State

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 »

Coalition letter supporting dams goes out to regional legislators

WAWG and the Washington Grain Commission (WGC) have joined more than 40 river stakeholders on a letter sent to the Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana congressional delegations and the governors of all four states. The letter points out that there is no assurance that Idaho fish runs will be restored if the four lower Snake River dams are breached, and ... Read More »

WAWG leader testifies as ‘other’ in ag overtime hearing

Today, Nicole Berg, a farmer from Benton County, a past president of the Washington Association of Wheat Growers and vice president of the National Association of Wheat Growers, testified in a House Labor and Workplace Standards Committee hearing on SB 5172, a bill concerning the retroactivity of overtime in agriculture. Here is her full testimony: Good morning Chair Sells, Ranking Member ... Read More »

State legislative report 03/22: Legislature gets positive economic news

By Diana Carlen WAWG Lobbyist Today marks the 69th day of the 2021 Legislative Session. The Legislature is busy meeting in policy committees, holding public hearings and voting on bills that the opposite chamber approved. Bills need to pass out of their respective policy committees by March 26 to continue to advance through the legislative process. Several major issues must ... Read More »