February 9, 2021
MN Wheat Weekly Update
National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) Update
NAWG Joins Coalition in Communicating Transportation Issues
- On February 2, 2021, the Agricultural Transportation Working Group, a coalition of 71 national-level food, agricultural and related associations including NAWG, sent the newly confirmed Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg a letter outlining major transportation policies to enhance the efficient transport of agricultural and food products.
New Senate Agriculture Committee Members Named
- On Wednesday, the Senate approved an organizing resolution, enabling the Chamber and Committees to formally organize for the 117th Congress. On the Senate Agriculture Committee, Senator Casey (D-PA) will be coming off and the following new Senators will join other existing Committee Members: Sens. Marshall (R-KS), Tuberville (R-AL), Lujan (D-NM), Warnock (D-GA), and Booker (D-NJ).
2021 NAWG/USW Annual Conference, February 22-25, 2021
- Due to COVID-19, NAWG has combined its Winter Conference and annual meeting at Commodity Classic into one Annual Conference. The 2021 NAWG/USW Annual Conference will be a hybrid event. For a copy of the agenda, to book your housing, and to register, visit NAWG’s website here
Bayer Announces Roundup Update
Yesterday Bayer announced an update related to the Roundup litigation. The company has reached a formal agreement with plaintiffs’ class counsel on a class plan designed to manage and resolve future Roundup cases. Bayer has indicated the class is meant to be one part of a holistic solution intended to provide further closure to the Roundup litigation. As part of the agreement, Bayer would be committed to pay up to $2 billion, provision for which was made and disclosed last year, to support the claims and programs covered by the class plan. The motion for preliminary approval was to be filed yesterday. The class is subject to court approval. The full class plan agreement can be found here. Bayer has indicated that this announcement does not make any changes in the availability of their glyphosate-based products.
US Wheat Associates, Weekly Price Report – Claire Hutchins
- Technical selling pressured all wheat futures prices week-over-week. CBOT soft red winter (SRW) futures fell 22 cents to end at $6.41/bu. KCBT hard red winter (HRW) futures lost 13 cents to close at $6.25/bu. MGE hard red spring (HRS) futures fell 7 cents to end at $6.26/bu. CBOT corn futures gained 1 cent to close at $5.48/bu. CBOT soybean futures lost 3 cents to end at $13.67/bu.
- View the most recent USW Commercial Sales report here.
Industry Updates – MN Farm Bureau Federation IMPACT
State Legislative Update: Agriculture Committee Activities
- Both the House and Senate Agriculture committees heard presentations this week from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture on proposed budget changes.
- The proposed agency budget outlined before committees included a 3% increase to MDA’s base budget.
- MFBF expects to see proposals from Rep. Sundin, chair of the House Agriculture and Food committee and Sen. Westrom, chair of the Senate Agriculture committee once the February Budget Forecast is released.
Farm Bureau Works to Clarify South Africa Travel Ban
- The U.S. State Department clarified its ban on non-citizens entering the United States from South Africa. A Biden administration proclamation suspended travel from several countries due to COVID-19 concerns. The State Department clarified that agriculture workers entering the U.S. qualify for national interest exceptions on a case-by-case basis.
- The American Farm Bureau Federation sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Acting Homeland Security Secretary David Pekoske earlier this week requesting an exemption for South African farm labor.
- President Biden’s proclamation allows for non-citizens to be exempt from the ban if their arrival is in the national interest. Food and agriculture workers have been deemed essential during the pandemic.
Other Items of Interest
UofM Covid Survey for MN Growers
We continue to hear from members about ways the pandemic is affecting your daily work and livelihoods. In this unprecedented and challenging time, the value of your work has never been more evident. It is with this in mind that we ask for your assistance. The University of Minnesota and University of Wisconsin-Madison, as part of a multi-regional study funded by the USDA, have created a survey to assess and quantify the impacts of the COVID-19 on the farm and food communities in our two-state region. The survey includes questions about production, income, financing, staffing, procurement, distribution and sales. The survey results will help researchers, community groups and policymakers establish a roadmap for moving forward.
The survey should take about 20 minutes and should be completed by an owner/manager who is currently in business or who had to shut their doors as a result of the pandemic. As a token of appreciation, survey participants will be able to opt into a drawing for a $200 gift certificate.
Click here to take the survey.