NAWG Weekly Updates, October 28, 2021
NAWG CEO Comments on Inslee-Murray Plan in Consideration of Columbia-Snake River Dam System
Last week, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Governor Jay Inslee (D-WA) released a statement establishing a joint federal-state process on Snake River salmon recovery. This plan includes looking at next steps going forward, including potentially breaching of the four dams in the lower Snake River system. Capital Press issued an article highlighting many grower concerns nationwide associated with the removal of the dams. NAWG CEO, Chandler Goule, expressed specific concerns that the removal would not only jeopardize wheat growers but also the economy. NAWG is committed to educating stakeholders about these concerns with the breaching of the dams. To read the full article, click here.
NAWG Files Comments on the EPA’s Neonicotinoid Biological Evaluation
On Monday, NAWG filed comments on the biological evaluation of several neonicotinoids. NAWG urged the EPA to consider more real-world situations that figure into a grower’s use of the crop protection tools to ensure that the potential impact is not overestimated. The biological evaluation is the first step in the Endangered Species Act consultation process.
NAWG Signs Letter of Support for Senate Agriculture Committee’s Furthering of Agricultural Technology
On October 26, the Senate Agriculture Committee held a hearing on agricultural biotechnology. Ahead of the hearing, about two dozen agriculture groups, including NAWG, sent a letter in support of this hearing and the committee’s commitment to furthering agricultural science and technology. The letter highlighted the importance of the further development of technologies including breeding and genome editing, two practices with which the wheat industry has major potential for growth. To read the letter, click here. Or, you can watch the hearing here.
GOVERNMENT AND INDUSTRY NEWS
USDA to Make Up to $1.15 Billion Available through the ReConnect Program
Last week, Secretary Vilsack announced expansions of access to high-speed internet, health care, and educational services for rural Americans nationwide through the ReConnect Program. The USDA will begin accepting applications on November 24, for eligible loans and grants, which will focus on areas without broadband service at speeds of 100 megabytes per second (Mbps) download and 20 Mbps upload. To get more background information on the ReConnect program, Distance Learning, and Telemedicine Grants, click here.
Federal Reserve Outlook
Last week, Farm Policy News released a summary of the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book update on the agriculture economy. Some wheat highlights included yields and production in District states for 2021 to be dramatically lower than the previous year, wheat prices remaining at a multi-year high, lower yields due to warmer temperatures and water shortages, and increased optimism for winter wheat performance due to promising soil moisture. To read the full summary, click here. To read the full Beige Book, click here.
Podcast with Former U.S. Representative Collin Peterson on Taxes
Last week, CropLife America did a podcast with Collin Peterson, the former Chair of the House Agriculture Committee. During their discussion they covered current tax increase issues and how solutions to the issue with the fourth quarter Employee Retention Credit if the infrastructure bill is passed as is. To view more information and to listen to the podcast, click here.
U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) Update
The first Pacific weather system early in the week spread precipitation across Wyoming to the Upper Mississippi Valley, then left scattered showers over the Northeast before moving off into the Atlantic. The second brought precipitation to northern California and the Pacific Northwest. The third system slammed into the West Coast near the end of the week creating heavy precipitation across California with widespread rain and some high elevation snow from California and the Pacific Northwest to the Great Basin. The end result of these weather systems was above-normal precipitation for the week across much of the West, including the Pacific Northwest, California, Nevada, and the central to northern Rocky Mountains; across eastern portions of the northern and central Plains, the southern Great Lakes, and western and southern portions of the Northeast; and a band of precipitation from southeast Kansas to eastern Kentucky. The precipitation improved short-term conditions, especially in the West. Groundwater, reservoir levels, and longer-term (9-month to 72-month) SPI indicators still indicated very dry long-term drought conditions in the West and northern Plains. The rest of the CONUS was drier than normal, with little to no precipitation falling across much of the Southwest, central and southern Plains, Lower Mississippi Valley to Southeast, northern reaches of the Upper Mississippi Valley, and northern Maine. Drought was reduced in intensity in parts of the West and Midwest, but expanded in the southern Plains, central High Plains, and Southeast. To view the full map and summary, click here.
NATIONAL WHEAT FOUNDATION NEWS
NWF Announces National Winners for the 2021 National and State Wheat Yield Contest
The National Wheat Foundation recently announced their winners for the National Wheat Yield Contest. “Better than expected” is how many of the grower participants describe their 2021 wheat crops. The crops in the spring wheat areas overcame historic drought and a heatwave that is being described as a 1000-year weather event. The winter wheat crop experienced the “Valentine’s Week Historic Winter Outbreak” of snow, sleet, freezing rain and extremely cold temperatures that lasted for several days. In the Northeast, the rain was plentiful and too much so during harvest time. Despite these challenges, 387 wheat growers still entered the contest and 150 of them took their entries to yield in order to compete and see how they fared versus other growers in the country. NWF Project Manager, Anne Osborne, commented that this year’s contest was a testament to the overall hardiness of wheat. Despite the difficulties such as wet harvests in some areas and drought in others, many farmers persisted and were able to harvest high-quality yields. To read more of the winners’ stories from the Progressive Farmer, click here. Read the 2021 national winners’ press release here and the 2021 state winners’ press release here.
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
- World Grain
- Progressive Farmer