State

EPA delays release of What’s Upstream records

From the Capital Press The Environmental Protection Agency has pushed back by six months its self-imposed deadline for releasing records related to the What’s Upstream advocacy campaign, frustrating a farm group that requested the documents more than seven months ago. Save Family Farming director Gerald Baron said last week the group will consider taking legal action and asking federal lawmakers to ... Read More »

Governor releases proposed budgets

By Diana Carlen WAWG lobbyist Yesterday, Governor Inslee released his proposed operating, capital and transportation budgets for the state’s two-year biennium beginning July 1, 2017.  Due to the fact that the governor’s budget relies on $4.4 billion in new revenue which will face significant opposition in the Senate, it is considered a high-water mark for funding for many areas of the ... Read More »

Farmers rely on overseas customer to buy crops, boost prices

From the Capital Press Mike Miller knows how important foreign trade is to agriculture. For him and Washington state’s 1,900 other wheat farmers, exports are the economic lifeblood. They ship more than 90 percent of their crop to overseas customers such as bakers in Japan and noodle manufacturers in the Philippines and South Korea. The customers were hard-won. “We realize ... Read More »

Dent: Hirst a priority for ag during Washington session

From Washington Ag Network What are the key issues lawmakers in Olympia will discuss in January?  Ask state Rep. Tom Dent and he’ll tell you water issues, specifically, the Hirst decision will be front and center. Read the rest of the story here. Read More »

WAWG’s leadership takes part in national fall conference

November was a very busy month for the Washington Association of Wheat Growers’ (WAWG) leadership team. Besides participating in the annual convention, including a day-long strategic planning session, the team also traveled to Denver, Colo., to take part in the National Association of Wheat Growers’ (NAWG) Fall Wheat Conference. Both NAWG’s and U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) policy committees met and ... Read More »

Washington court decision restricts permit-exempt wells

By Diana Carlen WAWG Lobbyist Recently, the Washington State Supreme Court issued a controversial water decision involving the use of permit-exempt wells in rural areas, effectively limiting rural development in the state. The decision is known as the Hirst case and stems from a challenge brought by the environmental group Futurewise who argued that Whatcom County’s comprehensive plan failed to ... Read More »

Dam breaching back as scoping hearings continue

By Diana Carlen WAWG Lobbyist Once again, the issue of breaching the Snake River dams is back on the table. On Sept. 30, 2016, the federal government announced more than a dozen public hearings on the scoping process for a new Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for 14 dams in the Columbia River Basin. The 14 dams within the Columbia River ... Read More »

Battle lines drawn in Washington over new wells

From the Capital Press The Washington Supreme Court’s ruling in Whatcom County vs. Hirst could shut down rural homebuilding statewide, a lobbyist for farm groups and other water users said Thursday at a House hearing. “The more I listen to people discuss the Hirst case, the more convinced I am that there will be no growth in the rural area ... Read More »

Government confirms no GE wheat in commercial supplies

From NAWG In a statement published Dec. 1, 2016, it was announced that, after a thorough examination regarding the genetically engineered (GE) wheat detection in Washington state, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has closed its fact finding. The agency also said it found no evidence of GE wheat in commerce. NAWG and ... Read More »

Ag industry gears up for 14-week river closure

From the Capital Press Ag industry representatives say they’re as ready as possible for an upcoming 14-week closure of the Columbia/Snake river system that carries their goods overseas. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is closing the river from Dec. 12 through March 20. The extended closure allows the corps to make repairs at six dams on the river system, ... Read More »