NAWG Weekly Updates, April 21, 2022
U.S. Wheat Growers Discuss the Challenges of Wheat Farming
Since the breakout of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, prices for wheat increased in volatility. Washington State wheat farmer, Ryan Poe, and Colorado wheat farmer, Brian Brooks, met with different media outlets to explain that the rising cost of wheat does not mean that wheat farmers are making more money. Input prices, such as seed, fuel, and fertilizer, have also increased making it more difficult for farmers to capitalize on the higher wheat prices. They both explain the challenges that impact farmers. To watch Ryan’s interview, click here and to read Brian’s interview, click here.
NAWG Signs Letter Supporting Continued Support of Food Aid Programs
NAWG signed a letter urging Congress to continue to support food aid programs as well as increase the accounts of programs like P.L. 480 Title II Food for Peace, Food for Progress, Rural Development, and other related agencies to $2.26 billion. These international food aid programs have been able to reach millions of vulnerable communities affected by drought, conflict, and other circumstances all over the world. Not only does food assistance help the recipients but it also benefits the U.S. economy. NAWG realizes the importance of foreign food assistance programs that have saved lives and provided relief for many.
NAWG Signs Letter Supporting Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network
NAWG signed a letter supporting full funding for the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN). This program works to establish and fund a service that provides the farming and ranching community with stress assistance programs. In 2021 most farmers, ranchers, and rural adults, reported that they had been experiencing more stress and mental health challenges than in previous years. With many challenges facing farmers such as volatile economy, weather unpredictability, and financial risk, along with a shortage of mental health professionals in rural areas, FRSAN is crucial. For more information, click here.
NAWG Continues Farm Bill Survey
NAWG wants to hear about what policies are most important to farmers and identify practical recommendations that would benefit the wheat community. NAWG relies on grower input to be effective advocates before Congress and across the Administration. There are currently 205 people who have filled out the Farm Bill Survey. The survey is 33 questions in length and provides opportunities to comment on a broad array of farm programs. The Farm Bill Survey asks farmers to describe their experiences on a wide variety of programs set to expire or lapse with the 2018 Farm Bill on September 30, 2023. The survey can be found on the NAWG website here.
Michigan Farm Bill Field Hearing
Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and John Boozman (R-AR) announced they will hold a field hearing to get input from a range of agricultural producers and stakeholders about the upcoming 2023 Farm Bill. This field hearing will take place at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan on Friday, April 29, 2022. Both Chairwoman Stabenow and Ranking Member Boozman highlighted the importance of a strong bipartisan farm bill to grow our economy and build a stronger food chain. This hearing will focus on Michigan’s perspectives on conservation, rural economic development, research, forestry, energy, and nutrition policies. The hearing titled “Growing Jobs and Economic Opportunity: 2023 Farm Bill Perspectives” will take place Friday, April 29, 10:00 am eastern, live stream will be taking place online here.
Biden Administration Announces Appointments for USDA and SBA
On April 14, President Biden appointed additional individuals to serve in leadership roles at the United States Department of Agriculture and the Small Business Administration, including numerous State Executive Directors. The positions are critical to the administration’s ability to implement farm safety net and conservation programs and provide excellent customer service. The following were appointed for USDA State Executive Director, Farm Service Agency, John Patterson, Ohio, Kelly Adkins, Texas, Gail Greenman, Oregon. To view the full press release and list of appointees click here.
Call for Urgent Action on Food Security
Heads of the World Bank Group, International Monetary Fund, United Nations World Food Program, and World Trade Organization called for an urgent plan of action regarding food security. The plan’s actions are intended to aid vulnerable countries by providing emergency food supplies, financial support, and enhancing food and nutrition security. This support would be funded through grants to cover urgent financing needs. For more information click here.
U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) Update
High winds and blizzard conditions accompanied the snow, especially across the northern Plains. Farther south, drought conditions worsened across portions of the central and southern Plains and the Southwest, amid windy, dry conditions. At times, winds raised dust and contributed to the rapid spread of several wildfires, including the 6,159-acre McBride Fire, which destroyed well over 300 structures after being ignited on April 12 in Ruidoso, New Mexico. Meanwhile, heavy showers and locally severe thunderstorms swept across the Mississippi Delta and environs, producing widespread rainfall totals of 2 to 4 inches or more and causing localized wind and hail damage. Significant rain fell in other areas, including parts of the Midwest and Northeast. During the last 24 hours of the drought-monitoring period, rain swept into the Atlantic Coast States, with some wet snow observed across the interior Northeast. Warm weather prevailed for much of the period in the South and East, while a harsh cold snap engulfed the northern Plains and Northwest. In fact, an extended spell of chilly weather broadly covered the western U.S., as well as the upper Midwest. To read the full drought summary click here.
NATIONAL WHEAT FOUNDATION NEWS
Bayer Leadership Program
The third phase of the Bayer Leadership Program took place this week in Oklahoma City, OK. Joe Kejr, (KS), Bernard Peterson (KY) and Scott Brown (ID) joined the NAWG officers for training on leadership, running an effective meeting, media training, and current issues. Thanks to Bayer for your support and sponsorship of this important training program. Bayer is a very important partner with both NAWG and NWF. They have sponsored the National Wheat Yield Contest as a Grade 1 sponsor since it began in 2016. To learn more about WestBred products, please go here. To learn more about Bayer Crop Science and Bayer products please visit https://www.cropscience.bayer.us/.
National Wheat Yield Contest Opens for 2022 Contest Entries
The National Wheat Foundation (NWF) is pleased to announce that it is accepting grower enrollment for the 2022 National Wheat Yield Contest! The contest is divided into two primary competition categories: winter wheat and spring wheat, and two subcategories: dryland and irrigated. Winter Wheat entries are due May 16, and Spring Wheat entries are due August 1. Read more about the contest here, or to enter, go online to yieldcontest.wheatfoundation.org.
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