Sandison: Washington Ag Filled with Promise

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While there are many challenges that farmers face in 2018, Washington State Department of Agriculture Direct Derek Sandison says the state’s ag industry is doing well.  He said disappointing commodity prices, as well as trade issues are the two biggest hurdles before growers.  He recently told the Washington Ag Network on the trade front, he’s hopeful for a boost via the 2018 Farm Bill.  Sandison said he would like to see an increase in the trade promotion funding, specifically the Market Access Program.  Currently the USDA spends roughly $200 million on MAP, a figure he would like to see doubled.

“The most important consideration around that around $26-$28 in trade is generated by each dollar of funding spent for the Market Access Program so, it’s been a highly successful program.”

Sandison says the U.S. needs to come up with a resolution to NAFTA right away.  And then shortly after, he would like to see attention move to the TPP.

“Our absence from the partnership and what impact that’s going to have on our ability to trade in the Asia Pacific rim.  I think we’re finding ourselves at a pretty substantial competitive disadvantage with respect to wheat, potatoes, dairy, and beef in particular.”

Sandison said the lack of trade deals is troublesome for Washington and American Ag.

Posted By: Glenn Vaagen on: March 01, 2018

Washington Ag Network

Picture: Derek Sandison – Glenn Vaagen