NAWG Weekly Update: October 23, 2014

NAWG Applauds Implementation of APH, Awaits Winter Wheat Provision
Tuesday the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it will move forward with the implementation of the Actual Production History (APH) adjustment for the 2015 spring-planted crops. This crop insurance provision in the Agricultural Act of 2014 allows yield adjustments when losses are widespread and extremely helpful to growers who have been hard-hit by drought. USDA’s press release and more information on APH can be found here.

“On behalf of NAWG and the 22 states we represent, I thank Secretary Vilsack for working with his team to implement the APH provision for 2015 spring crops,” said Paul Penner, NAWG president and wheat grower from Hillsboro, Kan. “This provision will be another tool for wheat growers across the country to strengthen their safety net, particularly for growers who have experienced multi-year disasters. We are hopeful that USDA will continue to work on implementing this provision for our winter wheat growers this year.”

NAWG Staff Attends Meeting on Women Leaders in Agriculture
On Monday, NAWG staffer Brooke Shupe, Director of Government Affairs for Risk Management, attended a “Dialogue on Women Leaders in Agriculture” lead by USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden and the White House Rural Council. The meeting was a small, closed press event, where a number of women and men had open conversation on how to get more women involved in leadership roles within the agriculture industry. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, opened the discussion praising Harden for her efforts on this topic and voiced his full support of continuing the conversation. “It was inspiring to see so many successful women in agriculture in one room, working together, to find solutions to barriers that women face in the agriculture industry”, said Shupe, “I was thankful to be there and hopeful to be a part of the conversation and solution moving forward.” Deputy Secretary Harden said this was the first of a number of dialogues she is planning for this group.

Wheat Meetings Start Next Weekend in New Mexico
The 2014 Fall Wheat Conference, joint meetings of NAWG and U.S. Wheat Associates (USW), is set to begin at the end of October in Santa Anna, N.M. The session will include a full compliment of committee meetings for both organizations, as well as joint committee meetings, a joint board session and general board meetings. The National Wheat Foundation is also meeting in association with the NAWG and USW sessions. Learn more about the meetings here. All members of the media must be properly registered to attend, in accordance with NAWG’s media access policy.

Full Steam Ahead: Largest Cellulosic Biorefinery Begins Production in Kansas
Last week, Abengoa Bioenergy officially opened the world’s largest cellulosic biorefinery in Hugoton, Kan. This second-generation cellulosic ethanol plant, finished construction in mid-August and began producing cellulosic ethanol at the end of September with the capacity to produce up to 25 million gallons per year. The plant utilizes corn stover, wheat straw and switchgrass that do not compete with food or feed grain. The state-of-the-art facility also features an electricity cogeneration component, allowing it to operate as a self-sufficient renewable energy producer. By utilizing residual biomass solids from the ethanol conversion process, the plant generates 21 megawatts (MW) of electricity. DuPont is expected to open an even larger plant in Iowa next year.

Los Angeles City Council Votes to Explore Ban on GMO Plants
The Los Angeles City Council voted this week to move forward with a plan to ban on GMO plants within the city limits. This vote comes just two years after the voters of California rejected Proposition 37, which would have forced the labeling of GMO foods. Only a slim majority of Los Angeles voters, 52 percent, approved Proposition 37. The city ordinance, if fully drafted and passed, would be largely symbolic since it would apply to seeds and plants, not the final food products, and there is little agriculture inside Los Angeles. NAWG is confident that biotechnology will deliver significant consumer and producer benefits, and NAWG supports continued biotechnology research and market and product development. Click here to read the full article care of the LA Times.

Due to the upcoming NAWG board meetings, there will be no NAWG Weekly Update next week. Expect the next NAWG Weekly Update to be posted here on Thursday, Nov. 6.