Current Issues

Grain commissions to combat dam misinformation

From the Capital Press The Pacific Northwest agencies representing grain farmers will unite to take a proactive approach against what they say is misinformation about the value of dams. The Idaho Wheat Commission, Oregon Wheat Commission and Washington Grain Commission made the decision Nov. 11 in Spokane during a tri-state commission meeting. Read the rest of the story here. Read More »

Changes coming to CSP

From Agri-Pulse The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is in the process of fine tuning the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) promising to make it more transparent, simpler to understand and easier to apply for. The interim final changes updating the program in line with the 2014 Farm Bill are in place, but the agency intends to look at ways to ... Read More »

White House posts text of Pacific trade pact

From Agri-Pulse The White House has posted the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, triggering the start of a public review process. The 30 chapters of the TPP agreement include a sanitary and phytosanitary measures section meant to prevent countries from using standards for food safety and animal and plant health as trade barriers. There are other chapters on ... Read More »

Senate backs resolution to get rid of EPA clean water rules

From the Capital Press Despite White House objections, the Senate voted for a resolution Nov. 4 to scrap new federal rules to protect smaller streams, tributaries and wetlands from development and pollution. Senators voted 53-44 in favor of a “resolution of disapproval,” a measure that would void the regulations if also passed by the House and signed by the president. The ... Read More »

Senators forcing vote on WOTUS rule

From Agri-Pulse The Senate could vote as early as next week on a resolution killing the Obama administration’s new rule re-defining what ditches, wetlands and other areas are regulated by the Clean Water Act. Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) announced yesterday that she has gathered enough support for a joint resolution of disapproval to overcome a Democratic filibuster. She didn’t say how many senators supported ... Read More »

Crop insurance cuts reversed

From DTN Plans to make some $3 billion in cuts to the federal crop insurance program in the next eight years were reversed after members of the House Agriculture Committee announced Wednesday an agreement had been made with House leadership to leave the program alone as part of a two-year budget deal. In a press statement issued Wednesday afternoon House ... Read More »

Wheat growers invited to governor’s mansion for planting, baking demonstration

The Washington Association of Wheat Growers’ (WAWG) favorite grain will be taking up residence in a new home today, as Washington State University bread lab graduate students will be planting wheat at the Governor’s mansion in Olympia. On hand to welcome the seeds to their new plot will be Larry Cochran, WAWG President, and Nicole Berg, WAWG Past President. “We ... Read More »

Growers gear up to defend state ag tax preferences

Some of the most helpful tax preferences for farmers and ranchers are up for review in the 2016 Washington state legislative session. Many have received preliminary recommendations from the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee (JLARC) to be further reviewed and clarified. The tax credits for diesel fuel used on farms and for farm machinery replacement parts are among the ... Read More »

Examining the new CRP changes, and what they mean for Washington wheat

By Keva Herron Guszkowski WAWG Policy Director The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is important to many wheat farmers because it helps them address natural resource concerns, such as water and air quality, soil erosion, energy efficiency, sustainable agriculture, wildlife habitat preservation and emergency response for natural disasters. CRP is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency ... Read More »

Panel refuses to consolidate WOTUS lawsuits

From Agri-Pulse In a blow to the Obama administration, a judicial panel has refused to consolidate a series of legal challenges against the new rule re-defining the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act. Advertisement Lawyers for the administration were seeking to move the nine lawsuits, now pending in seven circuit courts, to the District of Columbia. A North Dakota judge ... Read More »