NAWG Weekly Updates, March 12, 2020

BLOG: NAWG Sits Down with Bayer’s COO of Crop Science Brett Begemann
NAWG Director of Communications Caitlin Eannello recently sat down with Brett Begemann, member of the Executive Leadership Team and Chief Operating Officer for the Crop Science division of Bayer. Based in St. Louis, Mo., Brett oversees commercial excellence across all areas of the Crop Science business. In this interview, NAWG asked Begemann what Bayer has coming down the pipeline for wheat, his global perspectives on trade and wheat, and his opinion on what he sees to be the greatest challenge facing agriculture over these upcoming years.

NAWG Signs Onto Coalition to Promote U.S. Agricultural Exports’ Letter re MAP and FMD Funding
On March 11, 2020, NAWG joined in the Coalition’s to Promote U.S. Agricultural Exports request to Senate and House Appropriations Committees for “$255 million for Agricultural Trade Promotion and Facilitation and that within this amount, Market Access Program (MAP) receive at least $200 million and the Foreign Market Development (FMD) program receive at least $34.5 million”. In the letter, the Coalition details how investments in MAP and FMD investments help agriculture and growers we reclaim lost markets and successfully find new ones.

NAWG Signs on to Letter in Support of Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN)
On March 9, 2020, NAWG, along with several organizations, sent a letter to Senate and House Appropriations Committees thanking them for providing $10 million for the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN) in the FY 2020 appropriations package. Through a grant, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) helped launch FRSAN which is a program created to establish a network that assists farmers, ranchers, and other agriculture-related workers in times of stress and offers a conduit to improving behavioral health awareness, literacy, and outcomes for them and their families. NIFA is providing funding to four regional entities to help launch the network in North Central, Northeast, Southern, and Western regions. The long-term expectation is that agriculture producers and their families will now have greater opportunities to find help in their communities and states.

NAWG Signs On to Food Aid Support Letters
On March 2, 2020, NAWG joined nearly seventy organizations in sending a letter to both the Senate and House Committees on Appropriations in support of funding for Food Aid. Specifically, the Senate and House letters P.L. 480 Title II Food for Peace, Food for Progress, and McGovern-Dole International Food for Education within the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies appropriations bill.

EPA Releases New ESA Consultation Methods for Pesticides
On March 12, 2020, the Environmental Protection Agency released a “Revised Method for National Level Listed Species Biological Evaluation of Conventional Pesticides” following ongoing efforts to improve endangered species consultation. The EPA, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Marine Fisheries Service and USDA have been working together to develop and improved system of review. NAWG has advocated for fixing a broken systems of Endangered Species Act consultation for pesticide registrations. NAWG’s Environment & Research Committee will review the proposal and develop any needed feedback to the agencies.

Futurity CEO Releases First Food Blog in Series
Futurity CEO Jack Bobo has published his first blog in a 10-part series on consumer food fears and how to overcome them. The goal of the series is to help consumers fear less and enjoy more the food they eat. Prior to finding Futurity, Jack Bobo was the Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer for Intrexon after serving thirteen years as a senior advisor on global food policy, biotechnology and agricultural trade at the U.S. Department of State. Read the first blog in his series here.

Farm Policy Facts: Risk Management Essential for Any Farmer
The Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs have a fast approaching sign up deadline of March 16th. It is important for Farmers to be knowledgeable on these programs as this is the first-time producers will be able to change their ARC and PLC enrollment choices since the two programs were established in the 2014 Farm Bill. In a recent piece and podcast by Farms Policy Facts, Dr. Joe Outlaw from Texas A&M University suggest producers to use the Decision Aid Tool when making these important decisions.

FSA Encourages Producers to Enroll Soon in Agriculture Risk and Price Loss Coverage Programs
On January 15, 2020, the Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced that agricultural producers can now enroll in the Agriculture Risk (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs. The FSA estimates that there are 1.3 million producers left to enroll, so to ensure program delivery expectations, they urged producers to enroll now. The deadline is March 15, 2020, for the 2019 crop year.

PRESS RELEASE: The National Wheat Foundation Officially Opens its 2020 National Wheat Yield Contest
On February 18, 2020, the National Wheat Foundation officially opened the 2020 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 accepting entries for Winter and Spring Wheat. The deadline for Winter Wheat entries is May 15th with an early registration deadline of April 1st. The Spring wheat entry deadline is August 1st, with an early registration deadline of June 15th.