NAWG Weekly Updates, May 26, 2022￼
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released their projections for government spending over the next ten years this week, including for farm bill commodity programs. CBO estimates farmers will receive just $480 million in Price Loss Coverage (PLC) payments in fiscal 2023 and $422 million in FY24. That’s down from the $838 million and $2.3 billion CBO had previously estimated for those years. PLC payments trigger when market prices fall below the program’s reference prices. Meanwhile, nutrition programs are projected to take up account for a larger percentage of the spending. The CBO score is a significant part of the farm bill process because it establishes the broad budget context within with the policies of bill can be debated. Even though farm bill authorizations are generally for about five years, all farm bill programs are nonetheless scored and debated relative to their cost over ten years. With a lower CBO score, that leaves less budget for which to build out the 2023 farm bill. You can read the CBO score for the projected agriculture spending here.
Wheat Industry Applauds Administration’s Nomination of Alexis Taylor
Earlier this month, President Biden announced the nomination of Alexis Taylor to serve as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agriculture Affairs. The Trade and Foreign Agriculture Affairs mission area plays a key role in developing and implementing USDA’s trade policy, overseeing and facilitating foreign market access, and promoting opportunities for U.S. agriculture. The National Association of Wheat Growers and U.S. Wheat Associates applaud the nomination of Alexis Taylor. Read the full press release here.
NAWG and Ag Groups Call for Withdrawal of Solicitor General’s Supreme Court Brief on Glyphosate That Would Create a Patchwork of Problems
In a letter to President Biden, 54 agricultural groups expressed grave concern with a recent amicus brief submitted by the U.S. Solicitor General to the Supreme Court advising the court against taking up a case regarding pesticide labels. The groups, including the American Farm Bureau Federation, American Soybean Association, National Corn Growers Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Cotton Council, and American Sugarbeet Growers Association called on the president to swiftly withdraw the brief. They warned the new policy would set a dangerous precedent that threatens the science-based regulatory process. Read the full press release here. The letter can be found here.
NAWG Applauds USDA’s Announcement of Disaster Aid Implementation
Last week, the Administration announced that it would be making a $6 billion disaster relief payment through the Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) new Emergency Relief Program for crop years 2020-2021 available to farmers to offset crop yield and value losses. FSA will send pre-filled applications to producers with information about eligibility requirements and payment calculations. You can find NAWG’s release here or for more information about required documentation and payment calculations, click here to read the USDA’s announcement.
NAWG Attended Wheat Quality Council Hard Red Winter Wheat Tour in Kansas
Last week, NAWG staff joined the Wheat Quality Council’s 2022 Hard Red Winter Tour in Kansas. Over 80 people joined the tour and drove the state of Kansas analyzing wheat fields. The three-day average yield for the fields that were calculated was 39.7 bushels per acre, with an official tour projection for total production of wheat to be harvested in Kansas is 261 million bushels. Kansas Wheat has daily recaps of the tour which can be found here.
Colorado Farmer Discusses Severe Drought
Colorado wheat grower and NAWG board member, Brian Brooks interviewed with CNN to discuss the impact the drought is having on his farm. Half of the U.S. is experiencing a D2-D4 drought, which includes 75% of the winter wheat crop. Read the story here or watch the video here.
GOVERNMENT AND INDUSTRY NEWS
Agricultural Export Programs Offer Excellent Returns, Deserve Continued Funding
On May 18, the Coalition to Promote U.S. Agricultural Exports welcomed the results of a recent econometric study conducted indicating public-private U.S. agricultural export market development programs remain highly effective and generate a substantial return on investment. The report showed export programs have added an average of $9.6 billion per year to export value between 1977 and 2019. For farmers, livestock producers and dairy operators, the study showed MAP and FMD increased cash receipts by $12.2 billion per year. The major takeaway from the future funding scenarios is that increasing funding for USDA Export Market Development Programs will significantly benefit export revenues, the farm economy and the overall macroeconomy. Read the full release here, an infographic summarizing the major results here, and the full study here.
Senate Agriculture Committee Holds Hearing with Secretary Vilsack
On Thursday, May 26, the Senate Agriculture Committee held a hearing with USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack entitled “Opportunities and Challenges Facing Farmers, Families, and Rural Communities. During his testimony, Secretary Vilsack highlighted the work USDA has undertaken recently including additional authority to help with the formula shortage, changes in reporting and transparency in cattle markets, and the grant applications for Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities. Secretary Vilsack also discussed the work USDA is doing to help farmers cope with increased costs, climate change, avoiding global food insecurity, disaster assistance and a litany of other topics. You can watch the full hearing here.
President Biden and a Dozen Indo-Pacific Partners Launch the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity
During President Biden’s trip to Japan earlier this week, he announced the launching of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF). The Administration’s goal through IPEF is to enable the U.S and its allies to agree on a framework that allows American workers, small businesses, and ranchers to successfully compete in the Indo-Pacific. In addition, President Biden hopes this plan will address inflation by strengthening the supply chain and, in turn, decreasing consumer prices. Click here to learn more.
National Waterways Foundation Releases Study on the Competitiveness of the US Inland Waterways
The National Waterways Foundation commissioned a study conducted by the Eno Center for Transportation in Washington, DC. The study focuses on the current state of the U.S. inland waterways system and compares it to others from around the world to compare investment levels, commodity flows, governance, and investment priorities. The case studies also reveal the effects of foreign direct investments on internal and external good movement, including the role of investment in other uses such as damming for hydroelectric power, have on the capacity to move goods to global markets. The study concludes that the ability for the United States to maintain a position of strength depends on a regular assessment of infrastructure needs and multimodal development strategies. Click here to read the full press release and here to review the study.
Grain Chain Sees Need for Clear Definitions in Guidelines
The Grain Chain, which is a group of leading grain-based food organizations, commented on the proposed scientific questions to be examined as part of the review supporting the development of the new guidelines in the 2025-2030 Dietary Guidelines for Americans in a letter sent in May to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The Grain Chain stressed the importance of critical definitions needed before the 2025 DGA review process starts; the value of processing for grain foods; support for a health equity lens through the review process; the need for consumption and physical activity balance approach and suggested Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) critical nominee selection criteria. Click here to learn more.
U.S. Drought Monitor Update
In the upper levels of the atmosphere, a strong ridge of high pressure dominated the contiguous US, from the southern Plains to Northeast, at the beginning of this U.S. Drought Monitor week, while an upper-level trough dominated the West. The trough moved east as the week progressed, dragging a surface low pressure system and cold fronts across the northern Plains to Great Lakes, while another upper-level low moved over the Southeast and weakened. Weekly temperatures averaged much warmer than normal beneath the ridge and cooler than normal in the West beneath the trough. The fronts, lows, and upper-level troughs brought above-normal precipitation to parts of the Pacific Northwest, northern Plains to western Great Lakes, and spotty areas in the South, New England, and along the Atlantic Coast. The continued lack of precipitation further dried soils, lowered stream levels, and stressed crops and other vegetation, while the excessively warm temperatures increased evapotranspiration and added to the stress. Drought or abnormal dryness contracted where precipitation was above normal, especially in the Northwest, northern Plains, and Mid-Atlantic. Drought or abnormal dryness expanded or intensified where it continued dry, especially in the Southwest, southern to central Plains, Southeast, and parts of the Northeast. To read the full drought summary, click here.
NATIONAL WHEAT FOUNDATION NEWS
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.
Wheat Weed Management Strategies to Help Avoid Yield Reduction
Italian ryegrass is easy to spot during wheat harvest and can often indicate an ineffective management approach. 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. Click here to learn more.
ARTICLES OF INTEREST
(Features Chandler Goule)