NAWG Weekly Updates, June 27, 2019

NWF Hosts Wheat Farm Tour for Congressional Staff
On Monday, June 24, 2019, the National Wheat Foundation hosted a wheat farm tour in Poolesville, MD for congressional staff. The farm belonged to NAWG Board of Director and Maryland farmer Eric Spates who discussed how he incorporates conservation practices, farm bill programs, pesticides, etc. into his operations. NWF also invited some representatives from USDA to speak to the group: 1. Keith Gray, Chief of Staff, USDA’s Risk Management Agency; 2. Buddy Bowling, Outreach Coordinator, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service Maryland; and 3. Bob Wevodau, Farm Program Chief at USDA Farm Service Agency. To see pictures from the event, visit the Foundation on Facebook and Twitter or click on #NWFWheatTour19.

NAWG Attends Field to Market Board Meeting
On June 24, 2019, NAWG Environmental Policy Advisor Keira Franz attended the Field to Market Board Meeting and General Session in Chicago, IL. NAWG is a partner of Field to Market, and Keira sits on the Board.

House Ag Committee Holds Hearing on Soil Health
On June 25, 2019, the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry held a hearing titled “Managing for Soil Health: Securing the Conservation and Economic Benefits of Healthy Soils.” Ranking Member Doug LaMalfa (CA-01) submitted testimony on behalf of NAWG President Ben Scholz. NAWG’s testimony focused on the role wheat growers play in maintaining soil health and some of the conservation practices growers incorporate into their practices. Additionally, NAWG mentions the National Wheat Foundation’s partnership with the Soil Health Partnership (SHP) to demonstrate the soil health benefits of management practices and crop rotations that include wheat.

USDA Farm Bill Implementation Progress Update
On June 26, 2019, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced an update on the implementation status of the 2018 Farm Bill. One highlight to note is that FSA will open ARC/PLC elections for the 2019 and 2020 crop years beginning in September 2019. Further, FSA plans to offer a General CRP sign-up in December 2019. Read the Agency’s recent press release which lays out additional updates.

House Passes Minibus with Ag Appropriations Bill
On Tuesday, June 25, 2019, the House passed a package of fiscal 2020 appropriations bills on a 227-194 vote. The Agriculture Appropriations bill was included in this 5-part minibus which provides $1.802 billion for farm programs – $32.1 million above the fiscal 2019 level. The bill also includes an increase of $30 million for 2018 farm bill implementation. NAWG is continuing to track any harmful amendments that may be brought forth.

NASS Releases Congressional District Profiles And Rankings On Agriculture
On Wednesday, June 26, 2019, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released the 2017 Census on Agriculture covering Congressional District Profiles and Rankings. This data includes land, rankings, farms, market details, and producer characteristics that can be used by producers, congressional leaders, and others for agricultural support in different congressional districts. In addition, NASS plans to release state-specific Census blogs, special tabulations of data, and additional Census highlights in the near future. In preparation for the 2022 Census of Agriculture, NASS is asking for suggestions about content and for new producers to be included in the future censuses and surveys. Both forms can be found here on the NASS website.

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