NAWG Weekly Updates, July 22, 2021


NAWG Vice President Emphasizes the Importance of Crop Insurance

Recently, NAWG Vice President Nicole Berg shared her experiences and thoughts about how farmers are navigating extreme drought and weather. Berg expressed that, “Crop Insurance helps us live through years like this.” Her comments represent many farmers who are struggling with this year’s difficult growing conditions. To read the full story featuring Berg, click here.

NAWG Signs Letters of Support

This week, NAWG signed onto three letters. The first letter was written to Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Chairwoman Stabenow and Ranking Member Boozman in support of Robert Bonnie’s nomination as USDA’s Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation. The second letter was sent to members of the Surface Transportation Board to emphasize agriculturalists’ transportation challenges addressing President Biden’s Competition Executive Order. NAWG signed this letter as a member of the Agriculture Transportation Working Group. The third letter, signed with 33 other food and agriculture associations, called for an expedited confirmation of Kenneth Salazar to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Mexico.


USDA Announces Key Staff

Yesterday, USDA announced the names of individuals that will serve in key staff positions. Among the individuals was Daniel Whitley, who was named Administrator in the Foreign Agricultural Service. Whitley recently served as Acting Administrator in the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) and has worked for over twenty years at FAS. He has experience in trade policy, market analysis, economic research, and agricultural economics. The USDA also named Michael Amato as Communications Director in the Office of Communications, Basil Gooden as the Director of State Operations for Rural Development, and Marissa Perry as Speechwriter in the Office of Communications. To read more about the individuals, click here.

Advancing Racial Justice and Equity for Underserved Communities at USDA

Next week, USDA will hold listening sessions to inform individuals about USDA’s efforts to advance racial justice and equity. USDA’s Racial Equity Commission will use the information discussed in the session to address systemic inequities and increase participation in USDA activities. This session represents an important step towards implementing President Biden’s Executive Order on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government. To read more about the listening sessions, click here.

Boozman, Ag Committee Republicans Express Concern About Tax and Spending Agenda Impact on Rural America

Yesterday, U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, spoke in opposition to the Democrats’ proposal to lev-tax increases on family farmers and ranchers to pay for new federal spending. The group emphasized the detrimental impact the taxes will have on family farms, ranches, and rural America. To read or watch the full speech that Senator Boozman spoke on the Senate floor, click here.

U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) Update

Active weather prevailed across much of the South, East, and Midwest, as well as parts of the Plains, into the middle of July, followed by a southward shift in widespread shower activity. Meanwhile, a robust monsoon circulation provided limited Southwestern drought relief, particularly in parts of Arizona, New Mexico, and southwestern Colorado. Further north and west, however, little or no rain fell in California, the Great Basin, and the Northwest, where dozens of wildfires were in various stages of containment. Smoke and other particulate matter from those fires carried downwind at various atmospheric levels, producing hazy skies and reducing air quality—in some cases thousands of miles from the points of origin. Dry weather extended eastward across the nation’s northern tier as far east as Lake Superior, while heavy rain eased or eradicated drought in the remainder of the Great Lakes region, along with the Northeast. In the driest areas of the northern and western United States, drought’s impact on water supplies, as well as rangeland, pastures, and a variety of crops, was further amplified by ongoing heat. Weekly temperatures averaged as much as 10°F above normal from the interior Northwest to the northern High Plains. On July 19, temperatures as high as 110°F were reported in eastern Montana. Another pocket of hot weather was centered over the middle Atlantic States. In contrast, near- or slightly below-normal temperatures dominated the Plains, Midwest, and South. To view the U.S. map and regional reports, visit the website here.


Gifts of Grain

Gifts of Grain is a new fundraiser recently launched by the Foundation in hopes to raise money to continue wheat education and research. Farmers can donate “gifts of grain” from unsold crop inventory. Any commodity traded such as wheat, corn, cattle is eligible for donation. The donor may deliver the grain to the elevator of their choice and ask to transfer ownership of the donated bushels to the National Wheat Foundation. Click here for additional details or contact NWF project manager, Anne Osborne at to learn more about how you can participate in Gifts of Grain.

Registration for National Wheat Yield Contest Spring Wheat Closes in One Week
Spring Wheat growers, if you have received a few of the thunderstorms or you have a five-acre piece of spring wheat that looks good, you can still enter the National Wheat Yield contest! Spring Wheat entries are $125 per entry and accepted until August 1. The wheat contest is administered entirely online, and growers can register at Talk to your seed supplier or contact us at National Wheat Foundation if you need help entering or want more information.

Bayer Leadership Program Applications Deadline Approaching

The Bayer Leadership Program applications are due August 1, 2021. The program is for grower leaders and future leaders in the wheat industry at the state and national levels. Contact Anne Osborne at for questions and an application.


FMC Tech Talk: Wheat Weed Management Strategies to Help Avoid Yield Reduction

FMC, NAWG IPP member, recently released an informational “FMC Tech Talk” about wheat weed management. In this Tech Talk, join FMC Technical Service Manager Bruce Steward as he discusses preemergent and post-emergent control strategies to help avoid yield losses from problematic wheat weeds. In addition, FMC speaks about how Italian ryegrass is easy to spot during wheat harvest and can often indicate an ineffective management approach. To watch the full Tech Talk, click here. To learn more about ways to enhance your wheat weed management program, click here.


Behlen Names General Manager of Grain Systems

– Feed and Grain, July 21, 2021

NGFA Supports Biden’s Push to Increase Rail Competition

– World-Grain, July 22, 2021

“Letters to the Editor ASTA Response to Seed Treatment Article”

— Progressive Farmer