NAWG Weekly Updates, May 20, 2021

NAWG NEWS

NAWG Welcomes U.S. Senate’s Confirmation of Dr. Jewel H. Bronaugh

The National Association of Wheat Growers welcomed the U.S. Senate’s confirmation of Dr. Jewel H. Bronaugh last week as Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). “NAWG welcomes the Senate’s quick action and strong bipartisan vote in support of Dr. Bronaugh’s nomination,” said NAWG CEO, Chandler Goule. “We are glad to see the leadership team at USDA taking shape, so we can work collaboratively on farm policy that works for wheat growers and benefits rural America. Congratulations, Dr. Bronaugh, on this historic appointment. We are excited to see the work you do for farmers and we look forward to working with you as Deputy Secretary of the USDA.” Read NAWG’s full press release here.

NAWG CEO Discusses Kansas City Southern Sale

NAWG CEO, Chandler Goule talked with Agri-Pulse about the proposed acquisition of Kansas City Southern (KCS). Both Canadian Pacific Railway and Canadian National (CN) Railway have made offers to acquire KCS. However, KCS is currently pursuing the deal with CN, which will need approval by the Surface Transportation Board (STB). Goule said NAWG wanted STB to use the “enhanced competition” merger guidelines in reviewing the proposal. Read the full story here.

GOVERNMENT AND INDUSTRY NEWS

Weekly Drought Monitor (USDM) Update

This week the drought monitor reported troughing over the western CONUS and ridging over the East resulted in strong southerly flow over the Southern and Central Plains, leading to widespread heavy rainfall (0.5 to 3 inches, and more) over portions of the Great Plains, Lower Mississippi Valley, and into western areas of the Corn Belt. The heaviest precipitation fell over southeastern Texas and southern Louisiana, where some locations received over 10 inches of rainfall. In the Southeast, portions of Virginia and North Carolina have continued to dry out over the past 90 days, warranting D0 expansion. The La Nina signal in the West was evident in the precipitation totals at the end of the climatological wet season in March. The presence of this antecedent dryness has resulted in much below-normal snowpack throughout much of the West, leading to continued drought deterioration since the region began its transition into a climatologically drier time of year during April. To view the U.S. map and regional reports, visit the website here.

Senators Stabenow, Boozman Announce Hearing on USDA General Counsel Nominee Janie Hipp
Yesterday, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Stabenow (D-MI) and Ranking Member Boozman (R-AR) announced that they will hold a hearing to consider the nomination of Janie Simms Hipp to be General Counsel of the USDA on Thursday, May 27. Hipp has held several positions at USDA during President Obama’s tenure, including as director of the Office of Tribal Relations and as a national program leader at the National Institute for Food and Agriculture for areas including farm financial management, risk management education and beginning farmer and rancher development. For more details, read the press release here.

USDA Announces Key Leadership in Natural Resources and Conservation Areas

The USDA announced on Wednesday, May 19, the appointment of Meryl Harrell as Deputy Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment and the appointment of Terry Cosby as Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service. They will begin their positions on Monday, May 24. For more details, read the press release here.

USDA Releases 90-Day Progress Report on Climate-Smart Agriculture and Forestry

Today, the USDA published the 90-Day Progress Report on Climate-Smart Agriculture and Forestry. The report is a step in President Biden’s Executive Order on climate change and is intended to be a “whole-of-department approach” to climate solutions. For more information, read the press release here.

Reminder: Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Hosts Agricultural Symposium
The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City is a leader within the Federal Reserve System on topics related to the U.S. and global agricultural economies. As part of that focus, they host a symposium that brings together industry leaders, government officials, policymakers, and economists to discuss current and emerging trends in the agricultural sector. The 2021 Agricultural Symposium, “The Roots of Agricultural Productivity Growth” will explore the key drivers of the persistent growth in agricultural productivity, linkages to other industries, and environmental considerations. The 2021 Agricultural Symposium will take place virtually on May 24-25. There is no cost to attend, but registration is required. Find more information and register here.

NATIONAL WHEAT FOUNDATION NEWS

NWF Project Manager Joins Hard Winter Wheat Quality 2021 Tour

NWF’s project manager, Anne Osborne joined the Wheat Quality Council’s 2021 Hard Winter Wheat Quality Tour this week. Kansas Wheat live-streamed wrap sessions each day which can be listened to here. Anne also was able to participate in an interview with Progressive Farmer (read here) and KRVN 880 Rural Radio (listen here).

Enter the Spring Wheat 2021 National Wheat Yield Contest
The National Wheat Foundation (NWF) is officially accepting grower enrollment for the 2021 National Wheat Yield Contest! The contest is divided into two primary competition categories: winter wheat and spring wheat, and two subcategories: dryland and irrigated. At this time, the Foundation is only accepting spring wheat entries. The spring wheat entry deadline is August 1st, with an early registration deadline of June 15th. The wheat contest is administered entirely online, and growers can register at www.yieldcontest.wheatfoundation.org. Talk to your seed supplier or contact us at National Wheat Foundation if you need help entering or want more information.

ARTICLES OF INTEREST

US Coast Guard Shuts Part of Lower Mississippi River as Bridge Cracks

 – Reuters, May 12, 2021

Judge Wants Some Questions Answered at Roundup Hearing

 – Agri-Pulse, May 19, 2021

Canada, Indonesia Prepare for Trade Talks

The Western Producer, May 17, 2021