Regulation

Ag under pressure

By Trista Crossley
Editor

Last month, Washington Association of Wheat Growers (WAWG) Past President Andy Juris joined a roomful of agricultural stakeholders to examine how the regulatory burden affects Washington state farms. Juris participated on a panel at the 2024 Washington State Agricultural Viability Conference in Kennewick, Wash. The Washington State Department of Agriculture…

Riparian buffers coming to watershed

By Trista Crossley
Editor

Nine farmers in the Hangman Creek Watershed are taking part in a pilot program that, if successful, has the potential to help solve a major water quality conundrum: installing riparian buffers without breaking producers’ bottom lines. The Hangman Creek Riparian Restoration and Conservation Program is funded by the Washington State…

Family ‘frustrated’ with agency actions

By Trista Crossley
Editor

Shelly Haas is one of the landowners signed up for the Hangman Creek Riparian Restoration and Conservation Program, but she and her husband, Jim, aren’t very happy about it. The program is funded by the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) and managed by the Spokane Conservation District. The program…

Farmer has high hopes for buffer program

By Trista Crossley
Editor

Cary Janson was one of the first farmers to sign up for the Hangman Creek Riparian Restoration and Conservation Program. The Janson farm runs between Latah and Tekoa, and quite a bit of their ground is along the creek. Janson said he didn’t have any reservations about giving up farming…

Pain at the pump

By Trista Crossley
Editor

Most Washingtonians are feeling some pain at the pump, but many growers are seeing red, as their on-farm fuel bills are costing thousands more than they should. The culprit is legislation, passed in 2021 and put into action in January 2023, that promised to exempt fuel used on the farm…

wheat field

Riparian buffer taskforce report released

By Trista Crossley
Editor

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s riparian taskforce’s final report was released in December and contains a number of recommendations developed through discussions by a wide variety of stakeholders, including wheat industry representatives. Michelle Hennings, executive director of the Washington Association of Wheat Growers (WAWG); Ben Adams, past president of WAWG and…

Watershed work update

By Trista Crossley
Editor

This year, water quality work in the Hangman Creek Watershed was marked by two reports released by the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology): the “Nutrients and Sediment Pollutant Source Assessment, 2018,” that was released in May, and the “Hangman Settlement Agreement 2021 Annual Report,” released in August. Both documents…

DNR mapping potential solar farm sites

By Trista Crossley
Editor

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is in the final stages of mapping their Eastern Washington properties for potential solar farm development. Lessees who might be impacted have been notified by postcard. According to Dever Haffner-Ratliffe, DNR’s Clean Energy Program manager, the goal of the mapping project is…

wheat field

Ag overtime rules: Is there a workable solution?

By Jared King
CPA, Leffel, Otis & Warwick, P.S.

For many farmers in Washington state, paying their employees overtime pay has not been required in the past. No matter how long the day, employees earned their hourly pay rate. It was simple, convenient and predictable for the farmer and the employee. However, a November 2020 Washington Supreme Court case…

Chad Kruger, director at the Washington State University Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources, gave a break-out presentation on carbon offset markets at the 2021 Tri-State Grain Growers Convention in December.

Coolish on carbon

By Trista Crossley
Editor

At December’s 2021 Tri-State Grain Growers Convention, two break-out sessions tried to clear the air concerning carbon markets. Shelby Swain Myers, an economist from the American Farm Bureau, looked at the developing national carbon market programs, while Chad Kruger, director at the Washington State University (WSU) Center for Sustaining Agriculture…