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 »

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 »

County updates from March state board meeting

County reports from yesterday’s state board meeting in Ritzville: Adams-So far, spring has been very good. Lots of rain and crops look good. Spring crops are slowly being put in. Aston-There’s been a little bit of spring wheat seeded. Winter wheat looks good. Benton-DNS planting is in full swing. Spring wheat is coming up. It’s been wet, a far cry ... 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 »

Publication has Washington agribusiness focus

From small Washington Agribusiness: Status and Outlook 2016 is the inaugural issue of a new annual publication. Produced by WSU economic sciences faculty, it examines the opportunities and challenges facing Washington agriculture. Each issue will come out in January and will provide an update on Washington’s major sectors, including wheat and barley, specialty crops, tree fruit, beef, and dairy, as ... 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 »

Change of administrative county deadline for ARC-County extended

Earlier this year, the Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced producers participating in the Agriculture Risk Coverage County Option (ARC-CO) would have an opportunity to request a change of FSA administrative county for your farm. The deadline to request the transfer is now April 15, 2016. FSA bases a farm’s payments for the Agriculture Risk Coverage County (ARC-CO) program on county data ... Read More »

Washington snowpack melting faster than wanted

From the Capital Press Washington’s mountain snowpack is much greater in than it was a year ago, but warm weather and a lack of significant snowfall in February mean it will melt sooner than desired. Statewide snowpack was 99 percent of normal on March 1, down from 109 percent on Feb. 1 and 120 percent on Jan. 1, said Scott ... Read More »