Editor’s note: this post includes a correction to the story “Crop Insurance Yield Adjustments.”
Congress was out of session this week for the July 4 holiday. Ag news in Washington and around the country didn’t stop, though! Here’s a quick update on key happenings.
Congress Back Next Week Until August Recess
Members of Congress returned to their districts and states this week for the Fourth of July holiday. Both the House of Representatives and the Senate will be back in Washington, D.C., on Monday for the final work session before the August recess, which is slated to begin on Aug. 6.
Transport Bill Trucks Over to Obama for Signature
President Obama is set to sign into law a two-year transportation reauthorization bill on Friday after Congress passed the measure a week ago. Moving Ahead for the Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) has several important provisions including the Farmers’ Freedom Act (H.R. 2414), extending federally subsidized student loan interest at 3.4 percent, a five-year reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program and streamlining of agencies’ environmental review process.
H.R. 2414 clarifies agricultural hours of service provisions and continues the farm vehicle exemption from federal commercial driver’s license requirements. MAP-21 also provided maritime provisions that ensure harbor maintenance operations and maintenance funds are being utilized properly.
The bill fails to give guidance on states’ ability to increase truck weights which NAWG and others were seeking as well as freight rail provisions that are important to the grain industry.
House Farm Bill Language Expected
The House Committee on Agriculture is expected to release their version of the farm bill as early as today, almost a week before the scheduled mark up of the bill planned for next Wednesday, July 11. NAWG applauds the efforts of the House Committee as we know they have been working diligently on the bill. We look forward to continuing the process and ultimately passing a farm bill this year.
Crop Insurance Yield Adjustments
The Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC) Board of Directors has approved Trend-Adjusted APH for winter wheat. The Trend-Adjusted APH adjusts eligible yields, in qualifying APH databases, to reflect long term increases in the county’s historical yield. The county’s yield trend factor will be provided in the actuarial documents.
The trend-adjusted APH is available at the beginning of the 2013 crop year for specific counties in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Interested producers should contact their crop insurance agents for more information specific to your area.
Soft Wheat Quality Lab Seeks Lead Scientist
The USDA-Agricultural Research Service’s Corn, Soybean, and Wheat Quality Research Unit in Wooster, Ohio, is seeking applications for a permanent, full-time research molecular biologist (plants)/geneticist (plants)/chemist. This position is the lead scientist in the Soft Wheat Quality Laboratory (SWQL).
ARS is seeking a scientist who will develop and lead an active, interdisciplinary program of independent and collaborative research to identify and characterize molecular, biochemical, chemical and/or physical differences in wheat that are related to flour quality in eastern soft wheat and will also manage the soft wheat quality testing program at the SWQL. The lead scientist will work with collaborators, stakeholders and ARS leadership to identify research needs and implement an effective research program.
To apply, print a copy of vacancy announcement ARS-X12E-0071 from the ARS Careers Website at www.ars.usda.gov/careers and follow the application directions provided. For information on the research program and/or position, call Dr. Peg Redinbaugh 330-263-3965 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications must be received by Aug. 10.