NAWG Weekly Update: September 10, 2015

Apply NOW for the 2015 WILOT Program
The National Wheat Foundation’s (NWF) WILOT Program, funded by a grant from Monsanto, is now in its 19th year and is open to 10 selected U.S. wheat growers interested in serving in a leadership position at the state or national level. The 2015 Wheat Industry Leaders of Tomorrow (WILOT) Program is set for Saturday, November 14, through Thursday, November 19, in St Louis. The deadline for submitting applications is Friday, September 18. Speakers include: Joyce Schaeffer (Myers-Briggs; Working Productively with Others), Jana McGuire, Center for Food Integrity (Trust in the US Food Supply and Communicating with the Public), Dr. Barry Flinchbaugh, Kansas State (Ag Economics and Policy) and the Standing Partnership (media training/messaging) who will be sharing some of their experience prepping WILOT class members for the media and the podium. The class will also be involved in discussions about current and forthcoming Monsanto wheat innovation. Participants will be selected by Friday, September 25; so don’t delay in submitting your application. Click here to apply.

NAWG Calls on Congress to Act on Tax Extenders
This week, NAWG joined a broad coalition of more than 2,000 companies, associations, and organizations in writing to members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate urging Congress to act immediately to extend, enhance, or make permanent expired and expiring tax provisions that are important for agricultural producers across the country. Provisions, including Section 179 expensing and bonus depreciation, expired at the end of last year, though there have been efforts underway to retroactively extend those provisions to cover this year and next year. Earlier this summer, the Senate Finance Committee approved tax extenders legislation, which included Section 179 and bonus depreciation; however, the full Senate has not yet acted. NAWG continues to advocate for Congressional action to extend these provisions, and also urges Congress to act on comprehensive tax reform to give long-term certainty to producers. To read the full letter click here

The Truth About Glyphosate, Part 4: Why does USDA collect farm data?
The fourth blog in a five-part series about glyphosate use in wheat is now accessible on the National Wheat Foundation “The Word on Wheat” blog. Given the mischaracterization of herbicide use in wheat, the National Wheat Foundation has been promoting the truth about glyphosate use through the Foundation blog and social media pages. The truth is, there is data to support U.S. wheat growers’ responsible use of glyphosate in their fields, but USDA collects data for more than just the scientific evidence to dispel activist claims.

Among other things, the USDA aims to meet the needs of farmers and ranchers, promote agricultural production, work to assure food safety, protect natural resources and end hunger in the U.S. The USDA plays a very important role for the people of the United States. In the vein of protecting natural resources and ensuring our food supply is safe, the USDA monitors the use of all pesticides used to enable the production of our food. Having the data allows the USDA to evaluate the safety of the nation’s food supply, assess risks and benefits, make decisions about product registrations, quantify the benefits of conservation practices and market commodities internationally. For wheat, surveys have been done in 2000, 2004, 2006, 2009, 2012 and the next one is scheduled for 2017.

While USDA’s survey data do not separate applications of any pesticide by when it was applied or allow calculations of the percentage of acres treated, they do show an increase in the overall use of glyphosate on wheat across the years surveyed.

To read the full blog post, visit the NWF blog page here. To read the previous posts in the series, visit the National Wheat Foundation blog at wheatfoundation.org.

NAWG, USW Grower Leaders in DC Next Week
Next week, grower leaders from NAWG and U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) will be in Washington, D.C. for a press conference announcing the results of a new, groundbreaking econometric study sponsored by USW. The study shows that excessive subsidies in China, India, Turkey and Brazil significantly drive down U.S. wheat farm gate prices, alter trade flows and manipulate planting decisions.

For more information on who will be speaking at the press conference click here.

Oklahoma Wheat Commission Produces “Truth About Wheat”
Last week Oklahoma Educational Television Authority (OETA) aired “The Truth About Wheat.” Produced by Oklahoma Wheat Commission, the video includes an informative discussion with experts, Dr. Brett Carver, Regents Professor and Wheat Genetics Chair in Agriculture from Oklahoma State University; Dr. Julie Miller-Jones, Board Certified Nutrition Specialist and Licensed Nutritionist and current Distinguished Scholar and Professor Emeritus of Nutrition at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, MN, and Sara Olsen, Colorado Wheat Farmer, Mother & Colorado Wheat Administrative Council board member moderated by well-known agriculture reporter Ken Root. The full episode can be viewed here.