August 26, 2019
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Washington wheat harvest underway, and producers face low prices

Wheat harvest is chugging along across the Western United States, with varieties like hard red winter wheat mostly socked away in the grain bin in Washington, U.S. Wheat Associates reports. Mid-August prices were $5.98 a bushel for soft white wheat, and $5.20 a bushel for hard red winter wheat, the Spokesman-Review reports.

However, the cost to produce this crop is about $5.50 per bushel, Michelle Hennings of the Washington Association of Wheat Growers told the newspaper.

Farmer Mike Miller said he can’t come up with good news, and he’s an optimist.

“Our wheat is still in demand, but other pressures are influencing the price right now,” Miller told the newspaper. “I don’t know where the floor is on wheat. I have no idea.”

About 90 percent of Washington’s wheat crop is exported. Hennings highlighted the USMCA trade agreement, which has been signed by leaders of Canada, Mexico and the U.S., but needs approval in Congress too.

“It’s important that our trade partners in Japan can see that we can pass and sign a trade agreement with our neighbors,” Hennings said. “We use that to finalize deals with other partners.”

She also mentioned the administration’s approval for billions in federal aid to help farmers in the ongoing trade war.

“We appreciate that the administration realizes that farmers are struggling,” Hennings said, “but these payments are a Band-Aid. We want the trade agreements. The farmers want to sell their wheat, not get payments from the government.”

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Deadline for written comments on draft overtime rule Sept. 6
Support for Ex-Im Bank Grows

In Our View: Congress must reauthorize Ex-Im Bank now

By The Columbian Editorial Board

For 85 years, the federal Export-Import Bank has helped American corporations compete in the global marketplace. Now it is in need of reauthorization from Congress.

In recent years in Clark County, the bank has supported companies such as Conquest Consulting Group, Northwest Natural Products and Neil Jones Food Company. Across Washington, it has supported companies large and small in every region. About 90 percent of businesses that use Ex-Im Bank services are small businesses that provide local jobs and contribute to the local tax base.

The Ex-Im Bank, which provides and guarantees loans to help foreign entities make purchases from U.S. companies, is particularly important in our state, where an estimated 40 percent of all jobs are tied in some fashion to international trade...

Read the full editorial in The Columbian