Crop progress report 4/2: Winter lingered in Washington state

From NASS There were 4.4 days suitable for field work last week. Pasture and range conditions were reported to be 1% very poor, 12% poor, 33% fair, 52% good, and 2% excellent. A low temperature of 27 degrees Fahrenheit was reported in the northeast region, while a high of 69 degrees was reported in central Washington. Statewide temperature differentials ranged ... Read More »

Benefit to Washington wheat producers associated with increased farmer program flexibility

From small Wheat farmers signing up for U.S. farm program benefits in early 2015 were asked to select between a revenue based program (Agricultural Risk Coverage – ARC) or a price based program (Price Loss Coverage – PLC). Once a choice was made, the choice was binding over the entire life of the 2014 Farm Bill. This created a ... Read More »

Legislative update: House releases proposed operating budget

By Diana Carlen WAWG Lobbyist Yesterday marked the 79th day of the legislative session. The next legislative deadline is March 29 in which all bills must pass out of the opposite chamber’s policy committees to remain alive. House Democrats Release Their Proposed Operating Budget On Monday, the House Democrats released their proposed operating budget for the state for 2017-2019. The proposed budget ... Read More »

State Senate passes $43 million budget proposal

By Diana Carlen WAWG Lobbyist Early this morning, the Washington State Senate passed a $43 billion budget proposal that earmarks $1.8 billion for education funding in a 25-24 vote. Unlike the governor’s proposed budget, the senate budget does not raise new taxes such as a carbon tax. However, it does rework the state property tax to replace local property tax ... Read More »

WAWG comments on Snake River dams

Before the Feb. 7 comment period closed, the Washington Association of Wheat Growers submitted comments in a letter on the proposed scoping process for the Columbia River Systems Operations Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The letter outlined the organization’s opposition to any consideration of dam removal or breaching, saying, “…it is important that the scoping effort recognize that there is no ... Read More »

Legislative update: Revenue forecast shows increased dollars

By Diana Carlen WAWG Lobbyist Yesterday marked the 71st day of the legislative session. Policy committees are busy hearing bills passed by the opposite chamber. The next legislative deadline is March 29 in which all bills must pass out of their opposite chamber’s policy committees to remain alive. Revenue forecast and budget news Four times a year, the Washington State Economic ... Read More »

Wheat farmers seek out ways to wait out low prices

From the Capital Press Mark Sheffels doesn’t plant as much wheat as he once did. Sheffels, who farms west of Spokane near Davenport and Wilbur, Wash., started reducing his wheat acreage several years ago in favor of winter peas. He made the move because of low wheat prices and the high costs of raising it. “Even when markets suggest we ... Read More »

Legislative update: Policy bill deadline is legislature’s next milestone

By Diana Carlen WAWG Lobbyist Today marks the 64th day of the legislative session. Last Wednesday, the legislature reached a milestone which was the deadline to pass bills out of the house of origin. Bills that did not pass out of the house of origin by that deadline are not eligible to move forward this year unless they are considered ... Read More »

Stripe rust in PNW could be severe

By Xianming Chen Stripe rust will be likely severe in the eastern Pacific Northwest Based on the forecast models using the temperature data from November 2016 to February 2017, stripe rust will potentially cause yield loss of 32 percent on highly susceptible varieties. This number is much higher than the 6 percent forecasted in January based only on the November-December ... Read More »

Wheat growers face waiting game on snow mold severity

From the Capital Press Farmers worried about snow mold damage in their wheat fields need to wait three to four weeks to determine whether their crop will recover, a plant expert says. Snow mold can look worse on the surface than it actually is, said Tim Murray, plant pathologist at Washington State University. The fungi that cause the disease occur ... Read More »