NAWG Weekly Updates, September 13, 2018
NAWG PRESS RELEASE: Wheat Growers Travel to Washington to Talk Farm Bill and Trade
NAWG wrapped up its annual policy fly-in today. NAWG Officers and wheat farmers from its 21 states across the country arrived on Tuesday to talk with Congressional Members and USDA representatives on NAWG’s priorities for the Farm Bill conference process as well as trade. Read our release here.
JOINT RELEASE: NAWG and USW Welcome Attention on Trade Policy Risks and Opportunities
On September 13, 2018, the Senate Ag Committee held a hearing on “Perspectives on U.S. Agricultural Trade” which focused on the Trump Administration’s trade agenda. Witnesses included Chief Agricultural Negotiator Gregg Doud of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative; Agriculture Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney; and USDA Chief Economist Rob Johansson. Our joint release in response to the hearing can be found here: http://bit.ly/2Mt2iDZ.
USDA Releases Methodology Behind Trade Aid Numbers
On September 13, 2018, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue released a detailed accounting of how the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) calculated estimated damage from trade disruptions. First, USDA took the trade value of a commodity’s exports in 2017, before retaliatory tariffs were imposed, and subtracted from that the value of what USDA estimates will be exported after retaliatory tariffs. Read the USDA’s release here and methodology document here.
NWF Blog: The Future of Wheat Production is Here – Wheat Genome Finally Fully Sequenced
As we continue to celebrate #WholeGrainsMonth, read the National Wheat Foundation’s latest blog titled “The Future of Wheat Production is Here – Wheat Genome Finally Fully Sequenced”. Written by NAWG’s Texas A&M intern Lainey Wolf, the blog provides an overview of the recent achievement of a group of international scientists who successfully sequence the genome of the wheat crop. Access the blog here: http://bit.ly/2MqXb7y
Updated Outlook for the U.S. Farm Economy
The American Farm Bureau Federation said in a Market Intel analysis released on Monday that the Agriculture Department’s farm income projection for 2018 is not as bad as expected earlier, but the long-term forecast is worse. Now, following USDA’s August update, net farm income is projected at $65.7 billion—the third-lowest level over the last decade, behind 2016 and 2009. While net farm income is still projected to be 13 percent lower than 2017 levels, it is no longer expected to sink to decade-low levels. Instead, higher projections of gross farm income more than offset higher gross expenses. Read the Farm Bureau’s report here.
FY 2019 ‘Minibus’ Appropriations Conference Agreement
House and Senate negotiators released a final version of their first “minibus” appropriations package, HR 5895, FY 2019 Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act. The Conference Summary provides full, detailed appropriations for three of the 12 annual spending measures, together providing a total of $147.5 billion in discretionary spending for FY 2019. It provides $44.6 billion in discretionary spending for Energy-Water, $1.5 billion (3.5%) more than FY 2018 and $8.1 billion (22%) more than requested. For Military Construction-VA, it provides $98.1 billion in discretionary funding including $921 million in OCO funding — $5.3 billion (6%) more than comparable FY 2018 funding and $1 billion more than requested. And for Legislative Branch it provides $4.8 billion, $136 million (3%) more than FY 2018.
FAS Releases Grain, Cotton, and Oilseeds Production Reports
On Wednesday, September 12, 2018, the Agriculture Department’s Foreign Agricultural Service released its latest reports on the world agricultural production, grain, cotton and oilseeds. The grain report can be found here.
Bioengineered Labeling Regulations Coming
USDA plans to issue the final rule for labeling bioengineered foods by early December, according to Greg Ibach, the undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs. The rule was sent to the White House budget office on Aug. 31 for review.
Ibach told members of the National Farmers Union that the department plans to align the new disclosure requirements with the changes in nutrition labeling that FDA mandated earlier.
USDA Prepared to Respond to Hurricane Florence
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reminds rural communities, farmers and ranchers, families and small businesses potentially impacted by Hurricane Florence of programs to provide assistance in the wake of disasters. USDA staff in the regional, State and county offices stand ready and eager to help. Additionally, USDA’s Operations Center will function around the clock. Read the Agency’s release here.
NWF Seeking for WILOT Applicants
The National Wheat Foundation’s Wheat Industry Leaders of Tomorrow (WILOT) program will be taking place in St. Louis, MO, from November 11-16th, 2018 and seeks applicants to participate. This week-long training program that is sponsored by Monsanto is geared towards current leaders and those who soon could take on leadership positions at the state and national levels for wheat organizations. The program will focus on personal leadership, communicating to earn the public’s trust, agricultural policy, advocacy skills, and media and messaging training. Thanks to Monsanto, this program will not cost state associations or farmers any money to participate. Please contact Craig Berning, if you are interested or would like to nominate someone to participate by ASAP.
Housing and Registration Opens for the 2019 NAWG/USW Fall Conference
NAWG and U.S. Wheat will be holding their 2019 Fall Conference at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay in Tampa Bay, Florida from October 30th to November 2nd. NAWG’s schedule of events, registration, and information on housing can be found here. Visit this link to go to straight to the registration page.