NAWG Weekly Updates, June 23, 2022
NAWG’s Joint Statement of Disappointment Over SCOTUS Action on Glyphosate
On June 21, the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) denied a petition to review Bayer’s appeal on glyphosate litigation. The denial leaves in place a lower court decision that found the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide (FIFRA) Act does not preempt state law claims. This decision allows every U.S. state to potentially require a different product label, which conflicts with the ‘uniformity clause’ adopted by the U.S. Congress in FIFRA and similar statutes. NAWG joined with the ASA, AFBF, NCC, and NCGA, to express disappointment in a joint statement and called on President Biden to withdraw the U.S. government’s brief advising the Supreme Court against taking up the case. Read the joint statement here.
NAWG Leads Industry Letter in Support of Nominee Alexis Taylor Nomination
In a letter NAWG organized to Senators Debbie Stabenow and John Boozman – U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee’s Chairwoman and Ranking Member, respectively – 95 agricultural organizations expressed their support for the nomination of Alexis Taylor for USDA Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs. Alexis Taylor currently serves as the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s Director and is a widely recognized agriculture policy leader with domestic and international experience. In the letter, the agricultural community urged the Committee to quickly advance Director Taylor’s nomination so she can begin the important work of this USDA role. Read the letter here.
NAWG Submits Comments to Securities and Exchanges Commission
NAWG, along with ten other national agricultural associations, submitted comments to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on their Proposed Rules on the Enhancement and Standardization of Climate-Related Disclosures for Investors. NAWG agrees that “without changes and clarifications, the Proposed Rules would be wildly burdensome and expensive if not altogether impossible for many small and mid-sized farmers to comply with”. In the wake of a pandemic and ongoing macro disruptions caused by the war in Ukraine, this rule could not only adversely impact farmers and ranchers, but consumers, and erode the strength of the U.S. agricultural industry. NAWG states that the SEC needs to consider the potential socio-economic impact of the Proposed Rules on rural communities. This letter recommends amendments to the Proposed Rules for further consideration by the commission. Read the statement here.
NAWG Seeks to Hire Communications Intern
NAWG is looking to fill the newly created position of Communications Intern, to assist in marketing and communications efforts. The NAWG Communications Intern’s main role is to assist the Director of Communications and Partnerships in implementing organizational communications and marketing strategies. If you, or someone you know, is interested in this opportunity and would like to learn more, find the description and application here.
GOVERNMENT AND INDUSTRY NEWS
Biden Requests Congress to Suspend Gas Tax for Three Months
On Wednesday, June 22, Biden called upon Congress to suspend the federal gas and diesel taxes for the next three months due to the record-high gasoline prices. If suspended, the tax would temporarily lift the 18 cents per gallon tax on gasoline and 24 cents per gallon tax on diesel. In a speech given from the White House on Wednesday, Biden also urged states to suspend their gas taxes or provide other forms of relief, with several states having already done so. He shared that he is reaching out to oil refinery companies demanding they act to lower costs for customers and that they take steps to boost production. While Biden’s plea waits for Congress to decide and pass legislation, similar bills to combat rising fuel costs have already been introduced. Since gas taxes are the primary source of funds for infrastructure projects and maintenance, this 90-day suspension, contingent on legislation, would serve as a temporary form of assistance while the search continues for more long-term solutions. Read more about Biden’s request here.
FSA Accepting Nominations from Farmers to Serve on Local County Committees
On June 15, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced that they are now accepting nominations for county committee members. County committee members make important decisions about how federal farm programs are administered locally. Elections will occur in certain Local Administrative Areas (LAA) for members. Producers serving on FSA county committees play a critical role in the agencies day-to-day operations. All nomination forms for the 2022 election must be postmarked or received in the local FSA office by August 1, 2022. Learn more about USDA’s FSA county committee nomination and elections here.
The storm track remained active across much of the contiguous U.S. (CONUS) this week. Much of the Northern Tier states experienced beneficial rainfall and near to below-normal temperatures, predominantly leading to drought improvements from the Pacific Northwest to the Northern Plains. Storm systems and clusters of thunderstorms also resulted in some improvements from the Mississippi Valley to the East Coast. However, where the heaviest rains did not fall, there was some deterioration and slight expansion of abnormal dryness or drought conditions, particularly in parts of the Southeast and Ohio and Tennessee Valleys. Above-normal temperatures and below-normal precipitation were the main story across much of the southwestern CONUS, extending into Texas, leading to general persistence and degradation of drought conditions. Weak trade winds in Hawaii and below-normal precipitation in Alaska have continued, resulting in degradations this week. Warm and dry conditions also contributed to worsening conditions in Puerto Rico. Read the entire U.S. Drought Monitor Update here.
NATIONAL WHEAT FOUNDATION NEWS
Mark Haugland, NWF Director, Charlie Vogel, MN Wheat Growers Executive Director, Anne Osborne, NWF, and Dan Wogsland, NDGGA Executive Director, attended a tour with Northern Crops Institute to learn about what the Port of Duluth does to get wheat and durum to customers in the U.S. and the world.
Congressional Farm Tour
NAWG Board Member Eric Spates has generously agreed to host some congressional staff at his farm in Maryland. The tour will be on June 28, and we will take a bus from the National Wheat Foundation’s DC office out to the farm to learn about wheat production, conservation, crop insurance, risk management, and farm programs. We will also observe wheat being combined. Bernard Peterson and Pat Clements from Kentucky will help Eric lead the sessions, which will feature a tour of the farm and USDA speakers. Staff from 15 different states’ legislative offices have already replied that they will attend! If you are speaking with your representatives, please invite them to send their Ag Legislative assistants or directors or staff. There is still room on the bus, and we hope to have 50 people attend.
ARTICLES OF INTEREST
– Western Producer
– Successful Farming