Crop progress report 11/10: Apple harvest wrapping up, fruit trees dormant in Washington

From NASS  There were 6.3 days suitable for fieldwork in Washington last week, up from 5.0 days suitable the previous week. San Juan County had similar conditions to last week. Cool nights and warm days had sun mixed with clouds. Most fields in Snohomish County were too wet for field work. Late-planted cover crops on corn silage fields emerged. A ... Read More »

Washington senators slam USDA over unequal farm payments in bailout

From the Spokesman-Review Both U.S. senators from Washington signed an analysis by congressional staffers that shows the Trump administration’s $16 billion bailout of U.S. farmers has mostly benefited those growers in the South and large companies over small operations. Sens. Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray joined 15 other Democratic senators in critiquing how the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Agriculture ... Read More »

A week without wind shows the value of hydro power and the Snake River dams

From the Tri-City Herald For the eight days beginning on Halloween, Washington state and the Northwest got a stark look at the danger of replacing hydro power with renewables like wind power. During that period of time, there was virtually no wind across the states served by the Bonneville Power Administration, leaving hydro, nuclear, and fossil fuels to make up ... Read More »

Business as usual at October board meeting

It was business as usual at last month’s state board meeting of the Washington Association of Wheat Growers (WAWG). Several guests stopped by the meeting to talk to producers, including Chris Mertz, regional director of U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS); Kay Teisl, risk management specialist from the Risk Management Agency’s (RMA) regional office in Spokane; ... Read More »

Crop progress report 11/03: Unexpected cold snap in Washington

From NASS There were 5.0 days suitable for fieldwork in Washington last week, down from 6.2 days suitable the previous week. Western Washington had cool and dry conditions. Fall field preparations and planting progressed. The saturated ground slowed harvest and mired some equipment. The sunny, dry days allowed some operators to plant cover crops and cut grass with a good ... Read More »

Taskforce team begins interviews for state’s dam study

Back in September, Michelle Hennings, executive director of the Washington Association of Wheat Growers (WAWG), took part in a stakeholder interview held by a consulting team hired by the Washington State Governor’s Office to talk about the potential impacts of breaching the lower Snake River dams. The Washington State Legislature earmarked $750,000 in the 2019-21 operating budget to have the ... Read More »

Crop progress report 10/27: Flooding in Snoqualmie Valley rushed producers

From NASS There were 6.2 days suitable for fieldwork in Washington last week, up from 4.8 days suitable the previous week. The Puget Sound area had cold, dry conditions for the week. Farmers were preparing fields and planting fall crops. Early major flooding last week of the Snoqualmie River and Stillaguamish River caused major vegetable crop loss. Rivers rose. Most ... Read More »

Take a (virtual) trip down the river

From U.S. Wheat Associates U.S. Wheat Associates Assistant Director Michael Anderson recently spent a week on a tugboat that was pushing grain barges down the Snake, Columbia and Willamette rivers from Lewiston, Idaho, to Portland, Ore. Read More »

Crop progress report 10/20: Washington weather delayed fieldwork

From NASS There were 4.8 days suitable for fieldwork in Washington last week, down from 5.4 days suitable the previous week. A few breaks in the Pacific storm systems allowed farmers in Western Washington to get out into fields and continue the slog through harvest. Wet conditions delayed field preparation for fall-planted crops. Portions of many fields had standing water. ... Read More »

Reminder: Producers encouraged to fill out fall surveys

The U.S. Department Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service’s (NASS) fall surveys are underway, and they encourage wheat producers to participate in the surveys when they receive them either by mail or telephone. The feedback producers provide can create a foundation for crop yield, production practices, and help set up loan rates, disaster payments, and crop insurance price elections. There are ... Read More »