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Trade Deal Should Restore Demand for U.S. Wheat

Joint Statement – Phase One Trade Deal Should Restore China’s Demand for U.S. Wheat

Washington, D.C. (January 15, 2020) — The National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) and U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) are very encouraged by the signing of a Phase One trade agreement with China. Chinese imports of U.S. soft white (SW), hard red spring (HRS) and hard red winter (HRW) wheat classes were trending up before abruptly ending when China implemented retaliatory tariffs on U.S. wheat and other agricultural commodities in March 2018.

“Even though China has huge domestic wheat stocks, they were buying more U.S. wheat because they needed it to meet growing demand for higher quality wheat foods,” said Vince Peterson, President of U.S. Wheat Associates (USW), the organization funded by farmers and the U.S. government to promote wheat exports. “The losses we demonstrated soon after China stopped importing U.S. wheat have only grown since then, so we hope the agreement signed today signals a potential turn-around.”

Adding to the optimism is China’s separate agreement to work toward filling its 9.6 million metric ton (MMT) reduced tariff rate quota (TRQ) for wheat imports. If the changes are in fact implemented, and Chinese millers can respond to market signals, most of the TRQ should be used. For U.S. wheat farmers, the Phase One deal and TRQ compliance would create a very welcome opportunity for Chinese miller customers to once again apply the technical expertise and assistance USW provides to use wheat with specialized end-use applications that distinguishes U.S. wheat from domestic Chinese supplies.

NAWG/USW Press Release

Senate panel advances USMCA with bipartisan vote

The Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday easily approved the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement with a bipartisan 25-to-3 vote, potentially sending the trade pact up for a speedy full floor vote.

“We are now one step away from unleashing the competitiveness of America’s farmers and ranchers with our two largest trading partners thanks to today’s Senate Finance Committee vote,” said American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall. “The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement will protect our valuable trade relationships with our nearest neighbors and return certainty to our markets. We urge immediate approval by the full Senate to deliver a much-needed win for agriculture.”

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said he hopes to get a floor vote “soon,” but much depends on the fluid impeachment situation. Once the House of Representatives sends over articles of impeachment, the Senate is required to give them priority, but that hasn’t happened yet.

The House approved USMCA in a landslide vote of 385 to 41 on Dec. 19 after months of negotiations between Democrats and the Trump administration over labor, environment, enforcement and other provisions.

More Articles on USMCA:
American Farm Bureau Federation

USMCA retains tariff-free access to imported U.S.

Washington, D.C. (December 19, 2019) – U.S wheat growers are very pleased that the U.S. House of Representatives has passed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) today. This past year, the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) and U.S. Wheat Associates have forcefully spoken out on their behalf about the need for the USMCA.

“Agriculture desperately needed a win for economic recovery, and passing the USMCA was that win,” said National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) President and Lavon, Tex., farmer Ben Scholz. “NAWG applauds those Members of Congress for their support and hard work to advance this critical trade deal one step closer to the finish line. We encourage the Senate to follow its lead and pass this deal early in the new year.”

“Mexico’s flour millers import more U.S. wheat than any other country and they have been very anxious about the outcome of this trade agreement,” said U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) Chairman and Paulding, Ohio, farmer Doug Goyings. “At the end of a conference with those millers last June, we agreed to work together to get USMCA implemented. Our colleagues at NAWG have enthusiastically joined that effort on Capitol Hill and we thank them for their support.”

USMCA retains tariff-free access to imported U.S. wheat for those long-time flour milling customers in Mexico, a crucial step toward rebuilding trust in the U.S. as a reliable supplier in this important, neighboring market. In addition, the USMCA makes important progress towards more open commerce for U.S. wheat farmers near the Canadian border by allowing U.S. varieties registered in Canada to receive reciprocal grading treatment.

Other measures that benefit the wheat industry include the Agreement’s language around agricultural biotechnology which supports 21st Century innovations in agriculture and new language to strengthen disciplines for science-based SPS measures.


Oregon Wheat CEO Announced

Amanda Hoey 

Oregon Wheat Growers League and Oregon Wheat Commission Announce New CEO

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.

Read Full Announcement

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


USDA to Open Signup for CRP

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 5, 2019 – 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

FSA recently posted updated soil rental rates for CRP. County average rates are posted on the CRP Statistics webpage. Soil rental rates are statutorily prorated at 90 percent for continuous signup and 85 percent for general signup. The rental rates will be reviewed annually. Under continuous signup, producers also receive incentives, including a signup incentive payment and a practice incentive payment.

More Information

CRP marks its 35-year anniversary in 2020, and FSA will continue to highlight the impacts of the program that was created in 1985 and the many stewardship-minded farmers, ranchers and landowners who have participated over the years. Learn more.

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

Concern swells as USMCA talks linger

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi still isn’t ready to hold a vote on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, but the pace of talks between Democrats and the White House is picking up speed as both sides aim for ratification before the end of the year. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, the Massachusetts Democrat charged with spearheading negotiations with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to produce a pact that can pass the House, assured Agri-Pulse this week that talks are intensifying and progress is being made, but time is running out in 2019.


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.

Stripe Rust Observed in Wheat Fields - OSU

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

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. https://oregonfb.org/safety/

Other News

GE Wheat found in Washington unplanted field, NAWG/USW response

NW farmers face ‘crisis, disaster’ in trade war; Video

Leading Agriculture Commodities Oppose Additional Tariffs on Chinese Goods

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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