Increasing Exports & Drought Relief Program
by Lacy Gray
Program: Washington Ag Today
Date: June 01, 2015
I’m Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.
Washington Farm Bureau’s John Stuhlmiller recently returned from D.C. where he and other ag industry leaders met with Senate and House members and administration officials to discuss the importance of Trade Promotion Authority in making trade agreements, and the ability to efficiently and quickly export product.
STUHLMILLER: So you get these agreements we’ve got to be able to ship through ports out; so the slowdown was also a very big deal. Just recently we saw that the ILW workers union approved that agreement so the ports have that agreement in place for five years; we still have to keep things moving in the longer term. So we were talking about, if you will, security of our infrastructure and the ability to move product out. So from an agriculture position we’ve got to not only be able to get the product to market, so having railroads, truck, and barge getting to ports, but ports that can handle the volume that we need to ship. And we’re being told that we need to increase our exports, so to increase exports you’ve got to have more capacity, and it’s got to be timely.
The state Department of Ecology recently hosted a workshop to help Yakima Basin farmers who hold junior water rights learn whether they qualify for a temporary emergency groundwater permit allowing well water to supplement their irrigation supply under a cost-share drought response program. Authorized only through the drought declaration period the program would allow farmers who qualify to pump enough water to bring them up to 70 percent of their district’s normal water supply. On May 20 junior water right holders were projected to receive only 44 percent of their normal allocation this irrigation season. For more information on the application process contact the Department of Ecology.
That’s Washington Ag Today.
I’m Lacy Gray with the Ag Information Network of the West.