Current Issues

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 »

China’s excessive wheat subsidies and other policies increase U.S. farm losses

From U.S. Wheat and the National Association of Wheat Growers Over the past few years, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) have demonstrated how the policies of a few advanced developing countries are distorting world wheat trade and hurting farmers in the United States and other wheat exporting countries. In 2015, an Iowa State ... 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 »

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 »

State Legislative Report March 8

By Diana Carlen WAWG Lobbyist Today is the 57th day of the regular legislative session. Last Friday was another important deadline. It was the last day to consider bills from the opposite house, except initiatives and alternatives to initiatives, budgets and matters necessary to implement budgets. With only four days left of the regular session, the primary focus of the ... Read More »

March 4 stripe rust forecast and update

By Xianming Chen USDA ARS Plant Pathologist Severe stripe rust forecasted for the eastern Pacific Northwest Based on our forecast models using the weather conditions from November 2015 to February 2016, stripe rust will potentially cause yield loss of 53 percent on highly susceptible varieties, indicating an epidemic in the severe (40-60 percent yield loss on susceptible varieties) range. This ... Read More »

State Legislative Report March 1

By Diana Carlen WAWG Lobbyist Last Friday was the deadline for bills to pass out of their policy committees from the opposite chamber. Monday was the deadline for bills to pass out of fiscal committees unless they are bills needed to pass the budget. This Friday, March 4, at 5 p.m. is the last day to pass opposite house bills, except ... Read More »