State

Inslee tells tribes Washington’s Snake dams could be replaced. Will he even listen to Tri-Cities?

From the Tri-City Herald Is Gov. Jay Inslee plotting to get rid of the four lower Snake River dams? Or did he offer them up in a meeting Thursday primarily as a way to appease Washington state tribal leaders?Tri-Citians and other dam stakeholders deserve clarity on the governor’s position, and they deserve it now. Read the rest here. Read More »

Crop progress report 07/11: Drought conditions remained throughout Washington

From NASS There were 7 days suitable for field work, unchanged from the previous week. Statewide temperatures for the week ending July 11, were above normal. In Whatcom County, producers struggled to keep up with irrigation as high temperatures and dry conditions continued. Widespread damage to raspberries and blueberries was caused by the heat. In San Juan County, high temperatures ... Read More »

Eastern Washington counties designated as primary natural disaster areas

On July 6, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) designated 14 counties, mostly in Eastern Washington, as primary natural disaster areas. The declaration allows the Farm Service Agency (FSA) the ability to offer emergency loans to producers to help them replace essential equipment, inputs or the refinance of farm-related debts. Producers in 10 Washington counties that are contiguous to the ... Read More »

WSU dryland research station assess damage after Lind fire

From the Capital Press Washington State University researchers are assessing the losses after a wildfire burned a portion of the dryland research station. The fire started shortly before 11 a.m. June 27, east of Lind, about half a mile away from the station. It burned a total of 2,100 acres. Read the rest of the story here. Read More »

Crop progress report 07/04: Hot temps continued throughout Washington

From NASS There were 7 days suitable for field work, unchanged from the previous week. Statewide temperatures for the week ending July 4 were above normal. In San Juan County, dry conditions and a historic heat wave sparked the area. Soil moisture continued to decline. All crop conditions in nonirrigated areas suffered. Crops on limited irrigation were kept viable through ... Read More »

Virtual advocacy doesn’t make the same connection

By Michelle Hennings WAWG Executive Director The first half of this year has been a challenge, to say the least, both professionally and personally. I’m normally a very social person, and not being able to interact and converse face to face with family, friends and coworkers due to COVID-19 has been really tough. The one positive from the whole ordeal ... Read More »

Crop progress report 06/27: Historic high temps reported throughout Washington

From NASS There were 7 days suitable for field work, up from 6.7 the previous week. Statewide temperatures for the week ending June 27 were above normal. In San Juan County, most farms were successful at starting early harvests of haylage. Some vegetable crops suffered due to the heat wave, even with adequate irrigation. Caneberries began to size up and ... Read More »

As drought deepens, no declaration planned in Washington

From the Capital Press The Washington Department of Ecology has no plans to move forward with declaring a drought, as Eastern Washington bakes and wheat farmers harvest smaller crops. Ecology drought coordinator Jeff Marti acknowledged Friday that dry-land wheat farmers are being “hammered” by the second-driest spring in state history followed by heat waves. A drought declaration, however, won’t bring ... Read More »

Washington proposes wildfire smoke rule twice as strict as California’s

From the Capital Press Washington regulators are proposing farms alter schedules or hand out masks to filter wildfire smoke even if the air quality remains at a level the Environment Protection Agency calls “acceptable.” The rule could be in place by the end of June and would be triggered when the federal Air Quality Index reaches 69, on a scale ... Read More »

Washington farmers spotlight drought in local, national media

They say a picture is worth 1,000 words, but a combination of both brought a big spotlight on the drought conditions in Eastern Washington and highlighted how important crop insurance is to farmers. In June, Nicole Berg, a grower in Benton County and vice president of the National Association of Wheat Growers, sent out photographs of a coat hanger in ... Read More »