State legislative report Jan. 27

By Diana Carlen WAWG Lobbyist Week 2 of the legislative session was busy with public hearings on legislation. The first legislative deadline is Feb. 5, 2016, when all policy bills must make it out of their policy committees. Tim Eyman’s I-1366 Latest Initiative Ruled Unconstitutional Last Thursday, a King County Superior Judge ruled I-1366 unconstitutional and voided it. I-1366, approved ... Read More »

House bill proposes option to Washington Ecology’s manure rules

From the Capital Press A dairy industry-backed House bill introduced Friday proposes that the Washington Department of Agriculture help develop an alternative to manure-handling rules expected soon from the state’s ecology agency. House Bill 2840 wouldn’t stop the Department of Ecology from issuing those rules, which dairy lobbyists contend could be a financially crushing combination of state and federal laws. ... Read More »

Idaho wheat industry, Limagrain partnership producing results

From the Capital Press When Idaho wheat industry leaders announced a public-private partnership with one of the world’s leading seed companies in 2012, they said the relationship would result in better varieties for Pacific Northwest growers. Less than four years later, that is happening. Read the rest of the story here. Read More »

Regional wheat harvest posts gains in 2015

From the Union-Bulletin Despite droughts and wildfires, Walla Walla and Columbia county’s wheat harvests both showed gains last year. According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, although harvested acres dropped slightly between 2014 and 2015, Walla Walla County’s total wheat production rose to 12.83 million bushels in 2015, a 3.5 percent increase over 2014, which posted a figure of 12.39 ... Read More »

Carbon initiative key issue as lawmakers reconvene in Olympia

Here’s a look at another carbon reduction proposal set to go before lawmakers in Olympia or possibly be voted on by the public. From KPLU How to limit the carbon pollution that causes climate change and global warming is a key issue as lawmakers get going in Olympia this week. Dozens of legislative proposals have been submitted on the topic, ... Read More »

Washington state legislators honored by NAWG

The National Association of Wheat Growers has honored three members of Washington state’s federal delegation and one staffer for their support of the U.S. wheat industry. All the awards are given to people who have demonstrated support for the industry above and beyond the norm. Sen. Maria Cantwell has been named the 2015 Wheat Leader of the Year. The Wheat Leader ... Read More »

Carbon Corner: Regulation nation—Gov. Inslee’s Clean Air Rule

This week, under direction from Gov. Inslee, the Washington State Department of Ecology released draft language for the new carbon reduction plan for the state. The plan does not directly regulate agriculture, but you can expect it to indirectly raise the the cost of fuel, electricity, food processing and fertilizer in addition to stifling Washington’s economy. The plan names 70 ... Read More »

Lawmakers: 2016 will be another year of education focus

From the Yakima Herald Washington state lawmakers say 2016 really will be the year they focus on reforming the way the state pays for education. At The Associated Press Legislative Preview on Thursday, House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan said the Legislature is under pressure from both the courts and state law to finally resolve the complicated budget issues at the ... Read More »

Ecology releases draft rule to cap carbon emissions

Today, the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) released its draft Clean Air Rule to limit carbon pollution. Organizations that emit 100,000 metric tons or more of greenhouse gases in the state would be required to reduce their carbon emissions 5 percent every three years beginning in 2017. Besides gradually reducing their carbon pollution, organizations could meet their reduction goals ... Read More »

Washington drought losses estimated at $336 million…and counting

From the Capital Press Washington farmers lost at least $336 million to the drought last summer, a preliminary estimate likely to climb as more figures on yields and prices became available, according to a report by the state Department of Agriculture. The report estimated specific dollar losses for only a handful of crops — wheat, apples, blueberries and red raspberries. Read ... Read More »