NAWG Weekly Updates, September 17, 2020
NAWG Provides Federal Update to MN Wheat Board
On September 15, 2020, NAWG Vice President of Policy and Communications Josh Tonsager provided an update to the Minnesota Association of Wheat Growers Board of Directors. Tonsager gave an organizational update and discussed NAWG’s current activities around COVID-19, its recent advocacy work on the hill, and congressional priorities for the upcoming months.
NAWG Lobbies Congress on Reimbursing the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC)
On September 15, 2020, NAWG joined several other agriculture groups in sending a letter to Senate and House leadership stating “as Congress assembles a continuing resolution to extend government funding, we respectfully ask that you provide the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) with the resources necessary to continue assisting American farmers and ranchers. To that end, reimbursement for the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) must be included in any measure to keep government operating past the current fiscal year.”
NAWG Lobbies Congress to Defend FIFRA
On September 14, 2020, NAWG joined several other agriculture groups in sending a letter to Congress stating their opposition to bills introduced by Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) and Representative Joe Neguse (D-CO) that would significantly alter the pesticide regulatory system. In the letter, the groups state how “the Protect America’s Children from Toxic Pesticides Act of 2020 (H.R. 7940, S. 4406) misrepresents the science-based safety standards that are used to protect farmers, workers and the public.” Additionally, NAWG staff is doing a series of Hill meetings regarding this issue over the coming weeks.
NAWG Lobbies Congress to Pass Grain Standards Reauthorization Act
On September 09, 2020, NAWG, along with several other agriculture groups, sent a letter to all U.S. Senators on the importance of the Senate taking action on the Grain Standards Reauthorization Act (USGSA). The USGSA was reported out of the Senate Ag Committee by voice vote earlier this summer. NAWG staff has been doing outreach to Senate offices, as completion of reauthorization is one of NAWG’s 2020 priorities.
Bread Checkoff Effort Suspended After ABA Intercedes
As reported in Baking Business, “more than a year and a half after a checkoff steering committee of the Grain Foods Foundation agreed to submit a draft Order to the US Department of Agriculture for the establishment of a breadbasket checkoff program, the GFF has requested the withdrawal of publication of the Order. Christine Cochran, executive director of the GFF, said the steering committee has agreed to modify the program making inclusion of products for foodservice voluntary and intends to submit a new draft order.”
WASDE September Report
The 2020-2021 U.S. wheat supply and demand outlook is unchanged this month. The projected season-average farm price remains at $4.50 per bushel. Globally, the wheat outlook is for larger supplies, increased consumption, greater exports, and higher stocks. World consumption has increased to 750.9 million tons. For the full WASDE report, click here.
For a high-level overview of the report with graphics, visit U.S. Wheat Associates.
Politico Pro: WTO Rules Against Trump’s Tariffs on China
On September 15, 2020, Politico Pro reported that “the World Trade Organization ruled Tuesday that President Donald Trump violated global trade rules when he unilaterally imposed tariffs on what became more than $350 billion worth of Chinese goods out of concern about Beijing’s trade practices. The panel ruled against the United States on a number of points. Most fundamentally, the panel found the US had not explained how the additional tariffs were a justifiable exception to the its WTO commitments under a clause that allows countries to take emergency trade actions ‘to protect public morals’”.
USDA Reminds Farmers of September 30 Deadline to Update Safety-Net Program Crop Yields
On September 8, 2020, USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) issued a statement reminding farm owners that they have a one-time opportunity to update Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program yields for covered commodities on the farm. The deadline is September 30, 2020, to update yields, which are used to calculate the PLC payments for 2020 through 2023. Additionally, producers who elected Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) should also consider updating their yields. Read more here.
USDA Announces Whole-Farm Revenue Protection Program Improvements
On September 16, 2020, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) announced modifications to the Whole-Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) program to decrease paperwork and recordkeeping burdens for direct marketers beginning with the 2021 crop year. RMA held several stakeholder meetings with agents, growers and grower groups to solicit feedback on ways to increase the effectiveness of the WFRP program, as required by the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 (Farm Bill).
Opinion: Agriculture, Consumers and Environment Prevail in Milestone Ruling on Glyphosate
On September 16, 2020, Agri-Pulse published NAWG’s opinion editorial on its lawsuit against California’s Proposition 65 mislabeling of glyphosate as carcinogenic. Read the piece here.
CAST: Importance of Communicating Empirically Based Science for Society
On Tuesday, September 22, 2020 at 1:00pmEST, the Council for Agriculture Science & Technology (CAST) is presenting a free webinar featuring research from its new commentary “The Importance of Communicating Empirically Based Science for Society.” There will also be a Q&A with a panel of the report’s authors. For more information or to register for the event, click here.
NAFB Photo Contest – Deadline Sept. 30th
The National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) is accepting entries for its 2021 NAFB Membership Directory cover photo contest. The winning entry will receive $100. Entries will be accepted from June 1, 2020, and ending September 30, 2020. To review contest information or to enter your photo(s), please click here.
2021 Commodity Classic Covid-19 Response
Classic is on track to hold its Silver Celebration of the Commodity Classic. The 2021 Classic is scheduled to take place March 4-6, 2021, in San Antonio, Texas. The Classic Committee continues to monitor state and federal guidelines related to COVID-19. Their top priority is to provide a safe and healthy environment for all participants at Commodity Classic. If you haven’t already, sign up for email updates by clicking HERE.
ARTICLES OF INTEREST
World Grain, September 14, 2020
WCVB 5 (ABC News) September 14, 2020
Politico, September 12, 2020
NAWG continues to hold its bi-weekly interviews with AgVeiw New‘s Ken Rahjes. This week Ken interviewed NAWG Treasurer Brent Cheyne on the Congressional COVID-19 wheat letters.
Additionally, this past week, Capitol Press interviewed NAWG’s Vice President of Policy and Communications Josh Tonsager on the Congressional COVID-19 wheat letters.
NAWG TWEET OF THE WEEK
Looking at the past seven days, this NAWG tweet had the most impressions and engagements.