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We try to keep our news fresh and current, you won't find archived news info here, only the LATEST news!

Oregon Wheat specific Press Releases can be found here.





Check out the U.S. Wheat Associates "Dependable People" spotlight.

Member: Oregon Wheat Commission
USW Member since 1980

Location: Portland, Oregon

Classes of wheat grown: Soft White (SW), Hard Red Spring (HRS), Hard Red Winter (HRW)

USW Leadership: William L. Hulse, 1981/82 Chairman; Stan Timmermann, 1993/94 Chairman; Darren Padget, incoming 2020/2021 Chairman

The Oregon Wheat Commission works to enhance the profitability of Oregon wheat growers by communicating, educating, assuring markets and conducting and stimulating research. Oregon grows primarily soft white (SW) wheat in the vast expanses of Eastern Oregon, and in the lush Willamette River Valley.


SPOTLIGHT


Gov. Brown Exec Order

We appreciate all the legislators who worked so diligently, but with little success, to amend Cap and Trade throughout the short legislative session to reduce the impacts to agriculture and rural Oregon. There was a slight breath of air as the session came to close, but it was certain Governor Brown would be submitting an executive order (EO).

The EO contains aspirations that are much broader than what was proposed in SB 1530 and the impacts of the order are uncertain at this time. Until we know how the EO would be implemented, we cannot estimate the impact it will have to the environment, our economies and wheat growers.

“Our growers have been decreasing their carbon footprint well before state action/legislation,” states Oregon Wheat CEO, Amanda Hoey. Agronomic practices, such as no-till which is a widely used practice by growers in the state, should be recognized for the contributions they make.”

Brown’s order updates the state’s carbon reduction goals, setting targets of a 45% reduction below 1990 levels by 2035, and an 80% reduction by 2050, likely imposing significant costs over time. As an industry with many centennial and sesquicentennial family farms, we are keenly aware that these delayed costs will eventually come due. Oregon growers are dedicated to providing an environment that will continue to sustain generations of farmers. If faced with significant increases in our input costs, though, these farms will not survive to support a strong and healthy environment.


OPB News Article here
Find the document here
Senator Hansell editorial here


OWGL Researching Association Plan Options

OWGL recognizes the burden health coverage costs have placed on a number of our farm operations. We have begun exploration of options for an Association Health Plan. In order to assess if there is critical mass for further consideration of a partnership with an entity developing a plan, we request your responses to this survey. We promise it isn't intrusive but it is important and quick!

TAKE THE SURVEY!


NORTHWEST WHEAT STATES RESPOND TO DRAFT EIS

On behalf of the Northwest wheat-producing states, we strongly support the findings in the Columbia River System Operations Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), specifically the Preferred Alternative for the operations, maintenance and configuration of the Columbia River System.

Together, our four states produce over 500 million bushels of wheat annually. Much of that wheat is bound for export markets. Pacific Northwest wheat growers are uniquely positioned to access the global marketplace by moving grain through the Columbia-Snake River system to Portland or Vancouver, then onto foreign customers.

The draft EIS evaluated the 14 federal dam and reservoir projects that comprise the federal Columbia River System. It has taken nearly four years of analysis by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation, and Bonneville Power Administration to put the draft EIS together. The federal agencies identified their Preferred Alternative in the draft EIS, which focuses on fish recovery using water management measures, including flexible spill, while balancing the need for hydropower production and water supply. The Preferred Alternative does not include dam breaching.

Our organizations applaud the approach taken in this comprehensive study and support the recommendations put forth. Continued improvements to fish passage at the four Snake River dams enable fish to pass the dams with remarkable success. Dams with navigation locks providing barge transportation can in fact coexist with fish.

Meanwhile, the ability to barge wheat is a pillar of our industry – it is also the most environmentally-friendly mode of transportation available. Over a period of just nine months in 2017, more than 3.5 million tons of cargo were barged on the Snake River; it would have taken more than 35,140 rail cars to carry this cargo, or more than 135,000 semi-trucks.

The four Lower Snake River dams alone provide enough clean energy to power 1.87 million homes. Eliminating the clean power and efficient transportation provided by the Lower Snake River dams would increase CO and other harmful emissions by over 1.25 million tons per year, the equivalent of adding more than 101,000 vehicles to the road.

We are pleased the draft EIS recognizes the Congressionally authorized uses of the river system for power generation, navigation, recreation, irrigation and a measure of flood control, all while working to bring the greatest benefit to fish through strategic operation of the system.


Clint Carlson, President - Oregon Wheat Growers League

Walter Powell, Chair - Oregon Wheat Commission

Jamie Kress, President
Idaho Grain Producers Association

Ned Moon, Chairman
Idaho Wheat Commission

Vince Mattson, President
Montana Grain Growers Association

Ryan Poe, President
Washington Association of Wheat Growers

Gary Bailey, Chairman
Washington Grain Commission



Lower Snake River Dams EIS Info

DEIS Review and Comment Opportunities

The public review and comment period for the DEIS is open for 45 days, February 28-April 13, 2020.

Project website: www.crso.info

Options to submit your comment

Online
Submit your comment at comments.crso.info

At a public comment meeting
**ALL PUBLIC MEETINGS CANCELED.

Written comment via postal mail
US Army Corps of Engineers, Attn: CRSO EIS
P.O. Box 2870
Portland, OR 97208-2870
(Must be postmarked by April 13, 2020)

Written comment via delivery
US Army Corps of Engineers, Attn: CRSO EIS
1201 NE Lloyd Blvd.
Portland, OR 97232

(Must be delivered by 5 pm on April 13, 2020)

Messages sent to the co-lead agencies by email, phone or social media are not recorded as comments for the public record. Use one of the methods posted on this website to submit your comment.

Feds reject removal


COLUMBIA SNAKE RIVER FACT SHEET


Oregon Wheat Stands with Oregon Republicans!

The Oregon Wheat Growers League is disappointed in the breakdown of process that led to SB 1530, Cap and Trade, being pushed out of committee without adequate consideration given to the impacts such legislation would have on rural communities. We support our Senate Republicans in their decision to deny quorum in order to prevent the passage of this legislation.

MORE DETAILS


VIEW SENATOR HANSELL'S EDITORIAL REGARDING CAP & TRADE


USDA Expands Market for U.S. Wheat:

Adds Idaho, Oregon, and Washington to List of States that Can Export Wheat to Kenya

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced that, effective immediately, U.S. wheat may now be shipped to Kenya regardless of state of origin or port of export. This important step will allow U.S. wheat from Idaho, Oregon, and Washington to be added to the list of states that can ship wheat to Kenya.

MORE DETAILS


Oppose HB 4109: The Wrong Approach for Oregon

As President of the Oregon Wheat Growers League, I would urge you to vote no on 4109, a total ban is the wrong approach for Oregon. Please see the attached fact sheet. This chemical is used in specialty crops and really has no alternative products available. We use this product, when needed as a seed treatment in wheat. In 2019 the ODA came up with new guidelines to lessen the exposure to the public and farm workers. I urge you to step back and keep this product available to be used in our toolbox, and work with ODA to continue to provide a safe environment for workers.
Sincerely
Clinton R Carlson, President, OWGL

HB 4109 is the Wrong Approach for Oregon

In contrast to the thoughtful approach underway at the ODA, HB 4109 eliminates all uses of chlorpyrifos without any evidentiary basis to support that decision and without any funding dedicated to find alternatives. HB 4109 fails to recognize the considerable investment and time required to find effective alternatives to chlorpyrifos. Growers will be saddled with a substantial cost burden when many lack legal alternatives to control pest pressures. At best, farmers may try to find legal alternatives, though these will also have human health trade-offs. At worst, Oregon farmers are left with no products to protect their crops and will suffer financial loss.


Email your comments to the committee members!

Chair

Senator Michael Dembrow

Vice-Chair

Senator Alan Olsen

Member

Senator Lynn Findley

Member

Senator Floyd Prozanski

Member

Senator Arnie Roblan


MORE DETAILS




Cap and Trade Legislation Still Not acceptable

February 13, 2020

Pendleton, OR - The Oregon Wheat Growers League has carefully considered SB 1530, the 2020 version of Cap and Trade legislation, and the many proposed amendments to the bill being considered by the Legislature.While there have been changes from last session’s HB 2020, that would delay some elements of the Cap and Trade system for some areas of Oregon, the fundamental provisions that are most troubling to Oregon’s wheat growers are essentially unchanged.

SB 1530 provides no significant reduction in Oregon’s carbon emissions but would eventually inflict large cost increases on all sectors of Oregon’s economy.Costs that wheat growers would be unable to pass on to our customers. As an industry with many centennial and sesquicentennial family farms, we are keenly aware that these delayed costs will eventually come due, including higher fuel and energy costs that increase further over time, higher costs for all our farm inputs, and higher transportation costs to ship our crops to markets.This is on top of significant regulatory cost increases, tax increases, and higher wage and benefit costs already inflicted on our growers by legislative actions in the last few years.

The global wheat market is hyper-competitive, and we are already unable to compete on price in many markets.Further raising our costs will simply drive wheat farmers, especially smaller operations and new and young farmers, out of business in the years ahead. We see no changes in world markets that will make us any more able to absorb these costs in the future than we are today.

We continue to believe that the money extracted, now or later, from rural Oregon and our natural resource industries will largely be redistributed on social programs that have little to do with carbon reductions or climate adaptation.There will be no funding for practical research to improve crop varieties and agronomic practices to further reduce our carbon footprint. No funding to reward growers for the work they’ve already done through no-till practices, precision ag, new technologies or any other innovations, and nothing to offset the real cost increases to our operations.

SB 1530 offers little true reduction in carbon emissions and no significant change in the trajectory of future climate change.We hope the bill will be rejected by the Legislature.We want the Senate to do whatever they can to block the legislation. If SB 1530 moves forward in the legislative process, it should be referred to the voters.

Oregon can do much better than SB 1530.We hope that this legislation will be defeated so we can develop a carbon plan that actually helps with climate change, strengthens Oregon’s rural economy, Oregon agriculture, and Oregon’s other natural resource industries.



Emergency Conservation Program Assistance

Wallowa, union & UMATILLA COUNTY PRODUCERS MAY BE ELIGIBLE FOR EMERGENCY CONSERVATION PROGRAM ASSISTANCE - DUE TO FLOOD DAMAGE

Flooding has caused severe damage in area(s) of the County.

Farms and ranches suffering severe damage may be eligible for assistance under the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) administered by the Umatilla County Farm Service Agency (FSA)

For land to be eligible, the natural disaster must create new conservation problems that, if untreated, would:

  • be so costly to rehabilitate that Federal assistance is or will be needed to return the land to productive agricultural use
  • is unusual and is not the type that would recur frequently in the same area
  • affect the productive capacity of the farmland
  • impair or endanger the land

A producer qualifying for ECP assistance may receive cost-share levels not to exceed 75 percent of the eligible cost of restoration measures. Eligible socially disadvantaged and beginning farmers and ranchers can receive up to 90 percent of the eligible cost of restoration. No producer is eligible for more than $500,000 cost sharing per natural disaster occurrence. The following types of measures may be eligible:

  • removing debris from farmland
  • grading, shaping, or releveling severely damaged farmland
  • restoring permanent fences
  • restoring conservation structures and other similar installations

Producers who have suffered a loss from a natural disaster may contact the local FSA County Office and request assistance.

To be eligible for assistance, practices must not be started until all of the following are met:

  • an application for cost-share assistance has been filed
  • the local FSA County Committee (COC) or its representative has conducted an onsite inspection of the damaged area
  • the Agency responsible for technical assistance, such as the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), has made a needs determination, which may include cubic yards of earthmoving, etc., required for rehabilitation
MORE DETAILS


Local wheat farmers at National Leadership!

1 of 2

Local wheat farmers selected for National Leadership Program

Washington, D.C.: Clint Carlson, a Morrow County producer currently the Oregon Wheat Growers League (OWGL) State President, Brent Cheyne, a producer in Klamath Falls currently the National Wheat Growers Secretary and Erin Heideman, a Morrow County producer currently OWGL county president, just returned from the Syngenta Leadership At Its Best Program in Raleigh, NC and Washington, D.C.

Now more than ever, public opinion, government policy, regulation, and even consumer attitudes have direct impact on the way farmers and agribusiness operate.As a result, the need for effective leadership and advocacy for agriculture has never been greater.To help meet this need, Syngenta sponsors Leadership At Its Best program, partnering with ag organization to develop and prepare their leaders with a robust ag advocacy conference.

Participants experienced refreshed modules based on today’s leading thoughts, ideas and techniques while focusing on various aspects of leadership training and priority issues facing agriculture.The conference ended for the group on Capitol Hill with time spent using their recent training visiting with congressman from around the nation. “As agriculturalists, we know we need to tell our story and be advocates of our industry,” said Erin Heideman. “The Syngenta Leadership program helped give us the skills and confidence to actually do it.”

In addition to the National Wheat Growers Association, other organizations represented included the Agriculture Retailer Association, National Soybean Growers, National Corn Growers Association and National Agricultural Aviation Association. For over 90 years after Oregon wheat producers first came together to work for the common interest, OWGL remains hard at work promoting wheat interests and providing a means for wheat growers to work together. From advocacy work in Salem to providing key input on federal farm legislation, the voice of Oregon grain producers is being heard through the efforts of their Oregon Wheat Growers League.



A New Definition of WOTUS (from EPA Headquarters)

The Navigable Waters Protection Rule ends decades of uncertainty over where federal jurisdiction begins and ends. For the first time, EPA and the Army are recognizing the difference between federally protected wetlands and state protected wetlands. It adheres to the statutory limits of the agencies’ authority. It also ensures that America’s water protections – among the best in the world – remain strong, while giving our states and tribes the certainty to manage their waters in ways that best protect their natural resources and local economies.

MORE DETAILS


USACE: New turbines improve fish passage

A newly-designed, fixed-blade hydroelectric turbine installed June 2018 at Ice Harbor Lock and Dam recently concluded fish survival testing. The advanced technology turbine is designed to increase power efficiency by four percent and to optimize the safety of fish navigating through Snake River dams. Testing showed survival of tagged juvenile Chinook salmon migrating through the turbine unit was 98.25 percent.

MORE DETAILS


U.S. Wheat Launches 40th Anniversary Campaign

ARLINGTON, Virginia -- On January 12, 1980, wheat farmer leaders with Great Plains Wheat and Western Wheat Associates officially merged to become one organization, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW), to focus on building overseas demand for U.S. wheat. To mark its 40-year anniversary in 2020, USW has launched an outreach effort to recognize and celebrate the people who produce the wheat and their enduring partnerships with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, wheat buyers and wheat food processors around the world.

“This anniversary is a platform for us to reinforce our authentic story—that behind the world’s most reliable supply of wheat are the world’s most dependable people,” said Steve Mercer, USW Vice President of Communications. “In online media, new marketing materials and face to face with overseas wheat buyers, we are going to talk about the legacy of commitment from farmers and the important partnerships that are a unique and differential part of importing U.S. wheat.”

The primary component of the USW campaign is a new landing page on www.uswheat.org titled Our Story.” The page includes historical background and profiles of U.S. wheat farm families and overseas customers. The campaign also features a new video that defines the value created by farmers, the U.S. wheat export supply system and the service the USW organization offers to flour millers and wheat food processors around the world.

“Many of the millers and bakeries USW works with overseas are also family-owned and going through the same generational changes as U.S. farm families,” Mercer said. “That is one reason why we will emphasize past and present connections between our farmers and customers in those stories, through our Wheat Letter blog and in Facebook and Twitter posts as we continue to update content throughout 2020.”

USW’s mission is to “develop, maintain, and expand international markets to enhance wheat’s profitability for U.S. wheat producers and its value for their customers.” USW activities in more than 100 countries are made possible through producer checkoff dollars managed by 17 state wheat commissions and cost-share funding provided by the USDA/Foreign Agricultural Service.

WATCH VIDEO!

U.S. Wheat Associates Board of Directors Elected!

WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) board of directors elected new officers for the 2020/21 (July to June) fiscal year at their meeting Jan 17, 2020, in Washington, D.C.

The board elected Michael Peters of Okarche, Okla. as Secretary-Treasurer; Rhonda Larson of East Grand Forks, Minn., as Vice Chairman; Darren Padget of Grass Valley, Ore., as Chairman.

These farmers will begin their new leadership roles at the USW board meeting in June 2020 when current Chairman Doug Goyings of Paulding, Ohio, will become Past Chairman. USW is the export market development organization for the U.S. wheat industry.

More Details


Oregon Wheat CEO Announced

Amanda Hoey Email>

The Oregon Wheat Commission (OWC) and Oregon Wheat Growers League (OWGL) are pleased to announce the selection of a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to provide continuing leadership, vision, focus, and unity to their organizations.

The OWC and OWGL boards are pleased to announce Amanda Hoey of The Dalles, Oregon will serve as the next Chief Executive Officer of the organizations. “The OWC and OWGL representatives were equally impressed with Amanda’s qualifications and interview, she was very well spoken and has a great deal of experience to take on the role. I have complete confidence she will serve the organizations well,” current CEO, Blake Rowe stated.

Amanda has over a decade of executive leadership experience and a close connection to the Oregon Wheat industry, growing up on a dryland wheat farm in Wasco County. Amanda has served as the Executive Director for Mid-Columbia Economic Development District since 2008, managing the bi-state regional organization, serving five counties in both Oregon and Washington. She has also served on the National Association of Development Organizations Board of Directors where advocacy for federal resource support and policy changes within USDA was a high priority.

More Details



No Community Left Behind

Access to the Internet is critical for life in the 21st century, not something that is simply nice to have. To ensure our rural communities have quality health care, college-level math classes at the county high school, or precision ag technology at the local farm, high-speed broadband Internet connectivity is necessary.
— Sonny Perdue is the United States Secretary of Agriculture

More Details


USDA to Open Signup for CRP

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture is opening signup for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) on December 9, 2019. The deadline for agricultural producers to sign up for general CRP is February 28, 2020, while signup for continuous CRP is ongoing.

Farmers and ranchers who enroll in CRP receive a yearly rental payment for voluntarily establishing long-term, resource-conserving plant species, such as approved grasses or trees (known as “covers”) to control soil erosion, improve water quality and develop wildlife habitat on marginally productive agricultural lands.

CRP Rates and Payments

To enroll in CRP, contact your local FSA county office or visit fsa.usda.gov/crp.





Senator Merkley advocates for CBARC funding

A continued effort in agriculture advocacy by Senator Merkley is deeply appreciated as he was able to secure funds ($2 Million) for the Resilient Dryland Farming Initiative. The inclusion of the funding for the Resilient Dryland Farming Initiative in the FY2020 Agriculture Appropriations bill by the Senate Appropriations Committee is good news!

"I’ve seen firsthand the cutting edge research underway at the Pendleton ARS, and the progress researchers have made here in Oregon has helped me fight for ARS federal funding in my role as top Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Agriculture Subcommittee. Thanks to the advocacy and partnership of wheat growers in Oregon, I am happy that we have been able to support the resilient dryland farming initiative and improve our nation’s agriculture."
- Oregon’s U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley

This funding will help the ARS-Pendleton complete the hiring of new scientists, the improvement and expansion of the facilities and the cooperative work with the OSU-CBARC (Columbia Basin Agricultural Research Center, Adams) researchers.

The Committee recognizes the need for advancements in dryland production practices, cropping,and equipment to increase profitability, conserve the soil, enhance soil water storage, promote soil health, and decrease reliance on herbicides. The Committee provides no less than the fiscal year 2019 level to expand research focused on resilient dryland farming.

Research should focus on improving yield and quality parameters; developing cropping systems capable of tolerating drought, heat, and diseases; and quantifying economic and environmental benefits from dryland crop production systems.


OSU barley variety “Thunder”

OSU barley variety “Thunder” added to the AMBA recommended list

Thunder – a two-row winter malting barley developed by Oregon State University (OSU) – is on the AMBA recommended list for 2019. This list informs US producers which malting barley varieties the industry intends to use in the upcoming year. Thunder is recommended for high input, irrigated conditions although available data indicate it has potential under higher rainfall dryland conditions. In high rainfall environments, west of the Cascades, a comprehensive program of fungicide protection is required for optimum performance. For agronomic and quality summaries, please see Barley World.

For seed production license information, please contact

Denis Sather at denis.d.sather@oregonstate.edu or at 542-754-3711.




Prevent Farmer Suicide

Studies show that 𝐬𝐮𝐢𝐜𝐢𝐝𝐞 𝐢𝐬 𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐨𝐧 𝐚𝐦𝐨𝐧𝐠 𝐟𝐚𝐫𝐦𝐞𝐫𝐬 than any other job group and 𝐭𝐰𝐢𝐜𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐞 of military veterans.

Watch this news clip about increased farmer suicides and learn how you can 𝐡𝐞𝐥𝐩 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐧𝐞𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐛𝐨𝐫𝐬.

𝐏𝐋𝐄𝐀𝐒𝐄 𝐡𝐞𝐥𝐩 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐦 𝐟𝐢𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐜𝐞𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐲 𝐧𝐞𝐞𝐝!

MSU resources, http://bit.ly/MSU-FarmStress
News Clip, http://bit.ly/Farmers-Reach-Out

Neonics and Chlorpyrifos information sheets

Stripe Rust Observed in Wheat Fields - OSU



Be Road Safe!

To help keep both motorists and farmers safe, the Oregon Farm Bureau (OFB) Health & Safety Committee offers a video and free brochure with important tips on how to share the road safely with farm equipment.

MORE DETAILS



GE NEWS

GE Wheat found in Washington unplanted field, NAWG/USW respond!

MORE DETAILS


Related Important Links

OR-OSHA "Fighting farmland and rangeland wildfires" publication

Guide to Farm Trucking in Oregon – ODOT, online version

OSU Extension Cereal Newsletters – online reports by county


Crop Quality Oregon State Reports


Podcasts

Washington Grain Commission Podcasts


Worker Protection Standards

Web-Based Training for Trainers of Agricultural Workers and Pesticide Handlers under the National Worker Protection Standard (WPS) – Train the Trainer course – online, 24/7 training

WPS Compliance Assistance Library – A comprehensive guide with links to FAQ and more.

WPS: A Manual for Trainers of Ag Workers & Pesticide Handlers

PERC website – Pesticide Educational Resources Collaborative

“How to Comply” Manual


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