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 »

State Legislative Report March 1

By Diana Carlen WAWG Lobbyist Last Friday was the deadline for bills to pass out of their policy committees from the opposite chamber. Monday was the deadline for bills to pass out of fiscal committees unless they are bills needed to pass the budget. This Friday, March 4, at 5 p.m. is the last day to pass opposite house bills, except ... Read More »

Washington goes farther than Feds on sage grouse

From the Capital Press The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission has affirmed state-protected status for the greater sage grouse, exasperating agriculture groups that argue the state’s inventory of endangered and threatened species shouldn’t include wide-ranging species not on the federal list. Washington’s list of 53 endangered, threatened or sensitive species includes 16 not protected by the Endangered Species Act. The ... Read More »

Summary of Washington State’s proposed supplemental budgets

Compiled by Diana Carlen WAWG Lobbyist House Proposal House Democrats released their proposed supplemental budget early this week and voted it off the floor Thursday by a vote of 50-47.  The House proposal raises teacher starting salaries from $35,000 to $40,000 per year and offers teachers a $650 annual bonus for continuing professional certification. The budget proposes paying for salary ... Read More »

WAWG helps fund study quantifying impact of West Coast port slowdowns

The Washington Association of Wheat Growers (WAWG) joined with other stakeholder groups, including the Washington Grain Commission, to fund a study on the economic impacts of the last year’s West Coast ports slowdown on Washington State businesses. According to the study, which was released in late February, between October 2014 and March 2015, slowdowns at West Coast ports cost Washington ... Read More »

Washington wheat farmer appointed to USDA task force on air quality

Brian Cochrane, a dryland wheat farmer from Franklin County, has been appointed by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to take part in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Air Quality Task Force. “I feel honored and humbled to be selected for the Agricultural Air Quality Task Force,” Cochrane said. “I have been looking for a way to impact the ... Read More »

State Legislative Report Feb. 23

By Diana Carlen WAWG Lobbyist The list of active bills has been further narrowed after the deadline for bills to pass their house of origin was reached last Wednesday. Policy committees have resumed public hearings on legislation from the opposite house. The next deadlines are Friday, Feb. 26, when bills must get out of their policy committee and Monday, Feb. 29, ... Read More »