this week. At an event hosted by Boise State University to examine efforts to balance hydropower, salmon, farming and the environment, the topic of dam breaching became the focus of the event. Some speakers called for forums to be created to look at the ... Read More »

Washington legislature OKs pesticide safety panel

From the Capital Press Washington lawmakers have approved a new committee with a wide-ranging mandate to review how farms spray pesticides and to investigate cases of pesticide exposure. Made up of legislators, department directors and university experts, the committee’s first job will be to reconcile various ways state agencies track pesticide exposure to calculate how often it actually happens. Different ... Read More »

Legislative update 0423: Down to the wire

By Diana Carlen WAWG Lobbyist Tuesday marked the 100th day of the 2019 Legislative 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. The 2019 Legislative Session is scheduled to end on April 28. Over the next five days, ... Read More »

Crop progress report 0421: Wet spring drying out in Washington

From NASS There were 5.2 days suitable for fieldwork in Washington last week, up from 3.8 the previous week. Western Washington had moderate precipitation, which reduced water deficits from the dry spring. Field planting and cultivation were progressing well, but slowed due to wet conditions. These wet conditions also deterred pasture growth. There were low nightly temperatures in the Puget ... Read More »

SW Washington farmers cultivate grain silos at Chehalis

From the Capital Press Farmers, public agencies and a nonprofit group are planning to build nine silos at the Port of Chehalis to tap into the region’s demand for grains. Yet to be financed, the silos, if built, would give farmers a place to store grain and distribute it by rail. The area’s farmers need new markets because a processor ... Read More »