NAWG Weekly Updates, February 3, 2022
President’s Reception / WheatPAC Auction
If you are attending Commodity Classic, you are invited to attend the President’s Reception and participate in the WheatPAC Auction. Early bird tickets are available now at Commodity Classic 2022 WheatPAC Auction. The silent auction bidding will be conducted through an online portal so you can still participate if you are not coming to Commodity Classic. There will also be a live auction component at Commodity Classic. WheatPAC is one of our industry’s greatest tools in advocating for a better business environment for your operation. Collectively though, we can support and/or engage members of Congress who have influence over policies that will directly affect you.
NAWG Annual Conference / Commodity Classic
NAWG’s Annual Conference / Commodity Classic is right around the corner, and it is time to register! This year the event will take place in New Orleans, LA, March 8-12, 2022. Registration for NAWG’s Annual Conference and Commodity Classic are separate. If you plan to attend any part of the Commodity Classic tradeshow or NAWG’s Annual Conference, you must register for both. Registrations, agendas, and COVID-19 resources can be found on NAWG’s Annual Conference / Commodity Classic website page.
NAWG Joins Crop Insurance Letters
Last week, NAWG joined the Crop Insurance Coalition, which represents farmers, lenders, ag input providers, and conservation groups in sending letters to each chamber’s Budget and Appropriations committees and the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Office of Management and Budget. In these letters, NAWG and others urged lawmakers and the administration to protect crop insurance and oppose cuts that would jeopardize the program.
GOVERNMENT AND INDUSTRY NEWS
House Agriculture Committee Farm Bill Review Hearing
On Wednesday, the House Agriculture Committee held a hearing reviewing the conservation programs from the 2018 Farm Bill with Farm Service Agency Administrator, Zach Ducheneaux, and Natural Resources Conservation Service Chief, Terry Cosby, testifying. During the hearing, Mr. Ducheneaux and Mr. Cosby toted the hiring drives each agency has taken to fill vacant positions and the number of services they have performed since the start of the pandemic. They fielded questions about a range of topics including cover crops and regional diversity, the agency’s abilities to incorporate the large increases in funding proposed in the Build Back Better reconciliation bill, the efficacy of conservation programs in achieving environmental outcomes, and the economic feasibility of continuing programs. The House Agriculture Committee will continue their review of the 2018 Farm Bill next week with USDA Undersecretary Robert Bonnie.
U.S. Senator Jon Tester Introduces Agriculture Right to Repair Act
Earlier this week, Senator Tester (D-MT) introduced the Agriculture Right to Repair Act, which aims to allow farmers and ranchers additional flexibility in fixing and maintaining their own equipment. In addition to providing greater flexibility to repair equipment, this legislation would provide additional authority to the Federal Trade Commission to promulgate additional regulatory actions to carry out the bill and enforce unfair or deceptive acts. Find Senator Tester’s press release here, and the legislative text here.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Allocate Funds to Complete Waterway Construction Projects
On January 19, 2022, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers shared its spending plans defining certain inland waterway projects that were appropriated funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The inland construction projects include Kentucky Lock (Tennessee River), Montgomery Lock (Ohio River), Lock and Dam 25 (Upper Mississippi River, Three Rivers (Arkansas River), and T.J. O’Brien Lock and Dam (Illinois Waterway). As part of the Navigation and Ecosystem Sustainability Program’s ecosystem restoration component, a fish passage at Lock 22 has also been funded to complete design and begin construction. Find the full news release here.
USDA Partners with the Port of Oakland to Reduce Congestion
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced plans to partner the U.S. Department of Agriculture with the Port of Oakland to improve service for U.S. grown agriculture commodities. To address food chain challenges, the plan is to set up a new 25-acre “pop-up” site for empty containers to be filled with commodities. Vilsack hopes that this partnership will ease congestion issues and keep American products on the move. The site will provide space to load empty containers beginning in March, and it will also have a space to pre-cool shipping containers to receive perishable items. Find the press release here.
Senators Stabenow, Boozman Announce Hearing on Digital Assets: Risks, Regulation, and Innovation
Wednesday, February 9, 2022 Senators Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, and John Boozman, Ranking Member, will hold a hearing titled “Examining Digital Assets: Risks, Regulation, and Innovation”. The hearing will likely focus on a role for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in providing oversight needs in digital assets and derivatives markets given recent interst in the matter from leaders on the committee. For more information and to watch the hearing, click here.
Signups Open Soon for the Conservation Reserve Program
Signups for the General Conservation Reserve Program began on January 31, and will run through March 11, and Grassland Conservation Reserve Program signup will be from April 4 to May 13. CRP is a foundational conservation program offered by the USDA to agricultural producers and landowners. General CRP allows for producers and landowners to establish long-term, resource-conserving plant species. While Grassland CRP assists landowners and operators in protecting grassland, rangeland, pasturelands, and others while maintaining the land as viable grazing lands. You can also signup for continuous CRP that includes projects through the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program and State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement. Find out more and how to sign up here.
NATIONAL WHEAT FOUNDATION NEWS
National Wheat Foundation Annual Meeting
The Foundation’s Annual meeting is coming up in New Orleans on Tuesday, March 8th at 9 am central time. Please join us as we have guest speakers on the High Yield=High Quality project and the Nutrition Through Wheat task force. We will discuss the financials and the FY23 Budget. You will learn about the quality of the wheat samples from the 24 National Winners of the Yield Contest. You are also invited to the reception to celebrate the 2021 Contest Winners, on March 9th at 7:30 pm at the New Orleans Marriott, Studio 7-10.
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.
FMC Wheat Portfolio Offering
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ARTICLES OF INTEREST
– U. S. Wheat Associates
– Wall Street Journal