NAWG Weekly Updates, February 21, 2019

The 2019 Commodity Classic is scheduled for February 29th to March 2nd at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. As a result, NAWG will not be sending out its weekly updates next week. The schedule for the conference can be found  here

In Memory of Mike Harper, FMC
The National Association of Wheat Growers and the National Wheat Foundation extend condolences to the family and friends of Michael C. Harper who passed away unexpectedly last Tuesday, February 12.

Mike worked for FMC Corporation for 39 years as an ag chemical sales rep, and most recently, as the industry relations manager.  He graduated from Purdue University in with a degree in agriculture economics and was member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. He was involved in Missouri FFA and the University of Missouri School of Agriculture, and enjoyed fishing, hunting, and gardening.

Expressions of sympathy may be made in Mike’s honor to the Indiana FFA; Phi Delta Theta Fraternity, Theta Chapter, Purdue University; Phi Delta Theta at Purdue Alumni Relations Center (P.O. Box 7007, Alberta Lee, MN 56007-8007); and the University of Missouri School of Agriculture (please choose Division of Applied Sciences).

PRESS RELEASE: The 2019 NAWG/USW Winter Conference Concludes with Wheat Growers Leaving Their Mark on Capitol Hill
The National Association of Wheat Growers and U.S. Wheat Associates held its annual winter conference from February 11-15, 2019 in Washington, D.C. Conducting meetings with Members from wheat states as well as the House and Senate Agriculture Committee and their staff, wheat growers focused their discussions on implementation of the 2018 Farm Bill, challenges facing the wheat industry, and trade. Additionally, NAWG’s Committees covered a range of topics including the farm bill implementation, U.S.-Canada-Mexico Agreement and other trade issues, and wheat research needs. NAWG’s complete statement can be found here.

NAWG Signs on to Crop Insurance Letter
On February 19, 2018, NAWG and a coalition of about 60 groups, sent a letter addressed to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to Secretary stating that that farm income has dropped more than 45 percent over five years. In the letter, the groups argued that “it’s also important to note that in a time of uncertainty in the farming and ranching community – from natural disasters to trade disputes to government shutdowns – the public-private partnership that is crop insurance has been a consistent and reliable risk management tool.” NAWG and the coalition sent a similar letter was sent to the House and Senate Budget committees.

Former NAWG President Passes
Mr. Tilden Madison Angell, 86, of Madison Road, died Tuesday, February 12, 2019, at Iredell Memorial Hospital in Statesville, North Carolina. He spent 59 years as a farmer, operating over 4,000 acres of wheat, corn, and soybeans. Mr. Angell was on the original steering committee of the North Carolina Small Grain Growers Association and was the first-ever president of the National Association of Wheat Growers from East of the Mississippi River. The year he retired as a farmer, he placed 2nd in the North Carolina National Wheat Yield Contest. Mr. Tilden will be deeply missed.

Agriculture Committees to Hold Hearings on Farm Bill
House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson announced a full Committee hearing with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on “The State of the Rural Economy.” The committee hearing will be at 10:00amEST on Wednesday, February 27. Additionally, on February 28 at 9:30amEST the Senate is hosting a hearing on “Implementing the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018,” where Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue will also testify.

USDA to Host 2018 Farm Bill Implementation Listening Sessions
On February 12, 2019, the USDA Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey announced that the Agency is hosting a listening session on the 2018 Farm Bill. USDA is seeking public input on the changes to existing programs implemented by the Farm Service Agency, Natural Resource Conservation Service and Risk Management Agency. The listening session will be held on February 26 at 9am in the Jefferson Auditorium in the South Building located at 14th Street and Independence Ave. S.W. in Washington, D.C.

House Ways and Means to Hold Hearing on US-China Trade
On February 20, 2019 House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal announced the Committee will hold a hearing on US-China Trade. The hearing will take place on Wednesday, February 27 at 10:00amEST. The only invited witness is Ambassador Robert E. Lighthizer, United States Trade Representative.

USDA Releases Long-Term Commodity Projections
On February 14, 2019, the Agriculture Department released its long-term trade projections for commodities and other reports last week. USDA said it will release the complete USDA Agricultural Projections to 2028 report on March 13. For more information, visit USDA’s site.

SCOTUS Takes on Groundwater Case
The Supreme Court has decided to review a 9th Circuit decision finding the Clean Water Act applies to wastewater that travels through groundwater to the Pacific Ocean. The appeals court ruled on Feb. 1, 2018, that four wells for the main wastewater treatment plant for West Maui qualified as “point sources” under the CWA. Read more in Agri-Pulse.

US Wheat Associates Board of Directors Elect Officers for 2019/20
On February 15, 2019 the US Wheat Associates (USW) board of directors elected new officers. The board elected Rhonda K. Larson of East Grand Forks, MN, as Secretary-Treasurer; Darren Padget of Grass Valley, OR, as Vice Chairman; and Doug Goyings of Paulding, OH, as Chairman. Their new leadership roles will begin at the USW board meeting in June 2019 when current Chairman Chris Kolstad of Ledger, MT, will become Past Chairman.