NAWG Signs on to Coalition Letter re Additional COVID-19 Funding
On July 9, 2020, NAWG joined several agriculture organizations in sending a letter to Senate and House leadership regarding additional COVID-19 aid. In the letter, the groups state that “as Congress develops and debates additional bipartisan legislation in response to COVID-19 and the resulting impacts to workers and the economy, the economic losses persisting across U.S. agriculture must be addressed in the legislation and in future assistance provided by USDA. The economic losses across the U.S. agriculture sector are broad‐based, directly impacting farmers and ranchers and their supply chain partners – from input providers to end users.” Read the letter in its entirety here.
House Appropriations Committee Passes FY21 Ag Bill
Today, the House Appropriations Committee voted to advance its version of a Fiscal Year 2021 Agriculture Appropriations bill. This bill includes several NAWG and NWIC’s research priorities, including funding for the U.S. Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative, Small Grain Genomics, Soft Wheat Falling Numbers Test Research, Crop Degradation, and the Genome to Phenome program. Additional resources were also allocated for U.S. Food Aid Programs and Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network. While the Senate has yet to unveil its version of a FY2021 Agriculture Appropriations bill, it has been reported the full House of Representatives could vote on this bill in late July.
Additional Commodities Eligible for CFAP
On July 9, 2020, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced an initial list of additional commodities that have been added to the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) made other adjustments to the program based on comments received. Producers of durum and hard red spring wheat were originally included CFAP while hard red winter, soft red winter, and white wheat classes are not. NAWG submitted comments to USDA urging the Agency to include these additional classes in CFAP. This initial list of additional commodities continues to leave out hard red winter, soft red winter, and white wheat classes. the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) is continuing to press USDA to provide assistance for all classes of wheat. NAWG is continuing to work with USDA on this issue and to ensure that all classes of wheat is included in any aid for the 2020 crop losses.
U.S. Wheat Organizations Welcome USMCA Entry into Force
On July 1, 2020, the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) crossed its final hurdle to entry as the three countries certify the agreement’s “entry into force.” This final step means that all required legislative and regulatory changes needed to implement the agreement have been put into place or are scheduled to take effect. Read NAWG’s and U.S. Wheat Associates’ joint release here: https://bit.ly/2YOhV29.
Farmers for Free Trade: USMCA Roundtable
On June 30, 2020, one day prior to the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) entered into force, a virtual roundtable was hosted by Farmers for Free Trade to discuss the importance of USMCA to farmers, rural communities and ag exports. The roundtable was comprised of 12 participants including Dave Milligan, President of the National Association of Wheat Growers President. Milligan commented on the importance of our trade relationship with Mexico as one of the largest purchasers of U.S. wheat, as well as the improvements to the wheat quality grading system in Canada that will be implemented in USMCA.
Former NAWG Intern Joins ASTA
The American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) recently announced that it has hired Lainey Wolf as its new International Programs Coordinator. Wolf previously interned for NAWG during the fall of 2019 under the Texas A&M Internship Program.
Major Oat Buyer To Ban Pre-Harvest Glyphosate
Starting next year, Richardson International will no longer purchase oats that have been sprayed with pre-harvest glyphosate. Richardson informed producers of its new policy last month in an email to oat growers in Western Canada. Read more in The Western Producer.
Bayer Remains Committed to RoundupTM Settlement
On July 8, 2020, Bayer announced its decision to withdraw the pending motion for the preliminary proposal for resolving future lawsuits over whether its Roundup weed killer causes cancer. Bayer reassured that it remains committed to a resolution and stated, “Mass tort settlement agreements like this are complex and may require some adjustments along the way, but the company continues to believe that a settlement on appropriate terms is in the best interest of Bayer and all of its stakeholders.”
Select Committee Democrats Release ‘Solving The Climate Crisis’, A Congressional Roadmap For Ambitious Climate Action
On Tuesday, June 30th, Democratic members of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis unveiled a comprehensive plan titled “Solving the Climate Crisis: The Congressional Action Plan for a Clean Energy Economy and a Healthy, Resilient, and Just America.” The report lays out the Climate Crisis Action Plan, full of detailed, ambitious and actionable climate solutions that Congress should enact to benefit American families in communities across the nation. For more details, read the press release here.
EPA Working to Enhance and Strengthen Their Partnership with Farmers and Ranchers
Actively working towards strengthening their relationships with farmers and ranchers, EPA welcomed over 650 farmers and ranchers from across the country to visit EPA Headquarters and launched the Smart Sectors program to hear firsthand information from a variety of sectors, including agriculture. EPA has also reinstated the Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Committee to provide valuable input on how EPA’s decisions impact rural America. Lastly, Administrator Wheeler signed EPA’s first-ever agreement in the agency’s history with the National FFA Organization to cultivate partnerships with the next generation of farmers.
National Agricultural Statistics Service
On June 30, 2020, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released an Acreage report after surveying nearly 71,000 farm operators during the first two weeks of June to gather information on what farmers actually planted. Total wheat planted is estimated at 44.3 acres, down 2% from 2019. This represents the lowest all wheat planted area on record since records began in 1919.
U.S. Wheat Associates Publishes Second Farm Family Video
U.S. wheat farm families grow six distinct classes of wheat across the diverse landscape of the United States. These farm families take great care in producing high quality wheat in a sustainable way to honor their family legacies and ensure greater value for their customers. The first of several videos highlighting a U.S. wheat farm family has been published, featuring the Goyings family farm in Ohio. Learn more about U.S. wheat farm families here.
Participate in FFAR’s Research Survey
The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) is currently seeking external peer reviewers for their 2020 grant program Accelerated Crop Breeding Tools. FFAR seeks your expertise and knowledge to build unique partnerships that advance innovative research to address challenges in agriculture and food supply. Please consider supporting FFAR’s efforts through a 2-minute survey.
USFRA Rebrands Itself
Effective July 8th, 2020, U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance name has changed to U.S. Farmers & Ranchers in Action to reflect the new organization’s status as a 501c3. During a board meeting in November 2019, the USFRA board of directors voted to move the organization’s activities from the prior 501c6 to a 501c3 charitable organization. This required USFRA to rebrand itself to avoid confusion between the two organizations. In March, the board of directors adopted the 501c3 organization’s new name – U.S. Farmers & Ranchers in Action. The new name allows USFRA to keep its well-known acronym, and further emphasizes the organization’s belief that the actions of farmers and ranchers are crucial in building sustainable food systems of the future. The new name was announced externally on July 8, along with the announcement of the new website.
Voichoskie Joins Rural Radio Network
Wilcox, Nebraska, native Alex Voichoskie has officially joined the Rural Radio Network broadcast team following her graduation from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln (UNL). A familiar face and voice to many listeners and viewers, she first joined the Nebraska Rural Radio Association (NRRA) as an intern in the spring of 2018.
Robinson is New NAFB Member
Will Robinson (Brownfield Network, Jefferson City, Missouri) is proud to be a new member of the NAFB Broadcast Council. He grew up on a swine farm outside of Wellsville, Missouri, 70 miles west of St. Louis.
NAFB Photo Contest – Deadline Sept. 30th
The National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) is accepting entries for its 2021 NAFB Membership Directory cover photo contest. The winning entry will receive $100. Entries will be accepted from June 1, 2020, and ending September 30, 2020. To review contest information or to enter your photo(s), please click here.
2021 Commodity Classic Silver Celebration Schedule Announced
America’s largest farmer-led, farmer-focused agricultural and educational experience plans to celebrate its 25th anniversary March 4-6, 2021 in San Antonio, Texas. The preliminary schedule for the 2021 Commodity Classic has been posted. More details will be posted as they become available. Registration and housing for the 2021 Commodity Classic will open in mid-November. While the trade show floor is sold out, applications are currently being accepted for the wait list.
NATIONAL WHEAT FOUNDATION NEWS
2020 National Wheat Yield Contest
Registration for Spring Wheat – Deadline August 1st
On February 18, 2020, the National Wheat Foundation officially opened the 2020 National Wheat Yield Contest! The Contest is divided into two primary competition categories: winter wheat and spring wheat, and two subcategories: dryland and irrigated. The Foundation is currently accepting entries for the Spring Wheat category. The deadline to submit is August 1st.