Washington’s drought predicted to extend into second year

From a 09/24/15 Washington State Department of Ecology news release Even though cooler temperatures and fall colors are returning, Washington’s historic drought isn’t over. Not by a long shot. “The recent rains were nice, but we’re not out of the woods yet,” said Director Maia Bellon with the Washington Department of Ecology. “We’re carrying a huge water deficit into this ... Read More »

Washington state to set carbon pollution limits

Today, the Washington Department of Ecology formally began writing a rule that would require the state’s largest polluters to reduce their greenhouse gases. Ecology is considering businesses and organizations that are responsible for producing 100,000 metric tons or more of greenhouse gases be covered under the rule. The types of businesses include: · Natural gas distributors · Petroleum fuel producers ... Read More »

USDA announces 2016 small grains projected prices

Barley and wheat prices available USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) has announced the 2016 projected prices for winter and spring wheat and winter barley for Idaho, Oregon and Washington. These prices are critical for producers evaluating their crop insurance coverage options. RMA also reminds producers of the Sept. 30 deadline for purchasing crop insurance for fall-planted barley with winter coverage ... Read More »

CRP grazing extended for fire, drought victims

From the Capital Press Ranchers in Eastern Washington who have lost grazing ground to drought or wildfire will be able to graze CRP (Conservation Reserve Program) land through Dec. 15, says Judith Olson, state director of the USDA Farm Service Agency in Spokane. That’s welcome news and will help meet the short-term needs of hundreds of ranchers throughout Eastern Washington ... Read More »

USDA releases crop insurance harvest prices for 2015

Small Grains and Canola Revenue Harvest Prices Available USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) today announced approved harvest prices for the 2016 crop year for revenue protection insurance plans within the Common Crop Insurance Policy for wheat, barley, fall canola and rapeseed located in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. For producers who bought either of the revenue protection plans, the harvest ... Read More »

Mid-Columbia agencies asked to push water conservation

From the Tri-City Herald While the effects of this drought are still being felt across the Mid-Columbia, area water officials are urging cities, schools and parks to start preparing for drought conditions next summer. On Wednesday, the subcommittee of the Yakima Integrated Plan Workgroup focused on municipal water use announced that a letter has been sent to 204 public entities ... Read More »

EPA proposes new water quality rule for Washington state

From The Spokesman-Review The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is following through on its promise to propose a new clean-water rule for Washington, in case the state doesn’t come up with its own plan in time. The EPA plans to officially publish its proposed rule in mid-September for public review. It posted details on its website last week. “Our preference is to ... Read More »

USDA announces new malting barley endorsement

Revenue coverage now available for malting barley producers in the Pacific Northwest USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA), recently announced the availability of a new malting barley endorsement to the Small Grains Crop Provisions for the 2016 crop year. The endorsement provides revenue coverage on malting barley and is available in all counties where barley is insured in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and ... Read More »

Mixed crop-livestock systems: Changing the landscape of organic farming in the Palouse

From Grazing livestock may soon be a common sight in the Palouse region of southeastern Washington, usually known for its rolling hills and grain production. Jonathan Wachter, a soil science doctoral student at Washington State University, has been working with a local farm to improve the competitiveness of organic mixed crop-livestock systems and their potential adoption by growers in ... Read More »

Seats vacated as legislators accept appointments elsewhere

There has been some movement in Olympia the last few days as several legislators have resigned positions to accept other offers. Sen. Brian Hatfield (D-Raymond) resigned Sept. 1 to accept a position working for Gov. Inslee as sector lead for rural economic development. On Aug. 31, Rep. Ross Hunter (D-Bellevue) resigned to head the State Department of Early Learning. Hunter ... Read More »