NAWG Weekly Updates, January 25, 2018

2018 Joint USW/NAWG Winter Meeting is Quickly Approaching!
The 2018 NAWG/USW Winter Meeting is right around the corner. This year’s conference is taking place February 6-10, 2018 at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C. There is still time to register for the 2018 Winter Conference, visit here for more details! You can also view the schedule and register for the conference on NAWG’s website.

NAWG/USW PRESS RELEASE: Wheat Organizations from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico Call for Successful NAFTA Agreement
On January 25, 2018, organizations along the North American wheat value chain sent a letter to President Trump, President Peña Nieto, Prime Minister Trudeau, as well as with lead negotiators from each country, Ambassador Lighthizer, Minister Freeland, and Minister Guajardo, stressing the importance of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to the wheat industry. Ranging from seed to bread and baked goods, the following organizations signed the letter: American Bakers Association; Cámara Nacional de la Industria Molinera de Trigo (National Chamber of Industrial Wheat Millers, Mexico); Cereals Canada; NAWG; North American Millers’ Association; USW; Western Canadian Wheat Growers. Read the release highlighting the letter here.

NAWG/USW Joint Release: TPP-11 Puts U.S. Wheat Exports at Risk
On January 23, 2018, the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) and U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) expressed concern that a revised Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) which excludes the United States puts overseas demand for U.S. wheat at serious risk. Read the release in its entirety here.

National Wheat Foundation Attends 2018 Soil Health Summit
National Wheat Foundation (NWF) Chairman Phil McLain and NAWG’s Environmental Policy Advisor Keira Franz attended the 2018 Soil Health Summit from January 18-19, 2018 at the Loews Chicago O’Hare Hotel. Topics ranged from “Cover Cropping 101” to “The Future of Ag Technologies” to “Optimizing Your Nutrient Management”. The Foundation recently joined the Soil Health Partnership through its grant with General Mills. Highlights from the 2018 Soil Health Summit will be posted here.

NAWG Speaks on Trade at 2018 Kansas Commodity Classic
On January 26, 2018, Molly O’Connor, Biotech, Food and Trade Policy Advisor to the National Association of Wheat Growers, will speak to growers and others attending the 2018 Kansas Commodity Classic. O’Connor will speak on several trade issues including the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA), North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and future bi-lateral agreements. Mike Dwyer, Chief Economist at the U.S. Grains Council, is a co-panelist.

FFAR Awards Emergency Funds to Protect Wheat Yields in Kansas 
On January 23, 2018, The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, a nonprofit organization established through bipartisan congressional support in the 2014 Farm Bill, awarded $50,000 to the Kansas Wheat Commission Research Foundation for research and outreach to mitigate damage from wheat streak mosaic, a viral disease threatening wheat yields across Kansas and the High Plains. The grant is being matched by the Kansas Wheat Commission for a total of $120,000 invested in research and extension to combat the virus. Read the release in its entirety here.

U.S. Argues China Ag Case in WTO
U.S. and Chinese government officials are in Geneva this week arguing their cases before a World Trade Organization dispute panel, reported AgriPulse. The WTO dispute panel has taken up a U.S. complaint over China’s agricultural subsidies for wheat, corn and rice. The U.S. Trade Representative originally filed the WTO complaint in September, 2016, claiming that China’s price supports for the grain – especially wheat – distort world markets and cause billions of dollars in losses every year for U.S. farmers and exporters. A 2016 Iowa State University study estimates that U.S. wheat exporters lost roughly $700 million in revenue because of China’s domestic support programs that far exceed levels allowed for in the WTO.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Releases 2018 Farm Bill Principles
On January 24, 2018, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue released the Trump Administration’s 2018 Farm Bill and Legislative Principles. “The USDA’s priorities include promoting innovative crop insurance products, supporting young farmers by increasing access to land and capital, and better supporting conservation programs. In addition, the bill calls for safeguarding America’s domestic food supply by protecting the integrity of the USDA organic-certified seal and modernizing tools that bolster biosecurity, prevent surveillance, improve emergency response and bolster border security. The Secretary also recommends investing in research that puts the United States at the forefront of food and agriculture scientific development; improving American market competitiveness by incentivizing strong financial partnerships and accessing foreign markets; promoting rural infrastructure development, including broadband; and incentivizing private stewardship and retention of forest land. Lastly, the proposal also calls for reducing waste, fraud and abuse of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by implementing stricter limits on food stamps for able-bodied adults unless they work or take part in job training or workfare programs.”

2018 Commodity Classic: Registration and Housing
The 2018 Commodity Classic is taking place from February 25-March 02, 2018 in Anaheim, California at the Anaheim Convention Center. Wheat growers can register and book housing online: www.commodityclassic.com/registration or via phone: (800) 465-0482. Tours may be reserved online at http://www.commodityclassic.com/optional-tours. If you have questions regarding tours, please direct them to: Hello! California at (619) 785-5828 or email: cc2018tours@hello-dmc.com. They are available 8:30 am – 5:30 pm Pacific Time, Monday-Friday. Tours may not be reserved by telephone. For more information on Commodity Classic, visit the conference site: http://www.commodityclassic.com/home.