NAWG Weekly Updates, September 26, 2019

PRESS RELASE: U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement
On September 25, 2019, an agreement to cut or eliminate tariffs on $7.2 billion worth of U.S. ag commodities was signed by U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe. This deal will allow for the trade of U.S. wheat to be exposed to a large market for U.S. farmers. Once the tariff agreement is implemented, U.S. wheat will drop to the same effective tariff level that the Japanese pay for Canadian and Australian wheat and phased in on the same schedule, as well as country specific quotas for U.S. wheat and derived products. Through this agreement, U.S. wheat can remain a competitive commodity against other nations and ensure that farmers are protected against trade deficiencies. Read NAWG and U.S. Wheat Associates joint release here.

NAWG CEO Co-Panels Roundtable on U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement
On September 26, 2019, NAWG CEO Chandler Goule sat on panel with agriculture and business leaders to talk about the recent U.S.-Japan trade agreement. Hosted by the Global Business Dialogue at the National Press Club, Goule focused his remarks on NAWG and its role to represent America’s wheat growers in Washington, D.C. and how this trade deal is critical for our farmers.

Continuing Resolution Heads to the President’s Desk
The Senate voted 81-16 today on the House-passed continuing resolution, which would continue federal funding largely at FY 2019 levels through November 21st. Additionally, it includes a provision to refill the CCC so MFP payments and Farm Bill program payments can continue to be made moving forward into October. It heads to the President for signature now and he’s expected to sign it.

RMA to Make Additional Prevent Plant Payments as Part of Disaster Aid Implementation
As part of the implementation of the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act of 2019, the Risk Management Agency today released information about additional prevent plant assistance.  Farmers that experienced prevented planting will automatically receive a “top-up” payment of 10% or 15%, depending on the type of coverage you have.  More information can be found in their press release here.

USDA NASS to Hold Fall Data Users’ Meeting
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service has announced the USDA Data Users’ Meeting that will take place fall of this year. The meeting is a free opportunity for participants to learn more about the changes made to data and information programs that supplement agriculture. While space is limited for the event, it is also an opportunity for comments to be made on the programs. Other USDA agencies participating includes: The Agricultural Marketing Service, Economic Research Service, Farm Service Agency, Foreign Agricultural Service and the World Agricultural Outlook Board, and the U.S. Census Bureau. These participating agencies will review current issues and take questions and comments afterwards. The meeting will be held from 8:30 a.m. – 3:15 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, Oct. 15 at the American Farm Bureau Federation, 600 Maryland Ave. SW, Suite 1000W, Washington, DC 20024.

House Approps Hearing on International Food Assistance Programs at USDA and USAID
On September 25, 2019, the House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and other related agencies held a hearing to look at the International Food Assistance Programs at USDA and USAID. Mr. Trey Hicks, Director of the Office of Food for Peace at the U.S. Agency for International Development, and Mr. Ken Isley, Administrator at the Foreign Agricultural Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, were the sole witnesses. During the hearing, discussion was centered around global events and conflict, and how funding could be used more efficiently for both of the programs. Members focused their questions to USDA on the Agency’s Progress Program (FFPr), the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program (McGovern-Dole), and the Local and Regional Food Aid Procurement Program (LRP). As Director of the Office of Food for Peace (FFP) within the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance (DCHA) at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Hicks provided an overview of the Agency’s role as the largest provider of food assistance to the world’s most vulnerable people and gave data on how FFP utilizes U.S. aid by stating “Emergency food assistance—including U.S.- sourced wheat, beans, and vegetable oil— has helped to feed approximately 11 million people this year, life-saving in a country that historically imported 90 percent of its food and most of its fuel and medicines.”

“30 Harvests” Reintroduced During Climate Week (Sept. 23-29)
On Thursday, August 15, US Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) launched the short docudrama, “30 Harvests.” In just over one month, the film has received more than 785,000 views. Many of USFRA members and other leaders in the food industry have shared it on their social platforms and internal websites. On September 19, 2019, USFRA did a relaunch of the film in celebration of Climate Week (Sept. 23-29). NAWG encourages you to push the video out through your social media channels.

Registration and Housing Officially Open for the 2019 NAWG/USW Fall Conference
Registration and housing have officially opened for the 2019 NAWG/USW Fall Conference. This year’s conference will take place at the Hilton Santa Fe Buffalo Thunder Hotel in Santa Fe, NM., from Monday, November 4 through Wednesday, November 6, 2019. To reserve your room under the NAWG Block click here. To register for the meeting, visit USW’s page here. For more details, including NAWG’s meeting schedule, visit our conference page here