NAWG Weekly Update: February 19, 2015

2015 Commodity Classic Begins Next Week in Phoenix
Next week, thousands of the country’s top wheat, sorghum, corn and soybean producers will gather in Phoenix, Ariz. for the 2015 Commodity Classic. While you’re at the trade show, be sure to stop by the NAWG booth to learn fun facts about wheat and sign up for a chance to win a GoPro! For more information on Commodity Classic, visit their website.

NAWG’s annual meeting will also take place February 25-26 adjacent to Commodity Classic. The meeting schedule includes committee meetings and evening receptions. For more information on NAWG’s board meetings, click here.

NRCS to Hold CSP Listening Session at Commodity Classic
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will have staff experts on the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) at the Commodity Classic to hear input from NAWG members and others in attendance at the convention. CSP has become the largest USDA conservation program with over 60 million acres already enrolled and an additional 50 million acres expected to be enrolled over the next five years as authorized in the 2014 Farm Bill. Through participation in CSP, growers entering into 5-year contracts can receive annual payments for implementing new conservation practices and maintaining existing conservation practices. Producers can also receive supplemental payments for adopting a resource conserving crop rotation. NRCS implemented the changes to CSP resulting from the Farm Bill and program sign-up is underway. To view NAWG’s comments on the program, please click here.

The deadline to sign up for CSP for fiscal year 2015 is February 27. NRCS has released a significant number of new and revised enhancements for participants to consider undertaking during the 5-year contract term. To review the 2015 enhancements, please visit the NRCS website. If you are interested in signing up for CSP, please visit your local USDA service center, or check out the CSP self-screening checklist here.

To share your experience with CSP, ask questions or make recommendations on how to improve the program, please plan to attend the session. The NRCS listening session on CSP will be held at the Phoenix Convention Center, Room 128A North on Thursday, February 26 from 4-5pm. For more information, contact Keira Franz at 

The Word On Wheat: America’s Wheat Farmers Will Help Feed the World
Feeding 10 billion people by the turn of the century is one of the greatest challenges production agriculture faces. The Word on Wheat blog asks: “Can U.S. Wheat Production Help Feed a Growing Global Population?” America’s wheat farmers continue to feed the growing population, with 50 percent of wheat – a staple ingredient in the global diet – exported overseas. Currently, wheat provides as much as half of the calories consumed in North Africa and West and Central Asia. Without more land resources available, farmers need access to other tools and resources to increase production efficiencies without losing profitability. This can only be done through continued innovation and research of wheat to develop varieties that can withstand pests, diseases and climate challenges. The future of wheat innovation has the potential to result in production advances through an industry-wide collaborative effort. As global population increases, America’s wheat farmers can help meet the demand of feeding the world.

The full blog can be read here.

USDA Launches 2015 Agriculture Outlook Forum
USDA kicks off their 2015 Agriculture Outlook Forum today in Washington, D.C. where agriculture groups and advocates for American farmers expect to focus on “Smart Agriculture in the 21st Century”. Wheat growers can expect discussions on a wide variety of topics that affect their operations, such as a look at biotechnology, big data and other innovations as well as trade including the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) negotiations. The forum will also explore the rural economy, forecasts and commodity prices. To view a full list of sessions and panelists, click here.

NAWG and D.C. Prepare for National Ag Day
Celebrated on March 18, 2015, Ag Day is the day the nation recognizes and celebrates the abundance provided by our country’s agriculture. Every year, producers, agricultural associations, corporations, universities, government agencies and countless others across America join together to recognize the contributions of agriculture. Each American farmer feeds more than 144 people, a dramatic increase from 25 people in the 1960s. Quite simply, American agriculture is doing more – and doing it better. As the world population soars, there is an even greater demand for the food and fiber produced in the United States. The National Association of Wheat Growers will continue the tradition of Ag Day by conducting outreach efforts on Capitol Hill and we encourage our growers around the country to make Ag Day special wherever they are. For more information on how to get involved, visit the Ag Day website here.