Weekly Update, August 17, 2017

NAWG on the Road
Last week, NAWG’s Environmental Policy Advisor Keira Franz and National Wheat Foundation Chairman Phil McClain spoke to the North Carolina Small Grain Growers Association’s board members on NAWG’s and NWF’s current priorities for 2017.

This week NAWG President David Schemm and CEO Chandler Goule visited with members of the Michigan Wheat Program Board and both addressed growers at the BASF Wheat Symposium.

Additionally, NAWG Officer Gordon Stoner and staff member Craig Berning visited Nebraska for their Wheat Certified Seed Days. While in Nebraska they visited with several hundred farmers and were able to provide updates and seek input on the upcoming Farm Bill and trade. In addition, they were able to meet with the Nebraska Wheat Board and took questions on the Farm Bill.

RFS Public Comment Period Closes August 31
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency comment period for the latest renewable volume obligations (rvo) for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) ends on August. 31, 2017. Corn ethanol blending requirements would be set at 15 billion gallons for 2018, but overall biofuel blending obligations would be slightly lower overall, based on the EPA proposal. EPA proposed the overall total RVO for 2018 would drop from 19.28 billion gallons to 19.24 billion gallons. The proposal calls for reducing advanced biofuels blend volumes, including biomass-based biodiesel, of the RFS from 4.28 billion gallons to 4.24 billion gallons. EPA would set biodiesel’s RVO at 2.1 billion gallons for 2019. The blend requirement for cellulosic ethanol is proposed at 238 million gallons, a 73-million gallon decline from last year’s level.

NAWG Opens Registration for Fall Conference!
NAWG has opened its registration and hotel links for its 2017 Wheat Industry Fall Conference. This year’s conference is scheduled for October 16-20, 2017 at the Embassy Suites North Charleston in North Charleston, SC. For more information and scheduled visit: https://www.wheatworld.org/newsroom/meetings-events/fall-wheat-conference/

Farmer of the Year and Collaboration of the Year Award Programs
Field to Market is seeking nominations for the first ever Farmer of the Year and Collaboration of the Year awards.

The Farmer of the Year award recognizes a grower with multiple years of experience utilizing the Fieldprint Platform who has achieved outstanding conservation throughout their operation, is demonstrating leadership in the grower community, and best exemplifies the mission and goals of Field to Market: to meet the challenge of producing enough food, fiber and fuel for a rapidly growing population while conserving natural resources and improving the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

The Farmer of the Year will be recognized at the 2017 Sustainable Ag Summit in Kansas City, Missouri. This will include full travel expenses and logistical support the winner and their family. In addition to this recognition, the winner will have travel expenses covered to share their story at agricultural events and engage in learning opportunities throughout the year. In addition, Field to Market will also provide media training and feature the winning farmer in a video that showcases their conservation and stewardship efforts on their farm.

The Collaboration of the Year award recognizes an outstanding collaboration and partnership in advancing continuous improvement at the field and landscape level. The winning collaboration will involve multiple sectors, utilize Field to Market tools and resources, advance the mission and principles of the organization. Field to Market will also recognize the Collaboration of the Year at the 2017 Sustainable Ag Summit in Kansas City, Missouri. Field to Market will feature the winning collaboration in a video that showcases their conservation and stewardship efforts

The nomination forms are also available on the Member Portal. Please submit all nomination forms to awards@fieldtomarket.org no later than August 31, 2017.

Settlement reached in Duarte Clean Water Act Lawsuit
Farmer John Duarte has agreed to pay $330,000 in civil penalties and purchase $770,000 worth of mitigation credits to resolve a federal lawsuit after he was accused of plowing wetlands on his property in Tehama County, Calif., according to Capital Ag Press. In 2013, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had sought $2.8 millions in fines as well as mitigation credits after accusing Duarte of plowing through wetlands while planting a wheat field on his property in Tehama County, Calif. Under the agreement, which is pending a judge’s approval, Duarte would admit no liability but pay the government $330,000 in civil penalties, purchase $770,000 worth of vernal pool mitigation credits, and do additional work on his property in Tehama County, his attorneys said.