NAWG Weekly Updates, December 20, 2019

Due to the holiday season, this is the last week for NAWG’s daily updates until Thursday, January 10, 2018. 

PRESS RELEASE: NAWG Applauds President Trump Signing the 2018 Farm Bill into Law
Today, President Trump officially signed The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, commonly known as the Farm Bill, into law. The signing ceremony was held in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building at the White House. NAWG President and Sentinel, OK wheat farmer Jimmie Musick was invited to attend the official signing of the bill. NAWG was very grateful to be part of this historic event. Our release can be found here.

USDA Launches Second Round of Trade Mitigation Payments; NAWG’s Response
On December 17, 2018, at the direction of President Donald J. Trump, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue launched the second and final round of trade mitigation payments aimed at assisting farmers suffering from damage due to unjustified trade retaliation by foreign nations. Producers of certain commodities will now be eligible to receive Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments for the second half of their 2018 production, including the second half of the 14 cent per bushel assistance rate for wheat. NAWG President Jimmie Musick called this welcome news for wheat growers as it will provide needed help to farmers facing difficult economic conditions. Earlier this fall NAWG staff met with USDA and Office and Management and Budget officials and wrote a letter to USDA Secretary Perdue describing the market price suppression and lost sales wheat farmers have been experiencing in the face of tariff retaliation, as well as to explain why further help for farmers was justified. Read USDA’s release in its entirety here and NAWG’s statement in response to this announcement here.

 WOLF Nominations Needed
The Wheat Organization Leaders of Tomorrow (WOLF) Program for upcoming NAWG leaders will be taking place at the beginning of Winter Conference from Monday, February 11th– Tuesday, February 12th, 2019. The WOLF program is sponsored by Bayer through a partnership with the National Wheat Foundation and will come at no cost to participants or your state association. All participants flights to and from DC will be covered, as well as meals and hotel rooms for Monday and Tuesday. We do encourage participants to stay through the full NAWG Board meeting, however hotel rooms after Tuesday night will be at the cost of a state association. We are asking for all WOLF applications to be returned to Craig Berning, cberning@wheatworld.org, by Friday December 21st, 2018.

NWF Blog: Top 3 Blogs of 2018!
The National Wheat Foundation has posted its final blog of the year which highlights the top 3 most read blogs of 2018. The link to the blog can be found here!

On Thursday, December 20, 2018, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard. The National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Law, passed by Congress in July of 2016, directed USDA to establish this national mandatory standard for disclosing foods that are or may be bioengineered. The Standard requires food manufacturers, importers and certain retailers to ensure bioengineered foods are appropriately disclosed.

The final rule will be published in the Federal Register on December 21, 2018. Following publication of this rule, USDA will provide outreach and education to inform regulated entities and the public about the new disclosure terms. The entire record of the rulemaking is available at www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/12/21/2018-27283/national-bioengineered-food-disclosure-standard.

USDA Updates Wetland Determination Guidance to Increase Consistency, Timeliness
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is improving the process by which it makes wetland determinations, updating guidance to improve consistency and timeliness as well as to responding to feedback from farmers and other stakeholders. The updates do not change the definition of a wetland for USDA program participation purposes, but rather provide greater clarity and uniformity in how NRCS makes determinations nationwide. On December 7, 2018, the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) posted an updated guidance in the Federal Register as an interim final rule. NRCS is accepting comments on this rule through Feb. 5, 2019. Review or comment on the interim final rule on the Federal Register by Feb. 5, 2019. Learn more about conservation compliance on the NRCS website.

Soil Health Partnership (SHP)’s Annual Soil Health Summit
As the pursuit of improved soil health as an on-farm business and environmental strategy continues to grow, the Soil Health Partnership  is taking a new step to foster that interest. For the first time, the organization has opened to the public the annual Soil Health Summit, January 15 – 16 in St. Louis, and encourages growers and agronomists to attend. Registration is open from the Soil Health Summit website. The registration fee for the two-day event is just $100 for farmers and educators. The cost for other attendees is $250. This registration fee includes the event meals, all sessions, and a reception.

Housing and Registration Opens for 2019 Commodity Classic
Housing and registration has officially opened for the 2019 Commodity Classic, which is scheduled for February 28th – March 2nd in Orlando, Florida at the Orlando Convention Center. NAWG has been assigned to the Rosen Centre hotel (9840 International Drive, Orlando, Florida 32819) which is located right next to the Convention Center. To register and book a hotel room, use the NAWG room block here.

2019 NAWG/U.S. Wheat Winter Conference Housing and Registration Open!
Housing and registration has officially opened for 2019 NAWG/USW Winter Conference scheduled for February 12-15, 2019 at the Grand Hyatt Washington in downtown Washington, D.C. Register and reserve your rooms here. Please remember to register your spouses and select the correct room block on the LAST PAGE of your registration. The deadline to reserve your room is MONDAY, JANUARY 21, 2019.