Current Issues

ITC report shows farmers reaping big gains from TPP

From Agri-Pulse The Trans-Pacific Partnership would reduce the U.S. trade deficit and increate jobs throughout the country, but some of the biggest gains would be for the agriculture sector, according to a U.S. International Trade Commission report released Wednesday evening. The report concludes that if the TPP were implemented agricultural exports would rise by about $7.2 billion per year by 2032. Imports ... Read More »

Agriculture slips off political radar

From the Capital Press In a crowded gymnasium at Skyline High School in Idaho Falls, Idaho, Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders espoused his many positions for more than an hour on a long list of issues. “We’re doing something pretty radical in American politics. We’re telling the truth!” the Vermont senator shouted over the cheers of raucous supporters during the ... Read More »

May 5 stripe rust update

By Xianming Chen Stripe rust has been spreading and developing quickly since the last update on April 13. The disease is now everywhere in the Pacific Northwest. When we took the early season note at Mount Vernon in Skagit County in northwestern Washington on April 18, stripe rust reached 60 percent severity on susceptible winter wheat varieties, as usual for ... Read More »

USDA announces CRP results

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the enrollment of more than 800,000 acres in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). Washington state enrolled a total of 120,530 acres, second only to Iowa, which enrolled 128,212 acres. “The Conservation Reserve Program provides nearly $2 billion annually to land owners—dollars that make their way into local economies, supporting small businesses ... Read More »

USDA official meets with Washington wheat growers

In a roundtable discussion earlier this week, USDA Deputy Under Secretary Alexis Taylor met with a group of wheat growers in Ritzville to discuss trade and other programs. As deputy under secretary, Taylor oversees the Foreign Ag Service, Farm Service Agency and Risk Management Agency. Taylor emphasized the importance of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), explaining it is their number one ... Read More »

April 13 stripe rust update

By Xianming Chen On April 7, I was checking wheat fields in Whitman, Garfield, Walla Walla and Franklin counties of Washington and Umatilla County of Oregon. Winter wheat ranged from Feekes 4 to 8 and was generally in good condition. Stripe rust was found in several fields of Garfield, Franklin and Walla Walla counties in low prevalence and severity. In ... Read More »

House ag subcommittee marks up spending bill

From the National Association of Wheat Growers Yesterday, the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee completed its markup of the FY 2017 Agriculture Appropriations bill and passed it to the full committee, which is expected to take it up next week. The bill provides $21.3 billion in discretionary spending, which is $451 million below the FY 2016 enacted level and $281 million below ... Read More »

NRCS excludes buckwheat from cover crop mixes

From the Capital Press The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently excluded buckwheat from cover crop mixes in or near wheat fields across the U.S. The USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service recently announced the change, requiring state offices in Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming to update their seeding recommendations to exclude ... Read More »

March 31 stripe rust update

By Xianming Chen Last week, we were checking wheat fields in Whitman, Lincoln, Adams and Franklin counties in Eastern Washington. Winter wheat ranged from Feekes 2 to 6. With the good moisture in March, most wheat fields looked good. In Whitman County, stripe rust was not observed in all fields, except one field close to the Adams border. In contrast, ... Read More »

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 »