Crop progress report for January 2018

From NASS January was warmer than usual for Washington state. Most of the state received excessive rain while only a few regions received snow, most of which were at higher altitudes. Some regions in the west reported up to 11.10 inches of rain, with most of the west reporting at least an extra inch of rain than usual. Most of ... Read More »

Wheat growers testify against pesticide bill in Senate committee hearing

A group of Washington wheat farmers joined other growers yesterday in Olympia to testify in a Senate Labor and Commerce Committee public hearing on SB 6529, a bill that places unworkable restrictions and onerous reporting requirements on pesticide applicators. The bill would require a pesticide user to provide written notice of an intended pesticide application to the Washington State Department ... Read More »

Legislature comes to agreement on permit-exempt wells, budget

By Diana Carlen WAWG Lobbyist The Washington State Legislature convened for the 2018 regular session on Monday, Jan. 8. In even calendar years, regular legislative sessions are scheduled for 60 days and are referred to as “short” sessions because the Legislature does not need to adopt the state operating budget, which occurs in odd-numbered years. During short sessions, the Legislature ... Read More »

Democrats’ well bill seen as too stingy with water

From the Capital Press A Senate committee heard complaints Monday that a Democratic plan to reopen rural Washington to new wells would leave landowners high and dry. The proposal would cap withdrawals from new wells at 400 gallons a day, compared to the current 5,000-gallon limit. Some property owners told the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee that the lower lid ... Read More »

First 2018 stripe rust forecast predicts only low levels of disease

By Dr. Xianming Chen November field survey On Nov. 7, 2017, we were checking winter wheat fields in Whitman, Lincoln, Adams, Grant and Douglas counties in Eastern Washington. We did not see any rust, indicating that the fall infection of winter wheat by the stripe rust pathogen was low. This was different from the high rust incidences observed in many ... Read More »

RMA announces spring crop expansions in Idaho, Washington

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) announces the expansion of Multi-Peril Crop Insurance for the 2018 crop year. The policy for buckwheat will now be available in Adams County, Washington; Dry beans in Franklin County, Idaho; and dry peas in Benton County, Washington. All three policies provide coverage for damage resulting from naturally occurring events, similar to ... Read More »

WAWG takes part in WPC’s final farm hall series in Spokane

By Trista Crossley The Washington Policy Center wrapped up 2017’s Farm Hall Series in Spokane last month, bringing together elected officials and agricultural industry leaders to answer questions from farmers and ranchers and to look at some of the issues facing agriculture in the coming year. Michelle Hennings, executive director of the Washington Association of Wheat Growers (WAWG), joined Sen. Mark ... Read More »

Governor’s proposed budget includes fossil fuel carbon tax

By Diana Carlen WAWG Lobbyist On Dec. 14, Gov. Jay Inslee released his proposed supplemental operating budget for the 2017-2019 biennium. The supplemental operating budget makes tweaks to the current $43.7 billion, two-year state budget that was adopted earlier this year. The Governor proposes tapping into the state’s reserves by almost a billion dollars to respond to a recent Supreme ... Read More »

Judge declares clean air rule invalid

From the Association of Washington Business A Thurston County judge blocked the Washington State Department of Ecology’s (Ecology) Clean Air Rule from moving forward, saying the state lacks the authority to implement it without legislative approval. Ecology implemented the rule in 2016 at the direction of Gov. Jay Inslee. A coalition of employer groups led by the Association of Washington ... Read More »

Senator: GOP holding firm on Hirst, budget

From the Capital Press Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said last week that Senate Republicans should stop the “high jinks” and pass a capital budget, but the GOP lawmaker who held up the budget said he believes Republicans will hold firm until Democrats embrace a “good Hirst fix.” Sen. Jim Honeyford, R-Sunnyside, said a plan outlined Thursday by Democrats to reopen some ... Read More »