Forward progress on farm bill implementation

By Trista Crossley Nearly five months after the 2018 Farm Bill was signed into law, implementation continues to move forward. In March, many of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) agencies held listening sessions to gain input from stakeholders and the public on farm bill implementation. The National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) has been monitoring the process closely and ... Read More »

Crop progress report 0512: Washington livestock on pastures with warm weather

From NASS There were 7.0 days suitable for fieldwork in Washington last week, up from 6.9 the previous week. Livestock were on pastures in Western Washington. Most ranchers finished calving and first cut of haylage was harvested. Vegetable growers along the Puget Sound transplanted seedlings. There were some operations that baled dry hay—the earliest for dry hay in recent memory. ... Read More »

Stripe rust report 0509: Stripe rust found in Franklin County

By Dr. Xianming Chen Yesterday, we were checking wheat fields in Whitman, Garfield, Columbia, Walla Walla and Franklin counties in Washington and Umatilla County in Oregon. Winter wheat ranged from early jointing (Feekes 5) to heading (Feekes 10). Stripe rust was found in several locations. At Central Ferry in Garfield County, severe stripe rust was found on squirreltail (wild rye) ... Read More »

No clean winners, losers in China trade dispute, WSU expert says

From the Spokesman-Review The short-term results of President Donald Trump’s trade disputes with China are clear for Eastern Washington: The value of agricultural exports including wheat, apples and cherries will be reduced. T. Randall Fortenbery, the Thomas B. Mick economics endowed chair at Washington State University, studied the impacts and said those damaging effects for Washington state are evident. Read ... Read More »

In defense of the lower Snake River dams

Editor’s note: This is an Op Ed the Washington Association of Wheat Growers submitted to regional newspapers in May. In agriculture, everything is cyclical. The same seems to be true of the lower Snake River dams. Every few years, advocates of breaching the dams start speaking out on why they should be torn down, and the communities and industries that ... Read More »

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 »