Crop progress report 04/18: Fieldwork up in Washington with dry soils

From NASS There were 6.8 days suitable for fieldwork, up from 5.9 days reported the previous week. Statewide temperatures for the week ending April 18 were above normal. Western Washington experienced summer-like temperatures. In San Juan county, warm temperatures stimulated pasture growth, and fruit trees were in full bloom. Livestock transitioned to pasture feed, and many CSA farms struggled to ... Read More »

State legislative report 04/18: Can ‘grand bargain’ come together before end of session?

By Diana Carlen WAWG Lobbyist There is only one week remaining in the 2021 Legislative Session. During the final week, the Legislature will continue to focus on reconciling differences between each chamber’s budget proposals, bills that are Necessary to Implement the Budget, and bills on the Concurrence Calendar. Budget negotiators worked over the weekend to finalize their operating, capital and ... Read More »

Stripe rust update 04/16: Pressure low in PNW

From Dr. Xianming Chen On April 13 and 14, we were planting spring cereal nurseries and taking the first notes of the winter nurseries at Mount Vernon on the west side of Washington state. The winter plants were at jointing stage ranging from Feekes 4 to 6. Wheat stripe rust was up to 40 percent severity on susceptible varieties. Barley stripe rust ... Read More »

Effects of carbon regulation on the price of fuel

There’s no question that the various carbon bills being debated by the Washington State Legislature will raise the price of fuel in Washington. The question is how much will the cost of fuel go up? Affordable Fuel Washington has released a graphic that estimates if a cap-and-trade system, a state tax increase and low carbon fuel standard are passed, fuel ... Read More »

WAWG officer testifies against cap and trade program

Andy Juris, secretary/treasurer of the Washington Association of Wheat Growers, testified today in a meeting of the House Environment & Energy Committee on E2SSB 5126, the Climate Commitment Act. Here is his full testimony. Good morning Chair Fitzgibbon and members of the Committee: For the record, my name is Andy Juris.  I am a fourth-generation farmer from Bickleton, Wash.  On ... Read More »

Washington farm groups embrace OT bill, for this season

From the Capital Press The overtime bill that’s likely headed to Gov. Jay Inslee will protect farms from back-pay lawsuits and give farm groups more time to convince the Legislature that time-and-a-half pay after 40 hours will harm farmworkers more than it helps them. The bill, Senate Bill 5172, phases in overtime pay for farmworkers. The threshold will be 40 hours ... Read More »

Crop progress report 04/11: Washington is dry and cold

From NASS There were 5.9 days suitable for field work, down from 7 days reported the previous week. Temperatures throughout the state of Washington for the week ending April 11 were below normal. In San Juan, Island and Skagit counties, nights were very cool with a mix of rain and sunshine. Field work and some planting was done during the ... Read More »

Wheat growers meet with state, federal legislators

Most of the wheat growers’ advocacy trips to Olympia and Washington, D.C., are a whirlwind of activity, hurrying from one appointment to another to fit in as many meetings as possible in just a couple of days. This year’s efforts involved a whole lot less walking but just as much advocacy. Since early March, the leaders and staff of the Washington ... Read More »

Crop progress report 04/05: Wheat looks good but could use rain

From NASS There were 7 days suitable for field work in Washington last week. Temperatures throughout Washington were normal to below normal last week. In San Juan County, cold nights and warmer late afternoons kicked pastures into awakening. Most livestock were still on stored feed. In Snohomish County, hardly any field work happened due to the wet soils. Greenhouses were ... Read More »

Washington farm groups: Low carbon fuel bill better, still bad

From the Capital Press The Senate moved closer last week to adopting a clean-fuels standard, amending legislation to back-up claims that phasing in biofuels would be a boon to farmers. The Ways and Means Committee called for at least one-quarter of the feedstock for biofuels used in Washington to come from Washington. Farm groups sought the guarantee. Even with it, ... Read More »