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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.

Wildfire season begins in Central Oregon

Wildfire season will begin June 1 in Central Oregon, 10 days earlier than last year, according to the state Department of Forestry.

ODF's Central Oregon District includes 2.3 million acres of private, state and municipal forestland in Crook, Deschutes, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Hood River, Jefferson, Lake, Morrow, Umatilla, Wasco and Wheeler counties.

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Governor Kate Brown has directed approximately 1 million KN95 masks and 5,000 gallons of hand sanitizer for farmworkers and agricultural producers. This critical PPE is available at no cost to the agricultural community to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Distribution will take place throughout the state on Wednesday, May 27 and Thursday, May 28.

Wheat Price Volatility Picks Up on Weather Concerns

Wheat markets had a significant increase in price action this week, shooting higher mid-week on forecasts of dryness returning to Europe, only to give most of the rally back by Friday’s close as we headed into the long holiday weekend. Weather has resurfaced as the primary driver in price action, particularly after a dry start to the growing season for Europe/Black Sea and production estimate already declining in those regions. The next two weeks look dry in the key wheat producing regions of northern Europe and temps will be increasing. For the Black Sea, rains have come but not before they, too, started to reduce production estimates. Ukraine was first to drop estimates on lower plantings and the dry spring. Romania followed with an estimate early this week that took production down to almost half of last year’s 10 MMT.

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USDA to Provide $1 Billion in Loan Guarantees for Rural Businesses and Ag Producers

On May 21st, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced that the Department is making available up to $1 billion in loan guarantees to help rural businesses meet their working capital needs during the coronavirus pandemic. Additionally, agricultural producers that are not eligible for USDA Farm Service Agency loans may receive funding under USDA Business & Industry (B&I) CARES Act Program provisions included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

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PNW-All Wheat Farmers Need to be Supported

PNW Wheat Associations call on USDA to Reconsider Coronavirus Food Assistance Program; All Wheat Farmers Need to be Supported

USDA released details of its Coronavirus Food Assistance (CFAP), which provides direct financial assistance to producers of agricultural commodities affected by COVID-19. The PNW wheat associations in Oregon, Washington and Idaho welcomed news that eligible commodities for the program include durum, hard red spring wheat and malting barley.However, leaders from all three state wheat associations expressed significant reservations because most of the wheat produced in the region is excluded from program eligibility.

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OWGL Responds to CFAP Assistance

OWGL President stressed the challenges facing Oregon Wheat farmers stating “We are struggling with cash flow like all other farmers and ranchers throughout the nation. Unfortunately, unless USDA reevaluates, we will not have access to these critical resources. Most of our wheat production is soft white wheat, which is specifically excluded from these payments.”

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Mental Health is VITAL.

COVID-19 brings new challenges, awareness to rural mental health crisis
05/27/20 6:40 AM By Hannah Pagel
View AGRI-PULSE Article

COVID-19 brought a wave of new economic challenges that producers are still working through. But for beginning farmers, the pandemic has added a new level of stress that's making it that much harder to get started in agriculture, echoing the psychological toll of the 1980s.

“There's a lot at stake in the first place with getting started in farming, especially trying to get started as a young farmer. But for me, I bought my farm and two weeks later the coronavirus hit and everything is completely in the tank,” said Lillie Beringer, who closed March 2 on a northeast Iowa farm previously owned by her grandparents.

“To be honest, if the markets don't come back up, I don't know what’s going to happen or how I'm going to make my land payments,” she said.

To add to Beringer's challenges, only 28 of the farm's 110 acres are tillable. She seeded those acres to pasture for her herd of 20 cows, but she needed to take on more cattle in order to cash flow. By her estimation, she needed about 60 calves, "and whatever I had left for profit was supposed to make my land payment."

Beringer not only increased her herd from 20 cows to 60, but she also signed up to custom-contract calving another 120 cows for another producer. With the help of her mother, who assists with calving and other tasks associated with the cow-calf operation, Beringer is now balancing care for 180 head of cattle and a full-time job as a livestock production specialist for Purina Feeds.

Bob Worth, a southwest Minnesota farmer who has battled his own depression, told Agri-Pulse these are historically tough times to start farming.

"If I was a young person with a with a heavy debt I would feel the same stress that I did in the '80s. The difference is I'm a lot older. I healed myself up from the '80s, so I could survive the 2020s,"

Economic stress and agricultural hardships are nothing new to farmers of all ages and across many different forms of production agriculture. There are many familiar factors that lead to farm stress, but a global pandemic has added a new dimension.

“Some of the stress we are seeing was here before COVID, but much of COVID has exacerbated that stress,” said Anne Hazlett, senior adviser for rural affairs at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Agriculture was already in flux prior to COVID-19 hitting. Producers were experiencing ongoing trade wars with many U.S. trading partners, low commodity prices, years of uncontrollable weather conditions and much more.

A forecast released last month by the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute estimates net farm income in 2020 at $86 billion, down 11% from USDA’s estimate of farm earnings for 2019. The new forecast doesn’t account for billions of payments that the Trump administration is sending to farmers or the $1.2 billion in surplus food distribution through the agency's Farmers to Families Food Box program.

“The situation has become even more uncertain. And I think that’s the word that capitalizes everything in this situation — uncertainty,” said Michael Rosmann, psychologist, farmer, and agricultural behavioral health specialist located in Harlan, Iowa, “The producers are having a hard time making ends meet, and I'm getting quite a few phone calls from people.”

The stress of the agriculture industry has led to increased mental health issues and a swelling concern about farmer suicides. However, a lack of solid data on the subject adds another layer of difficulty to an already sensitive conversation.

“I think it's actually ironic that farmers are struggling to put food on their table when they grow food for everybody else,” said Theresia Gillie, a Minnesota farmer who lost her husband to suicide three years ago.

Farmer suicides have been a topic of concern since the 1980s farm crisis, and many farmers today are starting to speak out to help share their story in hopes it might help a struggling farmer.

“Farm stress is certainly not a new concept," said Worth, the Minnesota farmer. "My father saw rural suicide rates spike in his farming days in the 1930s and when I was a young farmer just getting started in the ‘80s, I got super depressed. … I didn’t want to get out of bed or go to work. I didn’t care about harvest and just wanted to stay in the house.”

Worth recently shared his story to help bring awareness to farmers who are also struggling.

“There is no shame in getting the help you need. Farm stress isn’t something you need to take on alone — sometimes you can’t just do it yourself. I was on medication for three years before gradually weaning off — but every so often, when I can tell that I am sliding back into depression, I reach out,” said Worth.

When asked why farmers won’t reach out more often, almost every person interviewed by Agri-Pulse said the same thing — farmers are proud.

“Farmers are very private people and don’t like to talk about their own personal problems, but we need to start talking,” Worth said.

Rosmann also pointed to "economic threats to the farm itself — that is the loss of the land. Farmers cling desperately to the land, and other assets that are needed to farm."

Meredith Bernard is a North Carolina farmer who lost a friend to suicide. She actively speaks out on the stigma and concern of mental health to help provide awareness to those around her. In her mind, a major issue is not necessarily a lack of resources, but the funding and access to those resources.

“I believe there are more resources available than most realize, the problem seems to be in making people aware of how and where to access them. I believe there are gaps in access, as well, due to costs of professional health and lack of available, sufficient insurance for a lot of the farming population,” said Bernard.

Hazlett commented that a big piece of the puzzle in terms of accessing mental health resources is access to rural broadband.

“We need the broadband to be able to power much of the telemedicine and so there are dollars that have been put into some USDA programs to build additional broadband. It's going to take all of these pieces working together I think to help people get the care that they need,” said Hazlett.

She also stated that because of the COVID-19 pandemic these issues have been able to gain the attention they’ve needed in terms of funding.

“There's been a silver lining in the COVID pandemic — it has really been the opportunity that we've needed to increase access to care through policy changes around telemedicine.”

Beringer, the beginning producer in Iowa, said she doesn't regret the purchase of her farm despite a turbulent first few months of ownership.

“It's definitely not a great time in agriculture, especially for a young person to get started and then to have coronavirus (outbreak) on top of it — it’s just stressful," she said. "But the farm is what drives me, and it all goes back to crediting my grandpa, as far as why I want to continue on.”

The National Suicide hotline is available 24/7 and can be reached at 1-800-273-8255. An online chat option is also available.

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,
News Clip,

Head over to the Virtual Field Days section to learn more about the ag wildfire course and crop tours.

Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting

OSU Provides Ag Wildfire Courses

U.S. & UK Trade Talks

The United States and Britain launched formal negotiations on a free trade agreement on Tuesday, vowing to work quickly to seal a deal that could counter the massive drag of the coronavirus pandemic on trade flows and the two allies' economies. The talks, to be conducted virtually, will involve over 300 U.S. and UK staff and officials in nearly 30 negotiating groups, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and UK trade minister Liz Truss said in a joint statement. "We will undertake negotiations at an accelerated pace and have committed the resources necessary to progress at a fast pace," they said. "A Free Trade Agreement would contribute to the long-term health of our economies, which is vitally important as we recover from the challenges posed by COVID-19," the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

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CAT Tax Update 4.30.2020

Provided by Dalton Advocacy, Inc.

As you know today (4.30) is the deadline for filing the first quarterly estimated payments for Oregon’s new Corporate Activity Tax (CAT). We have continued to work with a diverse group of stakeholders to delay the implementation of the CAT during the COVID crisis, but the Governor has been clear she will not take that action.

However, late this week the Department of Revenue, under direction from Governor Brown, did take steps to provide some relief to small businesses. Specifically, the new rules:

  • No longer require a quarterly filing/payment today from a business who is not expected to have more than $10,000 in annual tax liability (this was previously $5,000 and should increase the quarterly waiver threshold to businesses with approximately $2M in gross receipts – up from $1M).
  • Will waive penalties for underestimated quarterly payments or for not making a quarterly payment, if the business does not have the financial ability to make the estimated payment. You do not have to file documentation to establish your “good faith” assessment, but will need to compile documentation that shows:
    • Your inability to pay a quarterly payment because of insufficient funds due to COVID-19;
    • Your inability to reasonably calculate a quarterly payment or annual tax liability due to their business being impacted by COVID-19;
    • And that the taxpayer is unclear at this time whether the business will owe Corporate Activity Tax in April 2020 due to COVID-19 impacts, after taking into consideration exclusions and subtractions in the law.

See rules in PDF below. More information on the DOR CAT website here.

In the news:

OSHA issues temporary rule

Oregon OSHA has adopted a temporary rule to increase protections for workers against the spread of coronavirus in employer-provided housing and in labor-intensive farm operations.

The rule, which mostly takes effect May 11, 2020, addresses the COVID-19 emergency in such housing and operations by strengthening requirements in three areas: field sanitation, labor housing, and transportation.

Articles to read in regards to the rule:
My Columbia Basin

Oregon OSHA workplace guidance and resources

Summary of Key Provisions

CIG is Open!

USDA Announces $15 Million for Conservation Innovation Grants

Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) are competitive grants that drive public and private sector innovation in resource conservation. CIG projects inspire creative problem solving that boosts production on farms, ranches, and private forests - ultimately, they improve water quality, soil health, and wildlife habitat.

National and State CIG

Public and private grantees develop the tools, technologies, and strategies to support next-generation conservation efforts on working lands and develop market-based solutions to resource challenges. Grantees must match the CIG investment at least one to one.

Young Farmer Accelerator Program

Nominations for Farm Foundation's Young Farmer Accelerator Program, aimed at helping young farmers grow their knowledge, experience and network. The program will engage young farmers in a year-long series of interactive learning and networking experiences, focused on gaining a deeper understanding of a wide variety of agriculture, agribusiness and government issues. The program also hopes to help young farmers build a strong, enduring network of peers and senior agribusiness and government contacts.

To be eligible for this program, nominees must be a U.S. citizen, between the ages of 21 and 40, and actively involved in farming as a career. Young farmers from around the U.S. with careers and backgrounds in all types of farming will be selected in order to assemble a cohort that looks like American farming today.

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Items of Interest

Effects of 1980 Grain Embargo


Effects of 1980 Grain Embargo Echo Through the Years

Originally published April 14, 2020, By Vince Peterson,USW President

As a new decade and a new future for wheat export market development dawned in January 1980, the urgency facing the wheat-producer boards of both Great Plains Wheat and Western Wheat Associates could not have been much greater.

They were under the strain of discussions and negotiations for months in the effort to merge the two existing regional wheat market development groups into one, single national association. Then, on January 4, these farmer leaders and all U.S. wheat producers sat in disbelief hearing President Jimmy Carter address the nation and summarily cancel 17 million metric tons (MMT) of existing wheat, corn and soybean sales contracts between U.S. exporters and the former USSR. That was 17 MMT of production that had already been grown and harvested and scheduled for movement by truck, barge, rail car and ocean vessels through the U.S. grain export system; 17 MMT of system revenue, margins and farmers’ annual income – all cancelled.

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U.S. Wheat Around the World

USTR Promises July 1 Start for USMCA

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Friday (4/24) sent official notice to Congress that the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement will be ready for implementation on July 1, the final step in the long process that will ensure that most agricultural tariffs between the three countries remain at zero. The timing is controversial, as the U.S., Mexican and Canadian automobile sectors continue to ask for implementation to be postponed as car companies deal with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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U.S. Wheat Supply Chain System: Research and Plant Breeding

Professional millers and bakers know that the appearance and taste of every product depends on the specific characteristics imparted by its flour ingredient. And those characteristics are deeply rooted in the ancient craft of plant breeding. [Plant breeding is an ancient craft.] As far back as 10,000 years, farmers looked for traits that helped them grow more and better food. Egypt became the breadbasket of ancient Rome as its farmers adopted a type of wheat from the “fertile crescent” in modern Iraq to plant along the Nile River. Over time, the Egyptians found ways to grow a grain that was sturdy enough to transport long distances and stand up against pests. The Egyptian wheat traded with the Romans may not be what we are used to today, but the process for how it was grown to meet the needs of the consumer is by no means ancient history.

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New Tool to Combat Major Wheat Disease

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and their colleagues have discovered a gene that can be used to develop varieties of wheat that will be more resistant to Fusarium Head Blight (FHB), a disease that is a major threat both overseas and to the nation's $10 billion annual wheat crop.

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USTR to Work With Congress on Strengthening Brazil Trade Ties

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is making it clear to Brazil that the U.S. is serious about strengthening trade and economic ties between the two countries whose leaders appear to be fond of each other.

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Ukraine Wheat Prices Hit Seasons High Amid Strong Export Demand

Ukraine has exported around 18 million tonnes of wheat so far in 2019/20, leaving an additional 2 million tonnes available for export over the rest of this season that runs until June 30, in line with a memorandum signed with traders.

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Legal Waivers Help Keep Commercial Drivers on Road

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and Oregon DMV have taken steps to help keep the holders of commercial driver licenses (CDL) and commercial learner permits (CLP) on the road during the COVID-19 response.

DMV is continuing to provide CLP knowledge tests and first-time CDL issuances by appointment only at six offices across Oregon.

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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.


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!



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

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.


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.

Local wheat farmers at National Leadership!

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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.


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.


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 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.


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

Neonics and Chlorpyrifos information sheets

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.



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


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


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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