Current Issues

Wheat industry looks for new NAFTA opportunities, but priority remains do no harm

U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) urge caution today as the Trump Administration officially submitted to Congress its notice of intent to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The U.S. wheat industry welcomes the opportunity for improving the framework for cross border wheat trade between the United States, Canada and Mexico, but ... Read More »

Weather still conducive for stripe rust

By Dr. Xianming Chen May 5, 2017 On May 2-3, we were planting spring nurseries and taking stripe rust notes in Mount Vernon (Skagit County), Wash. Winter wheat ranged Feekes 5 to 7. As usual, wheat stripe rust developed up to 40 percent severity on susceptible varieties. Barley stripe rust was found only in two rows of the same susceptible check ... Read More »

Legislator hears growers’ concerns on farm bill priorities

Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers took the opportunity in mid-April, while Congress was in Easter recess, to hold a farm bill listening session with growers in Colfax, Wash. “Most of you are aware that the farm bill is up to be reauthorized in 2018, and this is intended to be an initial conversation about the farm bill,” McMorris Rodgers said, ... Read More »

Governor signs DNR lease bill

In mid-April, legislation prompted by a dispute between dryland wheat farmers and the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) was signed into law by Gov. Jay Inslee. SSB 5051 requires DNR to provide at least 180 days notice before terminating an agriculture or grazing lease. DNR must also provide documentation that the state has a plan to sell, exchange ... Read More »

Legislative update: Special session continues

From Diana Carlen WAWG Lobbyist We are in the second week of the special session. The only major legislative activity last week was a hearing in the Senate on the House Democratic tax package. Senate Republicans, who oppose the taxes, nevertheless brought the tax package up for a hearing in Senate Ways and Means Committee to get House Democrats to either ... Read More »

Proposed budget has several provisions impacting wheat

From NAWG Last night, congressional leaders announced an agreement to fund the government through the remainder of FY 2017 (through September 30, 2017).  The full bill text of the agreement can be found here, and the report language for the Agriculture Appropriations bill (which provides explanations and some more details about the funding bill than is in the bill text) ... Read More »

Legislative update: Governor calls special session

From Diana Carlen WAWG Lobbyist Washington’s regular legislative session came to an end on Sunday, April 23, 2017, without completing its main job—agreeing on a two-year budget. While each chamber had previously passed competing budget proposals, they did not reach a final agreement by the regular session deadline. Governor Inslee called lawmakers back immediately for a 30-day special session starting ... Read More »

Funding request made to House appropriations committee

After months of planning and work, the wheat commissions and associations from Washington, Oregon and Idaho have formally submitted a request to the federal House appropriations committee for $1 million in funding to the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) to research a test for falling numbers (FN) and $2 million for Agriculture and Food Research Initiative grants to research FN impacts ... Read More »

WAWG request to extend final plant date not accepted by RMA

With current field conditions hindering the spring planting season, the Washington Association of Wheat Growers (WAWG) requested an extension of the final plant date through the Risk Management Agency (RMA). WAWG’s request would have delayed the 1% per day reduction in guarantee by 10 days to allow time for field conditions to improve. RMA has denied the request in a letter dated April ... Read More »

Legislative update: Budget negotiations to take center stage

By Diana Carlen WAWG Lobbyist Yesterday marked the 100th day of the 2017 Legislative Session. Another important legislative deadline occurred last week, in which all bills must have passed out of both chambers to remain “alive” unless they are deemed necessary to implement the budget. While the 2017 Legislative Session is scheduled to end on April 23, it is a foregone ... Read More »