Stripe Rust Forecast & Farm Bill Contingency Plans
I'm Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.
One positive thing to come out of the very cold weather experienced throughout much of the state the first part of December should be a reduced amount of stripe rust experienced on susceptible wheat varieties. That's according to Xianming Chen, USDA ARS research geneticist in Pullman, who is forecasting that wheat varieties susceptible to stripe rust will have a 22% yield loss, the lowest level predicted since 2009. In his report earlier this month Chen said that stripe rust was observed in November on volunteer wheat plants near Connell, and a severe stripe rust infection was observed in a field of the winter wheat variety Eltan planted the end of July near Coulee City. Chen says they will check the areas to see if the rust survives the winter. His next forecast will be made in early March.
When asked if there were any contingency plans in place to maintain programs if Congress fails to agree on a farm bill Chris Bieker with the USDA Farm Service Agency had this to say.
BIEKER: We have been reassured that the department and our national office have been preparing for contingencies. Of course, we're keeping in the background and letting Congress do their job and hopefully we'll have that farm bill soon. And when that happens we will be busy writing rules for the programs.
Bieker says that's another good reason they will be conducting listening sessions in February for specialty crop growers.
BIEKER: We can get that input before any rules are written and we can share that then with our national office.
The no-cost listening sessions are February 20 in Mount Vernon at the WSU Research and Extension Center and February 24 at the Port of Chelan Confluence Technology Center in Wenatchee. Attendees are encouraged to register by calling 509-323-3000.
That's Washington Ag Today.
I'm Lacy Gray on the Ag Information Network.