NAWG Weekly Update: February 16, 2017

House Panel Hears from Experts about Troubling Economic Conditions in Agriculture
Yesterday the House Agriculture Committee held a hearing to review the economic challenges facing rural America. The National Association of Wheat Growers recognize the hardships that wheat producers are facing in a time of low prices that have dropped below cost of production for many. With this, NAWG applauds the committee for holding this hearing and to get input from several economists about key economic indicators and an overview of the stress in the farm economy.  NAWG also applauds Chairman Mike Conaway’s attention to and understanding of the fact that “there is real potential for a crisis in rural America.”

This hearing was intended to help develop a framework in which Congress will be writing the next Farm Bill. Moving forward, as NAWG finished its Farm Bill priority development process, the organization looks forward to working with the Committee to draft a strong, comprehensive farm bill.

To view the hearing and to read testimony from the witnesses, click here.

House Ag Committee Approves Two Pesticide Measures
Today, the House Agriculture Committee approved two measures regarding the regulation of pesticides. The Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act (H.R. 953) would eliminate the duplicative permit requirement for use of pesticides that have already been approved by the EPA in the Federal Insecticide Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Senator Crapo (R-ID) has also introduced similar legislation in the Senate. The National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), a permit under the Clean Water Act that addresses water pollution by regulating point sources that discharge pollutants into the waters of the United States, adds additional and unnecessary burdens to producers applying pesticides on or near water. The Environmental Protection Agency’s FIFRA registration and review of crop protection products takes into consideration environmental and human risk and it is unnecessary to have both requirements. The National Association of Wheat Growers applauds the Committee’s action and urges House leadership to bring this to a vote on the House floor as it would bring regulatory clarity on pesticide applications.

The Committee also approved the Pesticide Registration Enhancement Act (H.R. 1029), which would reauthorize the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act (PRIA).

Commodity Classic is Right around the Corner!
The annual Commodity Classic trade show is right around the corner, starting in less than two weeks.  Before the trade show begins, NAWG will be holding its board meeting, with committee meetings on Wednesday, March 1, and the NAWG board and National Wheat Foundation board meetings on Thursday, March 2.  On Thursday night, the National Wheat Foundation will feature the winners of the National Wheat Yield Contest with a cocktail reception from 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. followed by a reception to honor outgoing President Gordon Stoner, as well as an auction to raise money for NAWG’s WheatPAC.

Information about NAWG’s board meeting can be found here.  Additionally, click hereto register for the Commodity Classic trade show if you haven’t already.