NAWG Weekly Update, July 27, 2017

NAWG Testifies on Need for Strong Crop Insurance, Title I, and Credit Programs in the Farm Bill
On Tuesday, July 25, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry held a hearing titled “Commodities, Credit, and Crop Insurance: Perspectives on Risk Management Tools and Trends for the 2018 Farm Bill.” NAWG President and Kansas farmer David Schemm testified to the Committee on the need for growers to have access to a strong safety net and risk management system.

In his testimony, NAWG President David Schemm spoke to the importance of credit and the impact that timing of Title 1 payments has in a farmers’ ability to secure credit; maintaining a choice between ARC and PLC; and increasing funding for MAP and FMD.

NAWG’s release and David Schemm’s complete testimony can be found here http://www.wheatworld.org/nawg-testifies-on-need-for-strong-crop-insurance-title-i-and-credit-programs-in-the-farm-bill/

House Committee on Agriculture Holds Hearing on NAFTA
On July 26, 2017, the House Committee on Agriculture held a hearing to discuss possible opportunities for agriculture in the renegotiation of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). President and Sharon Springs, Kansas farmer David Schemm’s statement can be found here. In the release, NAWG stresses our number one priority in the NAFTA renegotiation to be “Do No Harm.”

NAWG Submits Comments to EPA’s Review of Chlorpyrifos-methyl
On Friday, July 21, 2017, NAWG submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding Chlorpyrifos-methyl, sold as Storcide II. Chlorpyrifos-methy is undergoing a regular registration review process at EPA, but documents released for public comment indicate the agency is considering removing the registered use of Storcide II on stored wheat.  NAWG members feel that Storcide II is a cost effective and safe product and support the continued availability of the product. With the impact of resistance to crop protection products, it is important that wheat growers have access to a variety of products to treat pests.

The National Wheat Foundation and Mini Wheat Summit Held Wheat Value Chain Summit
Today, the National Association of Wheat Growers, in conjunction with the National Wheat Foundation, held a Wheat Summit to address and collaborate on the challenges and opportunities facing the wheat industry. The Summit was attended by more than 20 industry professionals from across the wheat value chain. Read the release in its entirety here.

WOTUS Argument Date Announced
The Supreme Court announced October 11 as the date to hear arguments on where the “waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) case will take place.  Farm groups, manufacturers, along with many states and environmental groups believe that district courts should handle the matter, but the federal government believes the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, who ruled they should hear the case, is the proper court level. This kicks off a 30-day comment period on withdrawing the Obama-era “waters of the U.S” rule. The EPA and Army Corps of Engineers are publishing a proposal that would kill the existing WOTUS rule and reinstate the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act the way it existed before 2015. The administration announced its plan June 27, but the formal release of the proposal was held up by a formatting problem with the Federal Register.

House Agriculture Committee: Farm Bill Listening Session in Texas
On Monday, July 31, Chairman K. Michael Conaway (TX-11), members of the House Agriculture Committee, and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue will attend a farm bill listening session “Conversations in the Field” at Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas.  He session can be streamed live here.

The Committee will also hold subsequent listening sessions Thursday, August 3, at Farmfest in Morgan, MN; Saturday, August 5, in Modesto, CA; and Wednesday, August 30, at the Farm Progress Show in Decatur, IL.

Check out USDA NASS’s Improved Online Census of Agriculture Questionnaire Demonstration Website
If you are taking some time to get out of the heat this summer, go online and check out USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service’s improved  online census questionnaire demonstration site. “Responding to the census will be easier than ever before in December. It is our hope that producers will become familiar with the online census questionnaire demo this summer, like it, and return to report online when responding to the Census of Agriculture later this year,” said NASS Census and Survey Division Director Barbara Rater.  The updated online questionnaire, which will go live late fall, will be accessible on any electronic device. New features save time by calculating totals automatically and skipping questions that do not pertain to the respondent’s operation.  While on the Census of Agriculture website, explore the census introduction video, view a video of USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue talking about the 2017 Census of Agriculture, see some examples of how census data are used, access frequently asked questions, and explore past and current data. And if you want to help promote the 2017 Census of Agriculture among your friends, colleagues and neighbors, see the partner tools.

National Wheat Yield Contest Spring Wheat Deadline is August 1st! 
The National Wheat Yield Contest enrollment is finishing out its last couple of weeks. Entering its second year, the contest is sponsored by the National Wheat Foundation. The Contest is entirely web based and growers can enter at http://yieldcontest.wheatfoundation.org.

Deadline to enter for spring wheat is August 1, 2017!