WAWG moves on infrastructure and other topics
March 15, 2013
Housekeeping was the number one priority at this week's WAWG Board of Directors meeting, held in Ritzville. Staff job descriptions, review process and roles and responsibilities were approved. This was a necessary motion in order to keep the infrastructure of the organization strong for future generations. Read more
State Supreme Court rules 2/3 majority law unconstitutional Exemption removal on priority list to pay for education
March 7, 2013
According to state media outlets, political bloggers and nearly anyone associated with Washington state politics, the biggest change in political climate came two weeks ago.
Initiative 1053, which passed in the 2010 midterm election, required a two-thirds vote to raise taxes. The previous law required a simple majority vote in the legislature to raise taxes. Washington citizens have consistently supported initiatives that would make it difficult to raise taxes — most recently this fall when 67 percent of voters approved Initiative 1185, which re-instated Initiative 1053. With a Democratic stronghold in the House of Representatives and Governor’s office, the fragile Majority Coalition Caucus in the Senate is the only thing keeping tax exemption removal and higher taxes at bay.
While Governor Inslee swore not to raise taxes during his election, finding and eliminating certain tax exemptions to help cover education costs may be on his mind.
“The cheering that came from the House Democratic Caucus room this morning was for Gov. Jay inslee,” wrote Brad Shannon of the Olympian. “He was in talking about his agenda and he indicated he plans to lay out a plan in the next couple of weeks to close tax ‘loopholes’ that he says are obsolete in order to raise money for early childhood education and K-12 schools.”
Farmers across the state realize that they have a lot to lose if certain ag exemptions are allowed to sunset or are flat out removed. If farmers had to pay B&O tax (tax on gross revenues), sales tax on inputs and fuel tax, many would be pushed over the edge and out of business.
2013 Preferred varieties listing published
March 14, 2013
These rankings are based on the results of the Genotype and Environment Study (G&E) quality testing conducted by the USDA Western Wheat Quality Laboratory, the Washington State Univeristy Wheat Quality Program, the University of Idaho Wheat Quality Laboratory, and the Oregon State University Cereal Quality Laboratory, including relevant breeding nurseries.
End-use quality determinations were based on results from grain, milling and product quality tests.
The quality scores presented here reflect a minimum of three years’ data in the G&E study, using a reference variety for each class. The scores are reviewed yearly as new data becomes available, and are subject to change. Varieties not listed have not been tested or have less than three years of data. Read more.
TRADE & MARKETS
Millers’ conference not a grind
By Randy Suess, Grain Commissioner
I didn’t have far to travel when I attended the 116th annual International
Association of Operative Millers (IAOM) Conference in May 2012. It was less
than a 60-mile drive from my farm in Colfax to the downtown Convention
Center in Spokane where the event was held.
Attending the 23rd annual IAOM conference for the Middle East and Africa region, however, was a different kettle of fish. Held in Abu Dhabi, the capital and largest city in the United Arab Emirates, it meant flying almost 7,500 miles. Read more