NAWG Weekly Updates, July 11, 2019

NAWG Treasurer Nicole Berg Hosts FFT Event
On Wednesday, July 3rd, Farmers for Free Trade (FFT) joined the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) and the Washington Association of Wheat Growers (WAWG) in bringing together Washington farmers and local farm leaders to discuss the need for Congress to quickly consider and pass the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). NAWG Treasurer Nicole Berg hosted the Rally for Trade event on her family farm in Paterson, WA which included Washington State Senator Sharon Brown, Benton County Port Commissioner Roy Keck, Randy Ward with TriCity Grain, Dave Johnson from Jacklin Seed/Simplot, and Brian Dansel with USDA FPAC. At the event, Washington agriculture representatives discussed the difficulties they are facing in the current international trade environment and the need for new trade deals like USMCA. For highlights and details for future events, follow @farmersfortrade and #MotorcadeforTrade.

Sen. Cramer and Colleagues Urge USTR to Address Grain Article in USMCA
On Tuesday, July 9, 2019, a bipartisan letter written by U.S. Senators Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Tina Smith (D-M.N.), and Steve Daines (R-M.T.) was sent to the Chief Agricultural Negotiator Gregg Doud of the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) regarding the grain article within the United States-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade agreement. The letter specifically addressed issues regarding Canada’s Variety Registration System (VRS) and what limitations it imposes on U.S. wheat producers to access the Canadian market due to their strict limits on what wheat varieties qualify for premium classes. The group of senators urged that if a revised USMCA is approved by Congress, for the administration to work with Canada to address the concerns of the group.

Senate Ag Committee to Hold Hearing on Ag Research
On Thursday, July 18, 2019, the Senate Committee on Agriculture will hold a hearing on USDA’s agricultural research programs focusing on recent concerns around the relocation of two research agencies and the department’s handling of climate change research. Scott Hutchins, USDA’s deputy undersecretary for research, education and economics, will be the lone witness.

USDA Extends Deadline to Report Spring-Seeded Crops for Twelve States
On Wednesday, July 10, 2019, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it will be extending the deadline for agricultural producers in states impacted by flooding and heavy moisture. The new July 22 deadline applies to producers in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, Tennessee and Wisconsin for reporting spring-seeded crops to USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) county offices and crop insurance agents. Read the release here.

Agri-Pulse: Australia Seen Boosting Wheat Exports
Drought is still plaguing much of Australia, but the situation is improving for wheat farmers. Increased planting and better weather will increase production and exports for the 2019-20 marketing year, allowing the country to maintain its market share in high-valued countries like Japan, according to USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. FAS expects Australian wheat exports to reach 12.5 million metric tons for the 2019-2020 marketing year, up from 9.1 million metric tons in 2018-19. Prices are expected to be higher than normal, but not too high to discourage Japanese buying. Japan has lifted tariffs on Australian, Canadian and European wheat because of trade pacts the U.S. is not part of.

Ag Output Growth Expected to Keep Food Prices Low, but Uncertainties Remain
On Monday, July 8, 2019, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) issued its 2019 edition of the OECD-FAO Agriculture Outlook. The report states that although food prices should remain low due to technological innovation for the next decade, uncertainties in food production remain. “Trade disruptions, growing antimicrobial resistance, regulatory responses to new plant-breeding techniques, spread of crop and animal diseases, and a general increase in extreme climatic events provide many uncertainties for food production. Additionally, evolving dietary preferences in light of health, sustainability issues, and policy responses toward obesity will have an effect on food production.” 

NWF Accepting Entries for 2019 National Wheat Yield Contest
The National Wheat Foundation (NWF) is currently accepting grower enrollment for the 2019 National Wheat Yield Contest! The Contest is divided into two primary competition categories: winter wheat and spring wheat, and two subcategories: dryland and irrigated. The Foundation is currently accepting entries for Spring Wheat. The Spring wheat entry deadline is August 1st with an early registration deadline of June 15th.