NAWG Weekly Updates, April 23, 2020

Update: Paycheck Protection Program and CARES Act
On April 21ST, the Senate passed the $483.4 billion Health Care Enhancement Act (H.R. 266) by a voice vote sending it to the House to be voted on the late evening of April 23rd. This latest COVID-19 economic rescue measure would give farmers another pool of federal loans and grants to tap by ending restrictions on agricultural eligibility for the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL).

Bayer Intervenes in Cases Brought Against the EPA on Glyphosate Registration
On April 20, 2020, Bayer issued a statement announcing that it has filed a motion to intervene in Rural Coalition et al. v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency et al., a case which challenges EPA’s Interim Registration Review Decision on glyphosate. Monsanto filed this motion alongside 10 associations (NAWG included), which represent a substantial segment of U.S. agriculture and other professions that utilize and rely on glyphosate, and  these parties have jointly requested to intervene in support of the EPA in this case before the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. For further details, read the release here.

PRESS RELEASE: NAWG Thanks USDA for Aiding Farmers and the Food Supply Chain During the COVID-19 Pandemic
To aid farmers, ranchers, and consumers to effectively respond to the COVID-19 national emergency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on April 17th released a Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). This $19 billion program provides immediate relief with direct payments to farmers and ranchers and support the food supply chain. NAWG made the following statement in response: https://bit.ly/3et0iuR.

BLOG: Earth Day Celebrates 50 Years by Observing Climate Action
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day! On April 22, 2020, we celebrate our planet by highlighting what we can do to protect it. The theme for Earth Day 2020 is climate action. Read NAWG’s recent blog highlighting some of the ways wheat growers are working to curb the effects of climate change: https://bit.ly/2KpGUkp!

EPA and Army Corp Publish Final Rule for WOTUS
On April 21, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Army published a final rule defining the scope of waters federally regulated under the Clean Water Act. The replacement rule for Waters of the United States (WOTUS) goes into effect on June 22nd.

Senators Urge Pompeo, Perdue to Back Global Food Programs Amid Coronavirus Pandemic
As reported in The Hill, “a bipartisan group of senators are urging Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to support international food assistance programs amid concerns about the coronavirus’s impact on the supply chain and potential global food shortages. Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) on Monday spearheaded a letter with three of his colleagues to Perdue and Pompeo, urging them to ensure that programs under the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Department of Agriculture are able to keep delivering food assistance amid the economic and health crisis sparked by the spread of the coronavirus.

Corteva Opportunity: Genome Editing for Crop Improvement
As part of their effort and commitment to building strong partnerships, Corteva is inviting scientists from academic and nonprofit research institutions to submit brief, non-confidential proposals for gene edits that have the potential to improve maize, soybean, canola, wheat, or sorghum. For selected proposals awards include genome editing vector design and synthesis, seed from gene edited plants of the chosen crop, and an opportunity to engage with Corteva scientists on topics such as gene editing and transformation methods for trait and crop improvement. The application deadline is May 31, 2020. For complete details visit https://openinnovation.corteva.com/current-opportunities/genome-editing-for-crop-improvement/.

2020 National Wheat Yield Contest – May 15th Winter Wheat Deadline
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 accepting entries for Winter and Spring Wheat. The deadline for Winter Wheat entries is May 15th. The Spring wheat entry deadline is August 1st, with an early registration deadline of June 15th.