NAWG Weekly Updates, March 26, 2020

National Food and Ag Organization Letter to Governors re COVID-19
On March 24, 2020, NAWG joined a coalition of nearly fifty agriculture groups in sending a letter to the nation’s Governors “requesting assistance in assuring a steady food supply continues during the COVID-19 pandemic.” The letter in its entirety can be found here. 

2020 National Ag Day
On March 24th, the nation celebrated the 47th anniversary of National Ag Day. The theme for National Ag Day 2020 was “Food Brings Everyone to the Table.” To promote Ag Day and why it’s important to celebrate America’s wheat growers, the National Wheat Foundation published a blog here. Additionally, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue’s statement regarding National Agriculture Day can be found here.

USDA Announces More Than 3.4 Million Acres Selected for General Signup Conservation Reserve Program
On March 26, 2020, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the acceptance of more than 3.4 million acres in the recently completed general Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), the first general signup enrollments since 2016. Through CRP, farmers and ranchers receive an annual rental payment for establishing long-term, resource-conserving plant species, such as approved grasses or trees, to control soil erosion, improve water quality and enhance wildlife habitat on cropland. Farmers and ranchers who participate in CRP help provide numerous benefits to the nation’s environment and economy.

USDA and USTR Announce Continued Progress on Implementation of U.S.-China Phase One Agreement
On March 24, 2020, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced continued progress in the implementation of the agriculture-related provisions of the U.S.-China Phase One Economic and Trade Agreement. The Agreement entered into force on February 14, 2020, and the recent actions described below build upon the actions announced by USDA and USTR on February 25 and March 10.

Cover Crop Survey Seeks Farmer Insights
An online survey at https://bit.ly/CCSurvey2020 is gathering perspective on cover crops from farmers and crop advisors nationwide. This is the sixth cover crop survey by USDA’s SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education) program, the Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC) and the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA). The questionnaire takes 10 to 15 minutes to complete. Participants who complete the survey can enter a drawing for Visa gift cards worth $100 and $200.

SARE, CTIC and ASTA say they are seeking insights not just from long-time cover crop users, but also from farmers with little or no experience with cover crops.In past years, the SARE/CTIC/ASTA Cover Crop Survey has been used by conservation district and agency personnel, farm suppliers, researchers and policy makers to guide resources into research, communications and policy around cover crops, says Mike Smith, project director for CTIC. The report has even been cited in Congressional testimony.

Please fill out the survey at https://bit.ly/CCSurvey2020 before April 12. Previous years’ Cover Crop Survey reports are available online at https://www.ctic.org/data/Cover_Crops_Research_and_Demonstration_Cover_Crop_Survey.

Farm Policy Facts Piece “Our View: America’s Farmers Need Relief as they Keep Calm and Plant On”
Farm Policy Facts recently published a piece about how farmers are continuing to work through the COVID-19 crisis and that they provide certainty during these uncertain times. Read the piece here.

FFT Enacts Phone2Action re Tariffs
Farmers for Free Trade (FFT) has prepared a Phone2Action message asking for individuals to contact Congress and call for a suspension of the tariffs. The link the platform can be found here.

Dr. Mark Jekanowski Appointed World Agricultural Outlook Board Chairman
On March 23, 2020, Chief Economist Robert Johansson announced the appointment of Dr. Mark Jekanowski as the World Agricultural Outlook Board Chairman. Dr. Jekanowski is currently acting Board chairman and will assume his new duties on March 29.

2020 National Wheat Yield Contest Winter Wheat Early Registration Deadline – April 1st
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.