NAWG Weekly Updates, February 01, 2018

2018 Joint USW/NAWG Winter Meeting is Quickly Approaching!
The 2018 NAWG/USW Winter Meeting is taking place next week. This year’s conference is scheduled for 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. As part of the 2018 Winter Conference, the National Wheat Foundation is hosting a wheat value chain educational event on Capitol Hill. The educational event is scheduled for Thursday, February 08, 2018 in G50 Dirksen Senate Building. Visit here to register for the event and follow along with event activities: @nationalwheat using #NWFWheat102

House Ag to Hold Hearing on The State of the Rural Economy
On Tuesday, February 06, 2018, the House Committee on Agriculture will hold a full Committee hearing on the “The State of the Rural Economy”. The hearing will feature testimony from USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue and begin at 9:30 a.m. in Room 1300 of the Longworth House Office Building. Visit the Committee site for more information.

Perdue Unveils Farmers.gov, Interactive Website for Agricultural Producers
On February 1, 2018, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue unveiled Farmers.gov, the new interactive one-stop website for producers maintained by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Farmers.gov is now live but will have multiple features added over the coming months to allow agricultural producers to make appointments with USDA offices, file forms, and apply for USDA programs. The website gathers together the three agencies that comprise USDA’s Farm Production and Conservation mission area: the Farm Service Agency, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Risk Management Agency. For more information, read USDA’s release here.

Administration Takes Steps To Improve Federal Protection Of Threatened And Endangered Species
On January 31, 2018, EPA Administrator Pruitt announced the establishment of an interagency working group to coordinate Endangered Species Act (ESA) consultations for pesticide registrations and registration review in a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of the Interior (DOI), which includes the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and the Department of Commerce (DOC), which includes the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) (collectively, “the Services”). The MOA outlines the difficulties with the current consultation process and proposes an Interagency Working Group to support EPA and the Services in meeting their obligations related to the pesticide consultation process. Through the MOA, EPA and the Services will request the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and the Office of Management and Budget join the Working Group and that CEQ serves as its chair. NAWG supports effort to improve the ESA consultations for pesticide registration and review to address the need for a workable approach to ensuring species are protected and that growers have continued access to crop protection tools.

EPA and Army Finalize WOTUS Applicability Date
On January 31, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of the Army (Army) have finalized a rule adding an applicability date to the 2015 Clean Water Rule (the 2015 Rule). This rule provides clarity and certainty about which definition of “waters of the United States” is applicable nationwide in response to judicial actions that could result in confusion. The new applicability date will be two years after today’s action is published in the Federal Register, during which time both agencies will continue the process of reconsidering the 2015 Rule. Visit here for more information.

New Seed Treatment Stewardship Communications Resources Available
NAWG, ASTA, and other stakeholder groups have developed a set of recommendations to assist those involved in the process of treating, handling, transporting, or planting treated seeds. These recommendations can now be found in a number of new and redesigned communication resources. A new one-pager graphically displays the five steps for stewardship of treated seed, and outlines why and how seed treatments are used, including what the crop protection and seed industries are doing to ensure their safe use. A set of videos explore topics including: improving performance and safety with seed treatments; the five steps for stewardship of treated seed; and how seed treatments support sustainability.

For more information, visit: seed-treatment-guide.com/.

2017 Census of Agriculture Response Deadline of February 5
Farmers and ranchers, the deadline for the 2017 Census of Agriculture is February 5 – just one week away! There are two ways to respond: online at www.agcounts.usda.gov or by mail. The census, conducted just once every five years, provides a complete account of the industry, its changes, and emerging trends. Census data are widely used, often relied on when developing the Farm Bill and other farm policy, and when making decisions about disaster relief, community planning, technology development, and more. It is important that every producer be reflected in the data so that no operation or community is underserved in the years to come. The better the data, the more accurate the reports; the more accurate the reports, the more informed decisions will be. For more information about the 2017 Census of Agriculture, visit www.agcensus.usda.gov. For questions or assistance with the census, call toll-free (888) 424-7828. Respond today.

CIRB’s Annual Meeting Kicks Off Next Week
The Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau (CIRB)’s 54th Annual Meeting will be held January 31 to February 02, 2018 in Scottsdale, AZ. Follow along and tweet using the hashtag #CIRB2018 during CIRB’s Annual Meeting. Click here for the agenda.

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.