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 »

Washington farm groups turn against overtime bill

From the Capital Press Washington farm groups are now opposing a Senate bill granting farmworkers time-and-a-half pay after 40 hours in a week, unless the House lifts the threshold to 50 hours for 12 weeks a year. Read the full story here. Read More »

Washington producers expected to plant less winter, more spring wheat in 2021

Wheat producers in Washington are estimated to have 2.33 million total acres planted to wheat in 2021, down slightly from last year. Winter wheat planted acres are expected to total 1.75 million acres for this year, down 3 percent from 2020. Spring wheat acres planted are estimated at 580,000 acres, up 7 percent from last year. Idaho producers expect to ... Read More »

Crop Progress report 03/21: Spring work commences across much of state

From NASS The statewide temperatures in Washington for the month of March were slightly above normal to below normal. In western Washington, the fields were too wet for fieldwork. Grass was putting on new growth. Winter crops were looking good, with the exception of where crops were drowned out from the winter-ponded water. The temperatures were cool. Many operators with ... Read More »

Washington senator’s cap-and-trade claim mystifies farm groups

From the Capital Press A Seattle Democrat called agriculture an “enthusiastic supporter” of cap-and-trade, a claim disputed by several farm groups that say they still oppose the policy because it would raise energy costs. Read the rest of the article here. Read More »

State legislative report 03/27: House committee passes out ag overtime bill

By Diana Carlen WAWG Lobbyist Saturday marked the 76th day of the 2021 Legislative Session. March 26 was the opposite house policy cutoff, meaning that all bills must have passed out of the opposite chamber’s policy committees to remain alive, unless they are considered Necessary to Implement the Budget. The next legislative deadline is fast approaching on April 2, when ... Read More »

Banding together to protect the lower Snake River dams

Breaching is not the solution Nearly 50 agricultural, barge, power and port organizations, along with river pilots, cities, fishermen and exporters based in the Northwest, have signed onto a letter opposing Rep. Mike Simpson’s $34 billion proposal to breach the four lower Snake River dams. The three-page letter, which is being sent to 30 of the region’s politicians, including governors, ... Read More »

PNW wheat industry offers congressman feedback on dam proposal

The wheat organizations of Idaho, Oregon and Washington have collaborated on a letter to Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson offering feedback on his proposal, including clearing up some misconceptions espoused in the plan and in Simpson’s comments since he released it, including the fact that Washington farmers use water from Idaho to “compete” with Idaho farmers. Representative Simpson: On behalf of ... Read More »