NAWG Weekly Updates, November 18, 2021
With the Thanksgiving holiday next Thursday, NAWG will not be sending out an email with its weekly updates.
Statement from NAWG on President Biden Signing the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into Law
On Monday, November 15, President Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (H.R. 3684) into law. Back in early August, the Senate passed the infrastructure bill with 69 votes. Last Friday, the House of Representatives advanced the bill in a vote of 228-206. NAWG CEO, Chandler Goule, commented that NAWG commends the bipartisan efforts that took place to make this bill become a law. NAWG was also pleased to see many of our priorities, including investments in physical infrastructure crucial to the ag community, reflected in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. To read the full press release, click here.
NAWG Releases Joint Statement with U.S. Wheat on Vietnam Eliminating U.S. Wheat Import Tariff
On December 30, Vietnam will eliminate a 3 percent tariff on U.S. Wheat Exports. This follows the tariff reduction from 5 percent to 3 percent in July 2020. Both NAWG and U.S. Wheat appreciate all of the efforts towards eliminating this tariff. Vietnam imported more than 500,000 metric tons of U.S. Wheat values at $129 million in 2020/21. NAWG President, Dave Milligan commented on how wheat growers rely on increasing access to markets such as Vietnam making this an important step. NAWG will continue advocating for trade policies that work toward positive opportunities for wheat growers and their customers. To read the full press release, click here. For more information about corn and frozen pork tariff rates, click here.
2019 WHIP+ Final Payments
On November 8, USDA began making the final WHIP+ disaster assistance payment to producers who suffered losses in 2019 and who already received 2019 WHIP+ benefits through the two previous rounds of reduced program payments. This final payment is equal to the remaining 10% of 2019 producer’s calculated payment – earlier partial payments were distributed in the fall of 2020 and June 2021. Once disbursed, these assistance payments will total more than $3.1 billion provided in WHIP+ disaster benefits. Producers who suffered from 2018 losses were previously compensated at 100% of their calculated loss. For more information, click here.
Senate Hearing on USDA Nominees and Votes on Robert Bonnie
On Wednesday, November 17, the Senate Agriculture Committee held a hearing to consider the nominations of Chavonda Jacobs-Young to be Under Secretary of Agriculture for Research, Education, and Economics and Margo Schlanger to be an Assistant Secretary of Agriculture. In addition to these nominations, Robert Bonnie won Senate approval of his nomination to be Under Secretary of Agriculture for Farm Production and Conservation. His nomination was advanced out of the Senate Agricultura Committee in August, and he was confirmed by the full Senate by a vote of 76-19. To view more information and to rewatch the live stream, click here. To view more information on Bonnie’s approval, click here.
Patrick Leahy, Senate Appropriations Chairman who Helped Shape US Ag Policy, Announces Retirement
Leahy is the chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, the most senior lawmaker on both the Judiciary and Agriculture Committees, and has served the Senate for almost 50 years. He played crucial roles in the Ag sector, where he led the Senate Agriculture Committee in the late ’80s and early ’90s and continues to serve on the committee today. Specifically, he helped develop the diary and conservation policy and the first national standards for organic food. To read the full article, click here.
USDA Announces Deputy Under Secretary for Research, Administrator for RMA, and Other Key Appointments
Shefali Mehta was named Deputy Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics. Marcia Bunger was named Administrator for the Risk Management Agency. Prior to this position, she served as the County Executive Director for the USDA’s Farm Service Agency with an extensive background in crop insurance. Lastly, Colin Finan was named Senior Advisor for the National Institute of Food and Agriculture who has worked in healthcare communications and in food safety. For more details and to read the full press release, click here.
EPA and Army Take Action to Provide Certainty for the Definition of WOTUS
Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of the Army (the agencies) announced a preposition to re-establish the pre-2015 definition of the “waters of the United States” (WOTUS). This would provide a stable implementation of WOTUS as the agencies continue to work with states, Tribes, local governments, and other stakeholders. The proposition would maintain the exclusions of the pre-2015 regulations and the exemptions and exclusions in the Clean Water Act. The agencies are taking comments on the proposition for 60 days beginning on the date is it published in the Federal Register. For more information, click here.
November World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE)
Last week, the USDA released the November WASDE. The wheat outlook for 2021/22 this month is lower supplies down to 115 million bushels, higher domestic use projected at 1,163 million bushels, reduced exports at 860 million, and slightly higher ending stocks at 583 million bushels. Project season-average farm price is raised to $6.90 per bushel. The global outlook includes reduced supplies down to 1,063.2 million tons, higher consumption at 787.2 million, increased trade to a record 203.2 million, and lower ending stocks down to 275.8 million. To view the full report, click here.
U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) Update
Drier weather in the southwestern United States, western Great Plains, and Southeast led to drought conditions developing or worsening for parts of these regions this week. The northern Great Plains, western Great Lakes, the Northeast, and the Pacific Northwest saw significant precipitation this week, which led to improving drought conditions in parts of these regions. Slightly warmer than normal weather occurred in the Northeast, and warmer weather also occurred west of the Mississippi River. The warmest temperatures, compared to normal, were found in the northwestern Great Plains and in the West, with some areas seeing temperatures at least 6 degrees above normal. To view the full map and summary, click here.
NATIONAL WHEAT FOUNDATION NEWS
Gift of Grains
Our Gifts of Grain fundraiser that will raise money for wheat education, research, and outreach is still active. 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 AOsborne@wheatworld.org to learn more about how you can participate in Gifts of Grain.
ARTICLES OF INTEREST
- Roll Call
- The Washington Post
- Progressive Farmer