NAWG Staff Provides Update to South Dakota Wheat, Inc. Board
NAWG staff gave an update to the South Dakota Wheat, Inc., board of directors this week. The update highlighted NAWG’s 2021 policy priorities, including farm support programs, trade & market access, and conservation, sustainability & regulatory policy, and an overview of the recent proposed rail merger involving Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern.
Michigan Wheat Growers Support Marketing Program
A referendum to continue the Michigan Wheat Program for an additional five years was overwhelmingly approved by Michigan wheat producers. The vote passed with 91 percent of production and 85 percent of the popular vote. The purpose of the program is to promote production, marketing, and utilization of wheat on behalf of Michigan farmers and is funded by wheat farmers. Read the press release here.
GOVERNMENT AND INDUSTRY NEWS
House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee Holds Hearing on USDA
On April 14th, the House Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies held a hearing on the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack testified on the Administration’s priorities for USDA for the upcoming year. Watch the hearing and read Secretary Vilsack’s written testimony here.
USDA Allocates Funds to Assist Producers Impacted by Drought
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on April 14th the availability of up to $10 million in assistance from the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+) to assist agricultural producers impacted by drought in the Klamath River Basin. The Bureau of Reclamation also released the Klamath Project 2021 Temporary Operations Plan that noted the lowest historical inflows on record into Upper Klamath Lake this year.
USDA Releases April WASDE Report
USDA released the April 2021 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report on Friday. The outlook for U.S. wheat is for lower supplies, reduced domestic use, unchanged exports, and higher ending stocks. For global wheat, the outlook is for slightly smaller supplies, increased consumption, higher exports, and reduced stocks this month. Projected global trade of wheat is a record 198.9 million tons. Read the report here.
Biden Administration Releases Discretionary Spending Proposal
On April 9th, President Biden released a budget outline for fiscal year 2022. The request includes a $3.8 billion increase for USDA directed heavily towards climate-related programs. A USDA press release noted that the President’s request expands broadband access, invests in critical research and development capacity for farmers, addresses the growing threat from wildfire, and supports a strong nutrition safety net. Read the discretionary funding request here.
Climate Stewardship Act Introduced in Congress
Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Representative Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-7) reintroduced the Climate Stewardship Act on Monday. The legislation, inspired by FDR’s New Deal, focuses on voluntary farm and ranch conservation practices, massive reforestation, and wetlands restoration. Read a summary here.
Farmers Fighting Climate Change Act Introduced in Congress
Representative Lauren Underwood (D-IL-14) and Representative Mike Gallagher (R-WI-8) introduced bipartisan climate change legislation on April 12th to support and promote agricultural practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase carbon sequestration. Read the fact sheet here.
USDA Conducts National Agricultural Classification Survey
To ensure the every-five-year Census of Agriculture accounts for all agriculture and every producer in the United States, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) conducts the National Agricultural Classification Survey (NACS). The survey is a nationwide effort to identify potential farms so they can be included in the census of agriculture. NASS asks everyone who receives the survey to respond by May 3. Every response matters. Even if the recipient believes the survey does not apply to them, they should respond online at www.agcounts.usda.gov to at least the initial screening questions. Completed questionnaires may also be mailed back in the prepaid envelope provided.
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: dryland and irrigated. The Foundation is accepting entries for Winter and Spring Wheat. The deadline for Winter Wheat entries is May 15th with TODAY (April 15th) the early registration deadline. 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 https://yieldcontest.
National Wheat Yield Contest Broadcasted on KFGO
On April 9th, the National Wheat Yield Contest was highlighted by KFGO Farm & Ranch Director Sarah Heinrich on the Growing Harvest Ag Network Podcast. NWF Project Manager Anne Osborne noted that this contest helps producers learn more about how to manage their wheat crop. Listen to the broadcast here.