State

WSU dryland research station assess damage after Lind fire

From the Capital Press Washington State University researchers are assessing the losses after a wildfire burned a portion of the dryland research station. The fire started shortly before 11 a.m. June 27, east of Lind, about half a mile away from the station. It burned a total of 2,100 acres. Read the rest of the story here. Read More »

Crop progress report 07/04: Hot temps continued throughout Washington

From NASS There were 7 days suitable for field work, unchanged from the previous week. Statewide temperatures for the week ending July 4 were above normal. In San Juan County, dry conditions and a historic heat wave sparked the area. Soil moisture continued to decline. All crop conditions in nonirrigated areas suffered. Crops on limited irrigation were kept viable through ... Read More »

Virtual advocacy doesn’t make the same connection

By Michelle Hennings WAWG Executive Director The first half of this year has been a challenge, to say the least, both professionally and personally. I’m normally a very social person, and not being able to interact and converse face to face with family, friends and coworkers due to COVID-19 has been really tough. The one positive from the whole ordeal ... Read More »

Crop progress report 06/27: Historic high temps reported throughout Washington

From NASS There were 7 days suitable for field work, up from 6.7 the previous week. Statewide temperatures for the week ending June 27 were above normal. In San Juan County, most farms were successful at starting early harvests of haylage. Some vegetable crops suffered due to the heat wave, even with adequate irrigation. Caneberries began to size up and ... Read More »

As drought deepens, no declaration planned in Washington

From the Capital Press The Washington Department of Ecology has no plans to move forward with declaring a drought, as Eastern Washington bakes and wheat farmers harvest smaller crops. Ecology drought coordinator Jeff Marti acknowledged Friday that dry-land wheat farmers are being “hammered” by the second-driest spring in state history followed by heat waves. A drought declaration, however, won’t bring ... Read More »

Washington proposes wildfire smoke rule twice as strict as California’s

From the Capital Press Washington regulators are proposing farms alter schedules or hand out masks to filter wildfire smoke even if the air quality remains at a level the Environment Protection Agency calls “acceptable.” The rule could be in place by the end of June and would be triggered when the federal Air Quality Index reaches 69, on a scale ... Read More »

Washington farmers spotlight drought in local, national media

They say a picture is worth 1,000 words, but a combination of both brought a big spotlight on the drought conditions in Eastern Washington and highlighted how important crop insurance is to farmers. In June, Nicole Berg, a grower in Benton County and vice president of the National Association of Wheat Growers, sent out photographs of a coat hanger in ... Read More »

Crop progress report 06/20: Rising temperatures throughout Washington

From NASS There were 6.7 days suitable for field work, down from 7 days the previous week. Statewide temperatures for the week ending June 20 were normal to above normal. In San Juan County, pastures continued to dry, and grasses booted. Berry crops sized up and continued to bloom. In Snohomish County, the ground moisture was low. Poorly drained fields ... Read More »

Wheat leaders send letter asking governor to make a drought declaration

Grower leaders from the Washington Association of Wheat Growers (WAWG) and the Washington Grain Commission (WGC) have sent a letter to Washington Gov. Jay Inslee asking him to announce a drought declaration in wheat counties so growers will have access to federal natural disaster aid. The letter comes as drought conditions deepen across the state. As of June 15, all or ... Read More »

Severe Droughts Require Action to Avoid a Food Crisis

From bayer.com Marci Green is desperately waiting for rain. “If we get rains in June, we might be able to save the season,” she says, looking out of the window and letting her eyes wander over the fields surrounding her family farm in eastern Washington State. It’s late May and the region has experienced “pretty serious” droughts as Marci reports. ... Read More »