NAWG Weekly Updates, June 13, 2019

Joint Statement from USW and NAWG on New Discovery of GE Wheat Plants
On June 07, 2019, National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) and U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) issued a press release stating its awareness  that USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed the discovery of genetically engineered (GE) wheat plants growing in an unplanted said agricultural field in Washington State. APHIS says the GE wheat in question is resistant to the herbicide glyphosate. Read the release here.

NAWG Submits Testimony to House Ag Subcommittee and Senate Full Committee
On Tuesday, June 11, 2019, NAWG President Ben Scholz submitted testimony to the House Agriculture Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Subcommittee which held a hearing looking at the current state of U.S. agricultural products in international markets. In his remarks, Scholz argues that “wheat farmers are facing an incredibly challenging economic environment and that trade disruptions have negatively impacted farmers.” His testimony also focuses on the importance of finalizing the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), holding China to its WTO commitments, and securing a trade deal with Japan. On Thursday, June 13, 2019, the Senate Committee on Agriculture held a similar hearing which looked at the certainty in global markets for U.S. agriculture. NAWG President Ben Scholz submitted testimony for the record which can be found here.

PRESS RELEASE: Wheat Growers Join Nearly 1,000 Food & Ag Groups in Letter Urging Congressional Ratification of USMCA
Nearly 1,000 groups representing the U.S. food and agriculture value chain at the national, state and local levels have called on Congress to support the ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). In a letter sent to Congress, the groups reiterate that USMCA will benefit the U.S. agriculture and food industry while providing consumers a more abundant supply of high-quality, safe food at affordable prices. Read our release here.

USDA Announces ERS and NIFA Relocating to Kansas City Region
On June 13th, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue announced that the Economic Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture will be relocating to the Kansas City Region. The USDA went through a selection process that included 136 locations expressing interest before coming to the decision. Read the USDA’s press release on the announcement for more information and background on the decision here.

House Ag Unveils New Website
On June 10, 2019, the House Agriculture Committee unveiled a new website which featured a modern, responsive design that works on phones, tablets, and desktops. The new website can be found at the same link: agriculture.house.gov. The Committee’s release announcing the new site, can be found here.

House to Take Up Ag Approps Bill Next Week
The House Rules Committee stated that it will take up a second minibus of fiscal year 2020 appropriations bills including the Agriculture bill the week of June 17. According to the statement, “ the Committee on Rules is likely to meet the week of June 17 to grant a rule that may provide a structured amendment process for floor consideration of H.R. 3055 — Commerce, Justice, Science, Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, Interior, Environment, Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act, 2020”.

AgriPulse: Five States Dominate First Round Of Trade Aid
As reported in Agri-Pulse, five Corn Belt (Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Indiana) states have claimed 46 percent of the total payments that USDA made under the 2018 version of its Market Facilitation Program, according to an analysis by the American Farm Bureau Federation. That’s not a big surprise given that soybeans had the highest payment rate by far, reflecting the impact of China’s retaliatory tariffs. California, the nation’s No. 1 agricultural state by sales, ranks No. 20 in MFP payments at $70.5 million, $38 million of which was for dairy producers.

Simon N. Groot of the Netherlands Wins the 2019 World Food Prize
Simon N. Groot, a sixth-generation Dutch seedsman, has been announced as the $250,000 World Food Prize Laureate for 2019. Groot has been awarded the World Food Prize due to his efforts in empowering millions of smallholding farmers, providing them and their communities with a greater access to nutrient rich vegetables. Founding East-West Seed, Groot serves more than 60 tropical countries and has transitioned millions of subsistence farmers into horticulture entrepreneurs. Simon N. Groot has improved the lives of millions of people by providing access to nutritious, healthy vegetables and that is why he is the winner of the 2019 World Food Prize.

NWF Accepting Entries for 2019 National Wheat Yield Contest
The National Wheat Foundation (NWF) is currently accepting grower enrollment for the 2019 National Wheat Yield Contest! The Contest is divided into two primary competition categories: winter wheat and spring wheat, and two subcategories: dryland and irrigated. The Foundation is currently accepting entries for Spring Wheat. The Spring wheat entry deadline is August 1st with an early registration deadline of June 15th.