TPP ‘not close’ to passing, McMorris Rodgers says

From the Capital Press The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has a long road ahead of it before it is approved, an Eastern Washington member of Congress says. “TPP needs a lot of work,” Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers said. “We’re not close to being at a place to pass TPP.” McMorris Rodgers, a Republican, said lawmakers are still determining whether the trade ... Read More »

EPA’s reversal on What’s Upstream rings hollow to ag groups

From the Capital Press The Environmental Protection Agency reversed course Tuesday and said EPA funds should not have been used to finance What’s Upstream, a media campaign to arouse public support in Washington state for stricter regulations on agriculture. The change in position pleased farm advocates, but also left them asking why EPA allowed the campaign in the first place. ... Read More »

March 31 stripe rust update

By Xianming Chen Last week, we were checking wheat fields in Whitman, Lincoln, Adams and Franklin counties in Eastern Washington. Winter wheat ranged from Feekes 2 to 6. With the good moisture in March, most wheat fields looked good. In Whitman County, stripe rust was not observed in all fields, except one field close to the Adams border. In contrast, ... Read More »

State Legislative Update: Session Adjourned!

By Diana Carlen WAWG Lobbyist The Washington State Legislature adjourned late Tuesday night, March 29, after passing final supplemental operating and capital budgets. The supplemental budget adds $191 million in spending to the two-year, $38.2 billion budget approved in 2015 and reflects a compromise between the $467 million spending increase originally proposed by House democrats and the $49 million proposed ... Read More »

Who’s planting what wheat and where?

Earlier today, the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released their prospective planting report. For wheat, all wheat planted area for 2016 is estimated at 49.6 million acres, down 9 percent from 2015. The 2016 winter wheat planted area, at 36.2 million acres, is down 8 percent from last year and down 1 percent from the previous estimate. Of this total, ... Read More »

New WSU president will reach out to agriculture

From the Capital Press Washington State University’s new president says he was drawn to the school because of its land-grant mission. “I spent my career at land-grants, they have a certain style and philosophy that I think really speaks to the state they reside in,” said Kirk Schulz, currently the president of Kansas State University, in a telephone interview with ... Read More »

WDFW drops rural land buys as counties complain

From the Capital Press The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has dropped plans to buy a ranch and riverside grasslands in Eastern Washington, signaling the agency’s increasing sensitivity to complaints that state land purchases rob taxes from rural counties. WDFW had identified 5,542 acres of Lincoln County rangeland and 2,560 acres in Walla Walla County along the Touchet ... Read More »

Idaho grain growers brace for yellow dwarf problems

From the Capital Press Based on the volume and distribution of recent grower reports about barley yellow dwarf infections in winter wheat, University of Idaho Extension cereals pathologist Juliet Marshall said it’s clear the disease will be rampant again this season. Last season, southern and eastern Idaho grain growers coped with the most widespread barley yellow dwarf outbreak they’d ever ... Read More »

County updates from March state board meeting

County reports from yesterday’s state board meeting in Ritzville: Adams-So far, spring has been very good. Lots of rain and crops look good. Spring crops are slowly being put in. Aston-There’s been a little bit of spring wheat seeded. Winter wheat looks good. Benton-DNS planting is in full swing. Spring wheat is coming up. It’s been wet, a far cry ... Read More »

Legislative Update: Governor convenes special session after Legislature adjourns without a supplemental budget

By Diana Carlen WAWG Lobbyist Last night, the Legislature adjourned on the 60th day of the legislative session without passing a supplemental budget. While each chamber had previously passed competing supplemental budget proposals, they could not reach a final agreement by the deadline on how much more to spend for the upcoming year and whether to use the Budget Stabilization ... Read More »