From the National Association of Wheat Growers
The National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) again applauds the Senate Committee on Agriculture for introducing a bi-partisan farm bill that we hope can quickly move through the chamber. Yesterday, NAWG sent a letter to the Senate Ag Committee outlining provisions that are beneficial for wheat growers and noted areas that could be improved.
In the letter, NAWG welcomes the changes to the Title I Commodity Safety Net Programs to allow producers the opportunity to re-elect programs on a covered commodity by covered commodity basis. Additionally, NAWG views the administrative improvements made to Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) as a step right in right direction and allowing farmers access to payment rate information sooner will benefit wheat growers.
NAWG continues to advocate for prioritizing working lands conservation programs in the Farm Bill. The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) help growers adopt conservation practices on their farming operations, and funding for these programs should be made a priority in conservation spending. NAWG also supports the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) but is concerned about the bill’s language that narrows targeting of continuous sign-up acres.
Trade and access to new markets are vital for wheat farmers to stay in business. NAWG thanks the Committee for reauthorizing and increasing funding for the Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development Program (FMD). MAP and FMD are critical to building and expanding United States wheat into new markets and increasing wheat demand around the world.
Lastly, NAWG appreciates the increased authorization and funding of the U.S. Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative to help find solutions to this troublesome plant disease. These research programs are critical for wheat farmers. We also support the reauthorization of the Hatch Act, Smith-Lever Act, Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) programs, Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR).