NAWG Weekly Updates, April 7, 2022
NAWG Participates in House Agriculture Committee Hearing
Wednesday, April 6, NAWG President Nicole Berg testified before the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture. Yesterday’s hearing was a 2022 review of the Farm Bill focusing on the Title III programs: international food aid and agricultural trade promotion. Berg highlighted the importance of international food aid programs in stabilizing economies and populations impacted by climate change, famine, and war. Berg also emphasized that NAWG has historically sought to preserve and enhance funding levels for export promotion programs, given their significant return on investment and support for American agriculture and rural communities. You can find the full press release here. U.S. Wheat Associates posted a letter to Berg thanking her for highlighting the vital role of international food aid and export market development programs. Read the full letter here.
Pro-Snake River Dam Campaign **Take Action Today**
The future of the lower Snake River dams (LSRD) is at stake. Political leaders have announced a process to remove the LSRD in an attempt to be environmentally conscious. Not only are dams some of the most ecofriendly infrastructure designs, but they also serve critical roles in transportation, agriculture, energy, tourism and recreation, and the economy. If the dams were breached, the impact would negatively impact businesses, families, farms, and communities not just in the Pacific Northwest, but across America. In October of 2021, U.S. Senator Patty Murray and Governor Jay Inslee announced a process to study the cost of removing the LSRD. When this process concludes on July 31, 2022, it is almost certain that efforts will be taken to breach the LSRD. Click here to learn more about the dams and fill out a survey outlining how the removal of the dams could impact you.
Montana Grain Growers Introduce Three New Resolutions
The Montana Grain Growers Association’s (MGGA) leadership team reflects on Commodity Classic. Last month, the MGGA leadership team visited New Orleans for NAWG’s Annual Meeting and played an active role in the policy-making conversation. MGGA’s grower leaders put forward three resolutions that were adopted by the full board. To read the full article, click here.
NAWG Farm Bill Survey
As NAWG continues to develop its Farm Bill priorities, we are seeking grower feedback through the Farm Bill Survey to better hear from farmers about what policies are most important and to identify practical policy recommendations that would benefit the grower community. NAWG relies on grower input to be effective advocates before Congress and across the Administration. 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. NAWG encourages growers to complete the NAWG Farm Bill Survey and contribute their voices to planning a successful Farm Bill reauthorization. The survey takes about 15 minutes and provides opportunities to comment on a broad array of farm programs. The survey can be found on the NAWG website here.
GOVERNMENT AND INDUSTRY NEWS
Senate Agriculture Committee Call on Biden to Fill Vacancies
Chairwoman Stabenow and Ranking Member Boozman are encouraging President Biden to fill vacancies that will help to improve trade opportunities for American agriculture. In a letter to Biden, they asked that he quickly nominate a candidate to serve as Chief Agricultural Negotiator in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs at the USDA. The senators emphasized that global markets are highly competitive, and new obstacles are put into play every day against American products. We must have strong advocates to represent America’s farmers, ranchers, and foresters. Click here to read the entire letter. Read the Senate Agriculture Committee’s press release here.
Conservation Reserve Program Not to Open for Cropping
USDA Secretary, Tom Vilsack, says he will not open the CRP to cropping this year as only about 1 percent of prime farmland is enrolled in the program. According to Secretary Vilsack, many contracts that are expiring this year are more than likely not getting renewed. With higher commodity prices and producers making decisions themselves based on market conditions and weather-related factors, there is no need for USDA to adjust the program. Click here to listen to the full story on Agri-Pulse Daybreak.
Sen. Boozman Call for Action on Pending Global Food Crisis
Today, Ranking Member Boozman (R-AR) sent a letter to Secretary Vilsack calling on USDA to develop a plan to use international food assistance programs to help alleviate the anticipated global food shortage in the coming months. Specifically, the Senator’s letter calls for a multi-agency response to prepare for the anticipated food shortage resulting from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as well as the increased cost of production and ongoing supply chain disruptions. The letter also calls for federal agencies to ensure that regulatory actions do not decrease food and commodity yields. The letter can be found online here.
Perdue University’s Ag Economy Barometer Dipped March
The Purdue Center for Commercial Agriculture updated its Ag Economy Barometer earlier this week, which dropped to a reading of 113 in March. The March update was down slightly from February and down 36 percent from a year ago. The accompanying monthly report highlights continued concerns about the impact of rising input prices, input availability, and the ongoing war in Ukraine. For more information on the barometer, click here.
EPA to Reduce Nutrient Pollution
EPA’s Office of Water plans to scale up existing approaches, deploy new data, and implement new strategies to improve progress in controlling nutrient pollution in our nation’s waters. EPA plans to integrate both the Safe Drinking Water Act and Clean Water Act into a one water approach, using five governing principles outlined in its April 2022 memo. For more information and to read the memo, click here.
U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) Update
April brought heavy rain to parts of the Midwest, South, and Southeast leading to broad areas of drought improvement in these regions. Meanwhile, drought expanded and intensified in the West with many locations setting records for the driest 3-month period (January to March). The High Plains remained largely unchanged this week with small pockets of improvements and degradation. To read the full drought summary, click here.
NATIONAL WHEAT FOUNDATION NEWS
Thank You Grainsense and ElevateAG
The National Wheat Foundation is working on the High-Yield = High-Quality project to examine the best farming practices for achieving the most desired wheat. GrainSense and their distributor, ElevateAG, have the technology to help measure grain quality in a quick, easy manner. GrainSense and ElevateAG are Grade 4 sponsors of the National Wheat Yield contest through their donation of a handheld grain analyzer. Thank you to GrainSense and ElevateAG for their sponsorship! Learn more about their products in this product launch video.
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. There is a discount for early entries; by April 15 (winter wheat) or June 15 (spring wheat). Early entries are encouraged as they help our sponsors who pay for the entries with vouchers and our contest administrators. Read more about the contest here, or to enter, go online to yieldcontest.wheatfoundation.org.
Nutrition Through Wheat Task Force
The Nutrition Through Wheat task force looks at research opportunities that will ultimately increase the usage and value of wheat. A very interesting study is being conducted in Minnesota called Breeding Wheat That’s Easier to Eat. Watch this 8-minute video for more information, Breeding Wheat That’s Easier to Eat – YouTube. Our NWF Board Member, Scott Swenson, is seen introducing this video. Another research project our task force is looking at is Zinc Biofortification. The National Wheat Foundation seeks to advance the wheat industry through strategic research, education, and outreach.
Wheat Quality Council In-Person Wheat Tour
The Wheat Quality Council will sponsor an in-person wheat tour again this May. They will follow our traditional routes and make field stops every 10-15 miles along the way. They will provide expertise in each car to train with throughout the day. These tours are a great way to both see this year’s crop firsthand and get training in the fields to learn about yield, insects, and disease problems that may affect the crop. Dinner will be together each night, and where the group will hear reports from each car. They will also get reports from Nebraska, Colorado, and Oklahoma from crop scouts traveling there on the same days. There will be different car assignments each day. Learn more about the tour here.
ARTICLES OF INTEREST
-Columbia Basin Herald