We hope you enjoy this week’s edition of KAWG E-News.
Win Big in Kansas Wheat Yield Contest
Now that the 2017 Kansas wheat crop has received some much-needed rainfall, achieving top yields is on the minds of wheat farmers. With Mother Nature’s help, your best management practices could be just the ticket to earn you a quick $1,750 in cash, if you enter the Kansas Wheat Yield Contest.
The state contest is being held in addition to the National Wheat Yield Contest, which is sponsored by the National Wheat Foundation. Entries for the National Contest are $125 and due by May 1. You must be a member of the state wheat growers association, ages 14 and older, to enter the national contest. The national contest is open to spring and winter wheat, both dryland and irrigated.
Entries for the Kansas Wheat Yield Contest are $50 and due by June 1. The Kansas contest is open to all Kansas wheat farmers, ages 18 and up. Members of the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers receive one free entry in the Kansas contest. The contest is open only to dryland fields in Kansas, planted to certified Hard Red Winter or Hard White winter wheat. (Read more.)
Interested in attending a plot tour? Check out this schedule from the Kansas Wheat Alliance.
REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN TO FOR NATION’S PREMIER NO-TILL CONFERENCE
From No-till on the Plains
Be among the first to sign up to attend the nation’s most popular soil health event. Online registration begins today, May 15, for growers, industry partners and soil health enthusiasts to attend the popular No-till on the Plains Winter Conference. The event, hosted by No-till on the Plains will run Tuesday, January 30, through Wednesday, January 31, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency and Century II Convention Center, Wichita, Kan.
The soil health conference is in its 22nd year and continues to offer international, national and state experts on topics designed to promote soil health. The 2018 Winter Conference features a line-up of no-till experts and top line producers presenting 42 breakout sessions and a special question and answer session with speakers. For the second year a one-day Beginner’s Workshop will precede the Winter Conference. The Agriculture’s Innovative Minds (AIM) Symposium returns again post Winter Conference to cater to the advanced crowd of growers and producers.
Registration for the No-till on the Plains Conference is available now online at http://notill.org/events/22nd-annual-winter-conference. The Winter Conference registration price is $275 through November 30.Registration rates are also available in packages for those who want to attend the Beginner’s Session and the Winter Conference together or the Winter Conference and AIM Symposium in tandem.
World-renowned soil health and grazing expert, Alan Savory, founder and president of the Savory Institute, headlines the conference on January 30. Savory began his career as a research biologist and game ranger in the British Colonial Service, Zambia, South Africa then became a farmer and game rancher in Zimbabwe. In the 1960s he became known for research on the cause of degradation and desertification of the world’s grassland ecosystems. He worked as a resource management consultant, and helped numerous managers on four continents to develop sustainable solutions.
While Savory will provide the keynote and several workshop presentations throughout the Winter Conference, other top producer speakers will present information about soil biology, livestock integration, cropping systems and holistic management. Speakers include; Jimmy Emmons producer from Leedey, Okla; Ray Archuleta, soil specialist with NRCS; Jake Miller, producer from Culbertson, Neb; Jill Clapperton, principal scientist and soils expert from Spokane, Wash. Kan.; Josh Lloyd, producer from Oak Hill, Kan. and Jonathan Lundren, agroecologist from Brookings, S. Dakota. International speakers include Sarah Singla, producer from France and Derek Axten, producer from Saskatchewan, Canada. Biographies for speakers can be found on the No-till on the Plains website, http://notill.org/conference/2018-speakers.
Sponsors for the 2018 Conference are Green Cover Seed, Exapta Solutions and Shellbourne-Reynolds Co.
Marshall questions U.S. Ag Secretary in hearing
From Congressman Marshall
House Ag Committee Holds Hearing on State of the Rural Economy
On Wednesday, May 17, 2017, the House Agriculture Committee held a hearing on the “State of the Rural Economy” with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue testifying. The hearing focused on a variety of issues ranging from crop insurance, the reorganization of the rural development office within the USDA, trade, and more. Secretary Purdue made comments before answering questions from members of the committee.
In his testimony, Secretary Purdue and several members of congress stated support for expanding trade and crop insurance. “We are fortunate to live in a nation where we grow more than we consume and that’s the essence of trade,” Secretary Perdue stated. He highlighted the USDA reorganization which created the Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs which will be responsible for assisting on opening new and protecting current markets as well as working to support interagency efforts with the Secretary of Commerce and U.S. Trade Representative.
On crop insurance, Representative Roger Marshall (KS-1) made note of the recent blizzards in Kansas and stated, “Disasters like the ones we have had in Kansas are prime examples of reasons to have a strong farm safety net”. This sentiment was reiterated by Secretary Purdue and other members of congress. NAWG President, David Schemm commented following the hearing, “Between a rapidly declining market and years of sustained low prices, farmers are having a difficultly getting by, particularly young and beginning farmers who weren’t able to build up reserves during the high price years. Funding in the 2018 Farm Bill must be increased to address the significant reductions in farm prices and income incurred since 2013.”
Other issues of importance addressed during the hearing included support for inland waterway infrastructure updates, broadband internet access in rural areas, and the necessity of the rural development in the nation.
Administration Sends Congress NAFTA Notification Letter
On May 18, 2017, United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer notified Congress that President Trump intends to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In the letter to Congress, Ambassador Lighthizer expresses the Trump Administration’s commitment to concluding the negotiations with timely and substantive results for U.S. consumers, businesses, farmers, ranchers, and workers. Negotiations will begin no earlier than August 16, 2017. President Trump announced the United States’ intention to engage in negotiations related to NAFTA on February 2, 2017. Since then, USTR has begun consultations with committees of jurisdiction in Congress and advisory committees, as outlined by TPA. Text of USTR Letters to Congressional Leadership
U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) issued a joint press release in response to the negotiation letter. In the release, USW and NAWG urge the Administration to use caution. “The U.S. wheat industry welcomes the opportunity for improving the framework for cross border wheat trade between the United States, Canada, and Mexico, but would strongly oppose changes that might limit the current NAFTA’s benefits for wheat farmers and their customers, particularly in the Mexican food processing industries.”
Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee Approved Regulatory Accountability Act
On May 17, 2017, the Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee approved the bipartisan regulatory reform bill introduced by Senators Portman and Heitkamp. Portman and Heitkamp’s Regulatory Accountability Act would reform the federal regulatory process to cut red tape so federal programs operate as intended, and are effective and efficient for those just trying to do their jobs. The measure is based on bipartisan executive orders from the past five presidents, and it would result in a more transparent, accountable regulatory process that would yield more effective regulatory outcomes for American businesses, workers, and their families.
Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) are original cosponsors of the bill. A full summary of the bill can be found here, a comparison between the House and Senate bills here, and the text here.
Next steps are for the bill to move to the Senate floor for consideration – the House passed a similar bill earlier this year. NAWG supports the Regulatory Accountability Act.
USDA Approves Modifications to Margin Protection Plan of Insurance
On Tuesday, May 15, 2017, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) announced greater crop insurance options for farmers against unexpected decreases in their operating margin. Offered through the federal crop insurance program, margin protection insurance for corn, wheat, rice and soybeans will be available in more states and have updates designed to better clarify the real input costs covered beginning in 2018.
NAWG applauds this news and welcomes any effort from the USDA to increase grower access to crop insurance.
EPA Re-Opens Comment Period for Pyrethroids
On November 29, 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the availability of and solicited public comment on the registration review draft risk assessments for a number of pesticide chemicals, including several pyrethroid insecticides listed in Table 1 of Unit II. and the herbicide linuron listed in Table 2 of Unit II. The Agency officially re-opened the comment period until July 7 on its preliminary ecological risk assessment for the class of insecticides, used on a wide variety of food and fruit crops, including apples, almonds, citrus, corn, soybean and alfalfa. The Pyrethroid Working Group has prepared a website to help growers submit comments.
NAWG is working through the Environment and Renewable Resources Committee to develop written comments that will be submitted prior to the deadline.
NAWG Submits Comments to EPA’s Request for Comments on Improving Regulatory Review
On May 15, 2017, NAWG submitted individual and joint comments to EPA’s request for information on re-evaluating existing regulations, Docket number: EPA-HQ-OA-2017-0190. In the comments, NAWG identifies several regulations that we believe deserve re-evaluation and support the broader agriculture community.
WHEAT PRICE STABILIZED AND THEN RALLIED
The wheat price drifted lower to start the week, stabilized the middle part of the week and rallied to close the week. This week’s price action considered a positive for the wheat price. The key for a rally is continuation of the trend on Monday. This is the time of the year when the wheat price can rally ahead of harvest. Wheat producers who normally sell across the scale should consider forward pricing during these rallies.
Our United States Dollar has change price directions. Its high was posted at the beginning of 2017. Selling occurred in waves since then. This week, the June U. S. Dollar Index lost slightly over 200 points. The decrease in the dollar helps move exports out of the United States. Wheat seems to be the grain that benefits the most from a lower dollar.
Wet condition persists across our Southern Plains. A rain event covered this area the last two days. Wind and rainfall is a bad combination for the wheat plants in the western part of Kansas that were damaged during the late April snow event. This added moisture causing rust to spread in a large area of Kansas. Crop dusting airplanes were active to start the week but placed in the hangars at the end of the week. This group will return to the air next week when the skies are clear.
Harvest wheat quality shows low protein across the northern section of Texas for their 2017 wheat crop. This year’s hard red winter wheat harvest is moving into the southern section of Oklahoma. The poor quality and average yields will be monitored. Poor quality is usually a basis issue. Low yields are a price issue.
It is hot and dry across wheat growing areas of China. This weather situation is catching the attention of fundamental wheat traders. China is the second largest wheat producing country.
The start of a pre-harvest wheat rally could have occurred this week. Look for recovery bounce in the wheat price. I recommend to wheat producers to price a portion of your production in the next 10 to 20 days.