NAWG Weekly Updates, June 20, 2019

NAWG Submits Testimony to House Ag Committee re Hearing on Risk Management
On Thursday, June 20, 2019, the House Committee on Agriculture, General Farm Commodities and Risk Management Subcommittee held a hearing on “How Farm Policy Helps Farmers in Adverse Conditions”. Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Filemon Vela (TX-34) submitted testimony on behalf of NAWG President Ben Scholz. Scholz’s testimony focused on the tough conditions facing wheat growers across the country right now, and the importance of having strong risk management programs like crop insurance in place. 

Senate Finance Committee Holds Hearing on USMCA and Trade
The U.S. Senate Committee on Finance held a hearing on June 18th which looked at the Administration’s 2019 trade policy agenda. USTR Ambassador Lighthizer was the sole witness testifying. The Senate’s main concerns made throughout the hearing were USMCA enforcement of labor and environmental provisions. Amb. Lighthizer argued that provisions are written in USMCA to ensure that the agreements rules are followed and continues to highlight recent labor achievements made by Mexico. Additionally, lawmakers expressed their concerns with the ongoing negotiations with Japan and combating the trade war with China. Amb. Lighthizer rounded off his remarks by urging Congress to pass USMCA. 

House Ways and Means Committee Holds Hearing on USMCA
On June 19, 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee held a hearing on the Administration’s 2019 Trade Agenda with USTR Ambassador Lighthizer testifying. During the hearing, Committee members expressed concern over the USMCA provisions regarding enforcement, Japan trade negotiations, and the ongoing trade war with China. In response, Amb. Lighthizer stated that enforcement mechanisms are in place within USMCA. In his remarks, Amb. Lighthizer argued that USMCA is not perfect but it is the best of what we have for updating the United States’ current trade agenda and addressing future trade issues.

NAWG To Submit Comments re EPA’s Glyphosate Proposed Interim Registration Review Decision
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has opened a 60-day public comment period on the Proposed Interim Registration Review Decision for glyphosate. NAWG intends to submit comments by the July 5, 219 deadline.

NWF Blog Series: The Science Behind Gene Editing
On June 20, 2019, NAWG Summer 2019 Intern Merrick Irvin drafted blog #2 in his five-part series on the progression of wheat genetics from the beginning to present. The second blog provides a high-level overview of what is gene editing. Read it here: http://bit.ly/31KeJ7n. 

Bayer Raises The Bar In Transparency, Sustainability And Engagement
On June 14, 2019, Bayer announced that it will invest approximately 5 billion euros ($5.6 billion) in research to combat weeds. In its release, the company stated that “innovation will cut the ecological footprint of Bayer’s agricultural portfolio. With its solutions, the company will reduce the environmental impact by 30 percent by 2030. Bayer aims to achieve this by developing new technologies, scaling down crop protection volumes, and enabling more precise application. This will help to restore and retain biodiversity, combat climate change, and make the most efficient use of natural resources.”

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.