Federal

Lighthizer: NAFTA has failed many americans

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From agweb.com It’s an historical day for the United States as the first round of negotiations to rewrite the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), got underway Wednesday morning in Washington D.C. In effect since January 1994, NAFTA created a Free Trade Zone between Canada, Mexico and the United States. President Donald Trump has called the trade pact “the worst ... Read More »

New port worker contract adds stability to PNW export operations

From U.S. Wheat Associates Members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) are crucial workers at U.S. export grain elevators. Overseas wheat buyers in the Asia-Pacific region likely recall the challenges faced in 2015 during a lengthy contract negotiation that occasionally interrupted the West Coast supply chain. Although the dispute was finally settled with a contract through June 2019, ... Read More »

D.C. fly-in meets with success on trade, research, crop insurance

Members of the Washington group were able to meet with Ray Starling, special assistant to the president for agriculture, trade and food assistance, at the White House. They were joined by representatives from Washington State University (WSU) and U.S. Wheat Associates (USW). Pictured from left are Steve Mercer, USW vice president of communications; Chris Keane, vice president for research at WSU; Colleen Kerr, vice president for government relations and external affairs at WSU; Michelle Hennings, Washington Association of Wheat Growers (WAWG) executive director; Kirk Schulz, WSU president; Starling; Marci Green, WAWG vice president; Derek Sandison, director of the Washington State Department of Agriculture; and Jim Moyer, associate dean of research in WSU’s College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences.

In mid-July, officers and staff of the Washington Association of Wheat Growers (WAWG) flew into the other Washington to talk about the impacts of proposed budget cuts to wheat growers. The group jammed more than 20 meetings into four days, including a visit to the White House to meet with Ray Starling, special assistant to the president for agriculture, trade ... Read More »

U.S. wheat industry outlines trade violations and abuses

From NAWG This week, the National Association of Wheat Growers and U.S. Wheat Associates submitted joint comments on trade agreements violations and abuses to USTR, per the April Executive Order, that have impacted U.S. wheat growers. In general, violations and abuses to wheat are due to domestic subsidies that exceed World Trade Organization commitment levels, sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) regulatory standards, plant ... Read More »

NAWG testifies on need for strong crop insurance, Title I and credit programs in the farm bill

From NAWG On Tuesday, July 25, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry held a hearing titled “Commodities, Credit, and Crop Insurance: Perspectives on Risk Management Tools and Trends for the 2018 Farm Bill.” National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) President and Kansas farmer David Schemm testified to the committee on the need for growers to have access to a strong safety net ... Read More »

PNW states’ congressional request for falling numbers funding passes appropriations committee markups

The Hagberg-Perten Falling Number Test measures the amount of time it takes for a stopper to plunge through a slurry of flour and boiling water. The short the time, the more falling number damage the wheat has.

Last week, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a Pacific Northwest request for $1 million in falling numbers research funding. The request was also approved by the House Appropriations Committee earlier this month. The Washington Association of Wheat Growers (WAWG) thanks Congress for recognizing the devastating impacts falling numbers has had on the region’s wheat industry and the need for more ... Read More »

FY2018 funding gets House, Senate attention

From NAWG Both the House Budget Committee considered its version of the FY2018 budget resolution and the Senate Appropriations Committee held a markup of its FY2018 Agriculture Appropriations bill this week. While the mark-ups were separate, we had similar concerns going into those markups. The House Budget Committee completed its markup on Wednesday, July 19 with no amendments offered that ... Read More »

Crop insurance is vital part of producers’ financial plans

The Berg's wheat crop in 2015 during a multiyear drought.

How many people can go multiple years without being paid for the work they do? For farmers, that situation is all too common, as a crop can be destroyed by hail, fire, drought, etc., ruining a year’s worth of work very quickly. The only way to survive is through crop insurance. Crop insurance is a vital part of producers’ financial ... Read More »

Without overseas trade, Washington wheat industry would suffer

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With approximately 90 percent of Washington’s wheat being exported overseas, it isn’t an exaggeration to say that trade is the lifeblood of Washington wheat farmers. The agriculture industry relies heavily on funding from the Market Access Program (MAP) and the Foreign Market Development (FMD) Program to develop new markets and support existing ones. Studies have shown that these programs generate ... Read More »

RMA’s third party damage and yield reporting procedures changed

The following message was received from the Risk Management Agency (RMA) regarding insured losses due to third party damages and the impact to Actual Production History (APH).  Washington and Oregon wheat growers, As you are aware, RMA has received concerns from insureds whose insurance guarantees are reduced because of crop losses caused by third party damage or unavoidable, uninsured fire.  ... Read More »