NAWG Weekly Updates, May 09, 2019

PRESS RELEASE: NAWG Member North Dakota Grain Growers Association (NDDGA) Chooses to Leave NAWG
It is with much disappointment to announce that the North Dakota Grain Growers Association (NDGGA) has decided to withdraw their membership from the National Association of Wheat Growers, effective June 30, 2019, the end of NAWG’s current fiscal year. In response, NAWG President Ben Scholz is issued a statement which can be found here.

Ag Groups Send Joint Letter in Support of USMCA to Congress
On May 6, 2019, sixty-eight food and agriculture associations, including NAWG, sent a letter to Congress expressing their support for the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). In the letter, the groups stated that “this new agreement includes important improvements that will enable food and agriculture to trade more fairly, and to expand exports of American agricultural products to our North American partners.”

NAWG Organizes and Participates in Hill Briefing on USMCA
On May 9, 2019, from 2:00pm to 3:00pm in the Longworth House Building, NAWG co-organized and participated in a briefing panel on “USMCA and Agricultural Trade in North America.” The briefing was hosted by Rep. Jimmy Panetta (CA-20), Rep. Jim Costa (CA-16), Rep. Don Bacon (NE-02), and Rep. Roger Marshall (KS-01). Additional panelists included a representative from the American Farm Bureau Federation, American Soybean Association, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Milk Producers Federation, National Pork Producers Council, and the Western Growers. NAWG’s trade policy advisor Molly O’Connor acted on behalf of the Association and discussed the benefits of USMCA for wheat while addressing the issue of Canada’s grain grading system which is discriminatory against U.S. wheat.

Administration to Add on Additional Tariffs to Chinese Goods
On Thursday, May 9, 2019, President Trump said that the United States would raise tariffs on $200 billion of worth of Chinese goods on Friday morning and begin the process to tax nearly all of China’s imports as he accused Beijing of trying to “renegotiate” a trade deal. The Administration first imposed a 25 percent duty on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods in July 2018, and later, a 10 percent duty on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese products, which resulted in the retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods.

USDA Announces Top Sites for ERS and NIFA Relocations
On May 03, 2019, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the finalists of 136 Expressions of Interest received from parties in 35 states vying to become the new homes of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS) and National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). As part of the rigorous site selection process, USDA narrowed the Expressions of Interest list using a set of established criteria defined by USDA, NIFA, and ERS leadership. To learn more, read the release here.

EPA Launches Reviews on Glyphosate
On May 6, 2019, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officially began accepting comments on a pair of issues related to glyphosate. There will be a 60-day comment period on a proposed registration decision that includes some new restrictions on how the herbicide is used. EPA is proposing label changes designed to limit spray drift to “reduce the extent of environmental exposure and risk to non-target plants and animals.” Separately, EPA is taking comment for 30 days on a petition from organic food companies and the Environmental Working Group to restrict the use of glyphosate herbicide. NAWG will draft and submit comments.

NAWG Supporter Nancy Falck Passes
On April 26, 2019, longtime friend and NAWG supporter Nancy Lawrie Kurtz Falck passed away. Nancy was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and lived in many states before making her permanent home in Fairfax, Virginia. Here obituary can be found here.

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 Winter and Spring Wheat. The deadline for Winter Wheat entries is May 15th. The Spring wheat entry deadline is August 1st with an early registration deadline of June 15th.