NAWG, USW Welcome Confirmation of Tai to USTR
On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate voted 98-0 to confirm President Joe Biden’s nominee to serve as U.S. Trade Representative, Katherine Tai, to that post. During her confirmation hearing, Tai said she understands the values and rules that guide global commerce and the importance of enforcing those terms ‘vigorously.’ Following the Senate vote, NAWG and U.S. Wheat Associates issued a joint statement applauding the action. “We appreciate the bipartisan support from the Senate in confirming Ms. Tai to this important position,” said NAWG CEO Chandler Goule. “Fair and clear access to international markets is crucial for U.S. wheat farmers, and we look forward to working with her and her team on taking an aggressive stance on prioritizing agricultural trade efforts.” Click here to see the full release.
Quality Loss Adjustment (QLA) Program Sign-up Deadline Extended
As a reminder, FSA recently announced an extension of the deadline to sign up for the Quality Loss Adjustment (QLA) program to April 9, 2021 and indicated that the agency had clarified policy. The program is intended to provide assistance to growers suffering poor quality as a result of extreme weather conditions in 2018 and 2019. NAWG has been working with other stakeholders on some issues related to the documentation required for the program, and seeking additional information from the agency about the policy clarifications that were noted as having been announced.
GOVERNMENT AND INDUSTRY NEWS
USDA Seeks Public Comment on Climate Strategy
On Monday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a Federal Register notice with the intent of gathering public comment on a climate-smart agriculture and forestry strategy. The process seeks input on four topics: climate-smart agriculture and forestry; biofuels, bioproducts, and renewable energy; catastrophic wildfire; and meeting the needs of disadvantaged communities through USDA’s climate strategy. The Department will be seeking comment through April 30, 2021. At NAWG’s recent annual conference, the organization adopted several policy resolutions regarding climate issues, which will be used as a base for the organization moving forward, including in developing comments for this notice.
Farm Foundation Hosts Webinar on Ag Carbon Markets
The Farm Foundation held a webinar on Tuesday on the current state of ag carbon markets, including the opportunities and challenges for farmers. A recording of the webinar has been made available online here.
USDA Activities to Contain the COVID-19 Pandemic
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has been regularly posting updates on the Departments efforts to follow through on President Biden’s National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness. The overarching plan entails all parts of the federal government contributing resources, including facilities, personnel, and expertise. This link contains a comprehensive overview of the Department of Agriculture’s efforts.
USDA NASS Announces New Soil Moisture Portal
As a reminder, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) announced recently that “Farmers, researchers, meteorologists and others now have access to high resolution NASA data on soil moisture data…” The tool was developed by NASS in collaboration with NASA and George Mason University. More information about this new tool is available here.
NGFA Posts “Grain Bin Safety Saves Lives” Fact Sheet
As a reminder, the National Grain and Feed Association has create a flyer on the importance of adhering to grain bin safety procedures to prevent potential grain engulfments and entanglements. The document is preceded by a cover letter and includes best practices for safe grain bin entry and implores anyone working around grain bins to adhere to basic safety precautions if they find it necessary to entry a bin.
NATIONAL WHEAT FOUNDATION NEWS
REMINDER: The National Wheat Foundation 2021 National Wheat Yield Contest is OPEN
The National Wheat Foundation (NWF) is officially accepting grower enrollment for the 2021 National Wheat Yield Contest! The Contest is divided into two primary competition categories: winter wheat and spring wheat, and two subcategories: dry land and irrigated. The Foundation is accepting entries for Winter and Spring Wheat. The deadline for Winter Wheat entries is May 15th with an early registration deadline of April 1st. The Spring wheat entry deadline is August 1st, with an early registration deadline of June 15th. The wheat contest is administered entirely online, and growers can register at www.yieldcontest.