Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Tuesday March 20 Ag News

Help Celebrate 2018 National Agriculture Day and Agriculture Week this week
Larry Howard, NE Extension Educator

This week is National Agriculture Week and is celebrated March 18  –  24, 2018 and it is a time when producers, agricultural associations, corporations, universities, government agencies and countless others across America take time to recognize and celebrate the abundance provided by American agriculture.  This year’s Ag Day theme is “Agriculture: Food for Life.”    March 20 is the 45th anniversary of National Ag Day, celebrating agriculture and all those who feed our world, care for crops and livestock, and bring awareness to agricultural production.

According to the Agriculture Council of America, Ag Day is about recognizing and celebrating the contribution of agriculture in our everyday lives. The National Ag Day program encourages everyone to: 1) Understand how food and fiber products are produced  2) Value the essential role of agriculture in maintaining a strong economy 3) Appreciate the role agriculture plays in providing safe, abundant and affordable products and 4) Acknowledge and consider career opportunities in the agriculture, food and fiber industry.

Agriculture provides almost everything we eat, use and wear on a daily basis. But too few people truly understand this contribution. This is particularly the case in some of our schools, where students may only be exposed to agriculture if they enroll in related vocational training.  By building awareness, the Agriculture Council of America is encouraging young people to consider career opportunities in agriculture.

Each American farmer feeds more than 165 people ... a dramatic increase from 25 people in the 1960s. Quite simply, American agriculture is doing more and doing it better. As the world population soars, there is an even greater demand for the food and fiber produced in the United States.  Agriculture is this nation's #1 export and vitally important in sustaining a healthy economy. In 2016, $135.5 billion worth of American agricultural products were exported around the world.

It's not just the farmer who makes our food possible. The entire agriculture industry, all the way to the grocery store, are the vital links in a chain that brings food to every resident and millions of people abroad.  It's easy to take agriculture for granted in America as our food is readily accessible and safe. Today, there are 3.75 million Americans employed full- and part-time in agriculture, including forestry, fishing and other activities. If one were to look at food-related industries, the numbers jump way up. In fact, one in 12 American jobs is dependent on agriculture.

If you are a farmer, an agricultural producer or anyone in that food chain, we say thanks to you for all that you do each and every day to provide food for the world.  I would encourage each of you to share your agricultural story with a friend, your neighbor or share your story on social media using #AgDay or #NationalAgWeek or #FoodforLife so others know what you do on a daily basis.  The rest of us need to be sure to tell those individuals that we appreciate what they do.

Secretary Perdue Celebrates National Ag Day

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue issued the following statement regarding National Agriculture Day and President Donald J. Trump’s Proclamation recognizing the importance of America’s farmers, ranchers, foresters, and producers:

“For the past 45 years, National Ag Day has played a key role in helping people understand where their food and fiber comes from and how important agriculture is to our national economy,” said Secretary Perdue. “Our farmers, ranchers, foresters, and producers in America are feeding and clothing the world – and it’s important to never forget that. I am thrilled that we have a day, really a whole week, where we can celebrate the bounty of the American harvest.”

Vice President Pence Presents National Ag Day Proclamation to Secretary Perdue

Vice President of the United States Mike Pence presented President Donald J. Trump’s National Agriculture Day Proclamation to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Washington, D.C.

“Since day one of this administration, President Trump and our entire team have been working tirelessly to stand with our nation’s farmers, producers, ranchers, and foresters, and everyone involved in agriculture,” said Vice President Pence in his remarks at USDA.  “As the President has said, in his words, in ‘every decision we make, we are honoring,’ and supporting, ‘America’s proud farming legacy.’ And I promise you we always will.”

ICBA: Celebrate America’s Agriculture Tradition

In recognition of National Ag Day, the Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) celebrates American agriculture and the nation’s nearly 5,700 community banks for their enormous role in helping America grow by lending to local farmers, ranchers and agricultural enterprises.

“Community banks provide an overwhelming share of credit to local farmers and ranchers,” said ICBA President and CEO Camden R. Fine. “They understand the essential role these producers serve in supporting our nation’s food supply and bolstering our economy.

 “Many community banks have been serving agricultural enterprises and family farms in their communities for more than 100 years and will continue to serve as financial first responders even in these times of stress within the agricultural economy,” Fine said.

The total impact of agriculture and food industries on the U.S. economy is estimated at nearly $7 trillion or 20 percent of the U.S. economic output.

Across the nation, community banks operate approximately 52,000 locations, employ 760,000 Americans, and hold $4.9 trillion in assets, $3.9 trillion in deposits, and $3.3 trillion in loans to consumers, small businesses, and the agricultural community

Community banks under $10 billion in assets provide more than 75 percent of agricultural loans and community banks under $50 billion provide 86 percent of ag loans within the commercial banking sector and are often the catalysts for new and expanded business opportunities within their communities to ensure long-term economic viability and vitality. In fact, community banks provide approximately $180 billion in agriculture loans.

This year marks the 45th anniversary of National Ag Day, organized by the Agriculture Council of America to increase public awareness of agriculture’s role in modern society. Visit www.agday.org to learn more.

 NFU Celebrates National Agriculture Day

As the national agriculture community joins together to celebrate National Agriculture Day, National Farmers Union (NFU) is recognizing family farmers and ranchers for the wide array of contributions they make to consumers’ everyday life. This year’s National Ag Day theme is “Food for Life.”

“National Ag Day provides a special opportunity to highlight family farm agriculture and why it is of vital importance to our communities and to our country,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “Americans have access to an abundance of safe and affordable food when we visit the grocery store because of the daily sacrifices of family farmers and ranchers. When we stop by the gas station, we’re paying less for gasoline because of biofuels grown by family farmers. Nearly half of our nation’s land is taken care of by family farmers, and our waterways and ecosystems benefit from their stewardship. Whether you’re from a rural town, a big city, or somewhere in between, you benefit economically, environmentally, and socially from family farm agriculture.”

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, family-run farming operations make up 99 percent of America’s 2.1 million farms and 89 percent of agricultural production. Important to National Farmers Union’s mission is ensuring consumers understand the scope of these family farmers’ contributions to their daily lives.

“One trend that continues to this day is the widening divide between consumers and the people who produce their food, fiber and fuel,” said Johnson. “It’s important we recognize that there are families out there who have dedicated their lives to ensuring that the rest of us can enjoy the modern conveniences we do. And it’s even more important for us as a country to support these families as much as they support us.”

Johnson noted that one way consumers can support family farmers is by supporting what is known as the “Farm Bill.” The Farm Bill is federal legislation that provides a safety net for farmers when the farm economy drops, conservation programs to aid land stewardship, and nutrition programs, like SNAP, to protect consumers when they can’t afford to buy food.

“Most consumers are probably unaware of the current economic crisis facing many farmers today,” said Johnson. “The farm economy plummeted 50 percent from 2013-2016, and it has remained in this severely depressed state for the past two years. In fact, more than half of all farmers have had negative farm income in recent years. At this rate, we’re looking at losing a significant number of family farmers in the coming years if we don’t have an adequate safety net in place. And that safety net comes from the Farm Bill.”

Johnson encouraged consumers to visit 2018FarmBill.org to learn more about the Farm Bill and its programs. Visitors to the website can also learn how to advocate for a Farm Bill that supports family farmers, beginning farmers, and strong environmental and nutrition programs.

Johnson also urged all family farmers and ranchers to celebrate National Ag Day by making sure they are counted in the 2017 Census of Agriculture. The deadline for filling out the census was extended through this spring.

Farmer Co-ops Celebrate Ag Day

The National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC) joins farmers and other agricultural associations across the country to celebrate the importance of American agriculture during the 45th National Agriculture Day on March 20.  

“National Ag Day gives us an amazing opportunity to showcase agriculture across the United States in all its amazing diversity—from corn, soybeans and wheat in the Midwest to cotton, rice and peanuts in the South and including fruit, vegetables and nuts along the East and West Coasts and dairy and livestock nationwide,” said Chuck Conner, president and CEO of NCFC. “Today, even though fewer and fewer of our fellow citizens have a direct connection to the farm, consumer interest in where and how their food was produced is higher than ever. Events like National Ag Day are essential to connecting with consumers and telling the fantastic success story of American agriculture.”

“The conversation this year is especially timely, as both the House and Senate agriculture committees look to begin work on a new farm bill in the coming weeks,” Conner continued. “This debate will be especially critical this year, as farmers across the country continue to struggle through the fourth year of low commodity prices and uncertainty over trade and tax policy.”

National Ag Day is organized by the Agriculture Council of America and celebrated in classrooms and communities across the country. ACA is a nonprofit organization composed of leaders in the agricultural, food and fiber community, dedicating its efforts to increasing the public's awareness of agriculture's role in modern society.

Founded in 1973, National Ag Day encourages every American to:
• Understand how food and fiber products are produced.
• Appreciate the role agriculture plays in providing safe, abundant and affordable products.
• Value the essential role of agriculture in maintaining a strong economy.
• Acknowledge and consider career opportunities in the agriculture, food and fiber industry.

Farm Bureau Report: Soybeans Lead the Way in Agriculture Trade in the Beef State

Nebraska may be known as the beef state, but when it comes to agriculture exports, international sales of soybeans bring home the greatest value to Nebraska agriculture, according to a report released by the Nebraska Farm Bureau, Tues. March 20. The report, “Nebraska Agriculture and International Trade”, is the latest in a series of analysis highlighting the importance of agricultural trade to Nebraska farmers, ranchers, rural communities, as well as the state’s broader economy.

“At a time when President Trump and the administration is looking to implement trade tariffs and considering withdraw from existing trade deals, our analysis continues to show that trade is critical to the long-term health of Nebraska agriculture, and any actions that weaken our agriculture trade position would be a mistake,” said Nebraska Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson, March 20.

While previous reports have focused on impacts the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the U.S.- South Korea Trade Agreement (KORUS), the “Nebraska Agriculture and International Trade” report provides a comprehensive review of Nebraska agricultural trade and the dollar and cents impact on individual agriculture commodities and how that translates to farmers, ranchers, and Nebraska counties.

According to the report Nebraska was the fifth-largest agricultural exporting state in the country in 2016, exporting $6.6 billion in agricultural goods. Nebraska also topped the nation in beef exports, is the third-largest exporter of corn, feed and other grains, and processed grain products, and the fifth-largest exporter of soybeans and soybean meal.

“Nebraska’s exports of soybeans, corn, and beef have climbed significantly over the last decade and Nebraska’s total agriculture exports in 2016 were three times the amount our state exported in 2000,” said Jay Rempe, Nebraska Farm Bureau senior economist and author of the report. “In terms of total export value, soybeans topped the list in Nebraska generating more than $1.6 billion in sales in 2016, followed by sales of corn ($1.1 billion), beef and veal ($1 billion), distillers dried grains ($300 million), soybean meal ($297 million), ethanol ($287 million), pork ($230 million), wheat ($121 million), and grain sorghum ($32 million).

According to the report, nearly one-half of the soybeans produced in Nebraska annually are exported, whereas more corn produced in Nebraska stays in the country and is fed to livestock or is feedstock in ethanol production.

To help bring the value of agriculture trade closer to home for farmers and ranchers, the report identifies the value of agriculture trade on an individual commodity basis.

“What we found is the value of international trade translates to a per-unit value of $6.27 per bushel of soybeans, $1.03 per bushel of corn, $2.04 per bushel of wheat, $169 per head of beef animal, and $68 per head for pork. When you look at the price of individual commodities, you get a strong sense of just how important trade is when farmers are looking at $3.30 per bushel price for corn,” said Rempe, “we’re talking about roughly one-third of the value coming from trade.”

The report also outlines the per-farm/ranch, and per county implications of international trade, as well as examining the value of trade on a commodity-by-commodity basis for each Nebraska county.

In terms of counties, Platte County relies more heavily on international trade than any other county in the state with roughly $148 million of Platte County agriculture commodities and products exported each year. In total, 11 Nebraska counties derived more than $100 million in value from export sales.

On a per-farm basis, Phelps County farms were the most reliant on trade with an export value per-farm just shy of $266,000, according to the report.

“The importance of trade to Nebraska agriculture can’t be understated and this report provides a complete and comprehensive view of what it means to the pocketbooks of Nebraska’s farm and ranch families and the impacts of trade on our rural counties that ultimately translate into the success of our state’s broader economy,” said Nelson. “The message to Washington, D.C. from Nebraska is clear. Don’t do anything that would harm agriculture trade.”

The “Nebraska Agriculture and International Trade” report containing the full economic analysis is available on the Nebraska Farm Bureau website at www.nefb.org

Local NRD Run Raises Funds for Youth Education in Natural Resources

The Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District (LENRD) is reaching out across the district to help support youth education in natural resources. The LENRD is hosting a 5K Run, 1 Mile Walk and Kids Dash fundraiser at Ta-Ha-Zouka Park in Norfolk, NE on Saturday, April 14, 2018.  Join the LENRD for the 4th annual trail run that raises money to educate our youth about protecting the state’s water, soil, wildlife and vibrant Nebraskan landscape through the Nebraska Association of Resources Districts (NARD) Foundation.  The run kicks off at 9 AM. Runners, walkers and families ready to explore the outdoors will get to enjoy a scenic, out and back run next to the beautiful Elkhorn River.

Each dollar raised goes to several programs the NARD Foundation sponsors. These include programs like FFA, Adventure Camp about the Environment (ACE Camp) and Envirothon. Programs like these provide students of all ages an opportunity for hands-on experiences with our natural resources. The Foundation hands out more than $25,000 every year for this cause.

The 23 natural resources districts move the race to a different area of the state every year to promote natural resources opportunities for our youth through the Foundation. The race also highlights one of 80 multi-purpose recreation areas created by the NRDs across the state. If you’d like to check out other recreation areas, go to www.nrdrec.org.

You can register by going to http://getmeregistered.com/nrdrun. If you’d like to donate, contact the Nebraska Association of Resources Districts at 402-471-7670.

The 5K run raised more than $5,000 last year in Lincoln. In 2016, the run raised more than $4,000 in Omaha. This year, the Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District is teaming up with the local community and NARD Foundation with a goal to raise even more.

The state’s NRDs are proud to protect lives, property and future of Nebraska. We encourage the public to come out and support our youth.

Ricketts, Revenue Committee Work Together to Move Property Tax Relief Forward

Today, Governor Pete Ricketts, Revenue Committee members, and cabinet members issued statements following news that the Revenue Committee voted to advance the Nebraska Property Tax Cuts and Opportunities Act (LB 947) for debate by the full Legislature.

Governor Pete Ricketts: “Thank you to Chairman Smith and the Revenue Committee for their significant investment of time and work to move the Nebraska Property Tax Cuts and Opportunities Act (LB 947) forward.  High property taxes are hurting farm families and homeowners across our state, and the Legislature needs to take action this session.  I look forward to working with pro-growth Senators to deliver this major property tax relief for the people of Nebraska.”

Revenue Committee Chair Jim Smith: “Thank you to our committee members who have worked together to move major tax relief forward.  This has been a collaborative process, and today’s action is a significant step forward.  The Governor and I are committed to working with the full Legislature to get tax relief done this session.”

Agriculture Committee Chair Lydia Brasch: "Nebraska's farm families need property tax relief now.  Today, the Revenue Committee took a significant step towards making that a reality by advancing the Nebraska Property Tax Cuts and Opportunities Act.  I urge my colleagues to step up and commit to getting this property tax relief passed this session."

General Affairs Committee Chair Tyson Larson: "Doing property tax relief is at the top of the list of priorities for Nebraska families, and today's decision to advance LB 947 ensures that the entire Legislature will vote up or down on this issue.  I urge Nebraskans who want to see property tax relief to contact their senators now and make their voices heard."

Banking, Commerce, and Insurance Committee Chair Brett Lindstrom: "Tax relief is critical to growing our communities and putting more money back in the pockets of our families.  I appreciate the commitment of my colleagues to making tax relief a priority.  I am hopeful that urban and rural senators will come together on the floor and do the right thing for taxpayers by passing LB 947."

Lt. Governor Mike Foley: “Governor Ricketts has been working with Senators relentlessly to deliver tax relief.  The Nebraska Property Tax Cuts and Opportunities Act contains major tax relief for farmers, ranchers, homeowners, and job creators.  I urge Senators to seize this opportunity and to work to get this to the Governor’s desk before session concludes in the next few weeks.”

Agriculture Director Steve Wellman: “The governor’s proposal, the Nebraska Property Tax Cuts and Opportunities Act (LB 947), provides an opportunity for rural and urban senators to work together to deliver major, responsible relief that fits within the budget.  I urge senators to work together and get property tax relief done through LB 947 this session, so our farm families get the relief they need this year.”

Economic Development Director Dave Rippe: “To remain competitive, Nebraska must improve our tax climate.  The Nebraska Property Tax Cuts and Opportunities Act achieves that by delivering major property tax relief and providing the first business income tax rate reduction in a generation.  This would be a significant win for the economic development community and everyone working to grow Nebraska.”

Tax Commissioner Tony Fulton: “The Governor and Revenue Committee have demonstrated a great commitment in time and effort towards delivering major tax relief.  We look forward to working with the entire Legislature to pass the Nebraska Property Tax Cuts and Opportunities Act and get major tax relief done for Nebraskans.”


Celebrating its 30th anniversary, 2018 World Pork Expo — Bigger, Better than Ever

The 2018 World Pork Expo will mark its 30th anniversary by presenting the world’s largest pork-specific trade show with more exhibit space and featuring more U.S. and international companies than ever before. Presented by the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), the world’s largest pork-specific trade show takes place Wednesday, June 6, through Friday, June 8, at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines.

“The Expo’s 30th anniversary is a great time to look back at all we’ve accomplished as pork producers,” says Jim Heimerl, NPPC president and producer from Johnstown, Ohio, “But more important, it provides us with the perfect place to look forward to the many opportunities and advancements that lie ahead.”

Each year, more than 20,000 producers and pork professionals visit the three-day exhibition to attend educational seminars, learn more about the latest industry innovations at the trade show and network with peers.

Record-setting trade show to cover over 360,000 square feet

For the first time, the Jacobson Exhibition Center (JEC) will join the Varied Industries (VI) building and open its doors to Expo exhibitors and attendees.

“This will add 300 prime exhibit spaces in a building that will allow companies to display larger exhibits with more elaborate designs,” says Doug Fricke, director of trade show marketing for NPPC. “We will have well over 500 companies at the show this year. If it relates to pork production, you’ll find it at the trade show.”

With JEC located just south of the VI building, the corridor in between will provide a new outdoor exhibit area, allowing attendees to more easily access all areas of the show. Producers and other pork professionals will find more outdoor exhibits throughout the fairgrounds, including displays around the swine, sheep and cattle barns associated with the Expo’s live hog shows. More hospitality tents will give producers the opportunity to connect with exhibitors in a more casual setting.

With its combination of indoor and outdoor exhibit space, Fricke expects this year’s trade show to easily exceed 360,000 square feet — up more than 40,000 square feet from 2017. Expo attendees can visit the trade show from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 6, and Thursday, June 7, and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, June 8.

So much to learn, do and see

There’s never a shortage of things to do and see at Expo. Always high on the list are the nearly two dozen free educational seminars. The PORK Academy and Business Seminars run throughout the day on Wednesday and Thursday, allowing Expo attendees to catch a discussion on topics such as marketing, herd health, nutrition, employee management and much more. Pork producers and their employees can meet leading experts and hear the latest developments in pork production and business strategies.

Other must-see activities include:
    Swine shows — Attend the World Pork Expo Junior National and the open shows and sale, hosted by the National Junior Swine Association (NJSA) and Team Purebred — which kick off Expo week with activities beginning on Monday, June 4. Since it began in 2003, the Expo Junior National has grown annually to become one of the nation’s premier youth shows, offering a variety of show opportunities from Monday, June 4, through Saturday, June 9
    Pre-Expo tours — Expand your experience by attending one of two tours prior to Expo. A two-day Midwest Agricultural Tour takes place on Monday, June 4, and Tuesday, June 5, and travels across Iowa into Illinois and Indiana. A one-day tour on Tuesday will provide a first-hand look at a variety of Iowa agribusinesses
    NPPC hospitality tent — Visit with board members and staff for updates on legislation, regulation and public policy issues that impact their businesses
    MusicFest — Interact with pork industry peers while enjoying live music, grilled pork and refreshments on Thursday evening
    Big Grill — Enjoy free lunch during the show from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

"It’s exciting to see Expo’s continuous growth," Heimerl says. "It's a testimony to the vibrancy of the U.S. pork industry. If you haven’t been to Expo in a while, you want to make this the year to attend. You have to see how much it’s changed and how much it offers."
Online registration is open

Online registration is up and running. Individuals planning to attend World Pork Expo can pre-register to capture discounted rates of $10 per adult (ages 12 and up) and $1 for children, 6 to 11 years old, which covers all three days of Expo. Children under 5 years old get in free. On-site registration will be $20 per adult, with a special Friday-only rate of $10.

Whether your priority is to visit the trade show, network with fellow pork professionals or gather the latest information, now is the time to start planning your trip to the 2018 World Pork Expo, June 6-8.

February Milk Production in the United States up 1.8 Percent

Milk production in the United States during February totaled 17.0 billion pounds, up 1.8 percent from February 2017.  Production per cow in the United States averaged 1,807 pounds for February, 24 pounds above February 2017.  The number of milk cows on farms in the United States was 9.41 million head, 45,000 head more than February 2017, and 1,000 head more than January 2018.

Milk production in Iowa during February 2018 totaled 402 million pounds, up 2 percent from the previous February according to the latest USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service – Milk Production report. The average number of milk cows during February, at 220,000 head, was unchanged from last month but 4,000 more than last year. Monthly production per cow averaged 1,825 pounds, down 5 pounds from last February.

NMPF Supports FDA Proposal to Revoke Heart Health Claim for Soy Protein

The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) supports the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) proposal to revoke an authorized health claim that links soy protein with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease. The organization also repeated its insistence that FDA take action against plant-based food companies that inappropriately use dairy terminology to market inferior imitation dairy products, such as soy “milk.”

Last fall, FDA announced its proposal to revoke the health claim because numerous studies since its original authorization in 1999 have presented “inconsistent findings” regarding the relationship between soy protein and a reduced risk of coronary heart disease. In comments submitted Monday, NMPF commended the agency for undergoing the rigorous review of recent science to take a closer look at the health benefits of soy protein.

Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF, lauded FDA for acknowledging the continuing evolution of nutrition science and information. “Research on nutrition and health continually changes, and FDA’s regime for health claims must recognize this basic fact,” he said. “FDA is appropriately acknowledging that health claims are not carved in stone, but can and should be periodically reviewed in light of evolving nutrition evidence.”

“New research revealing the lack of heart benefits from soy protein or just as important, a positive effect from dairy fat, means that Americans can make more informed, healthier decisions regarding their diets,” he said.

FDA’s proposed rule comes almost 10 years after the agency initially announced its intent to re-evaluate the science behind the soy protein health claim. During this extended time, NMPF said, soy food manufacturers have exploited the claim to advertise their products as healthy, when science has not supported that claim.

Certain soy food companies have used the claim when labeling their imitation dairy products, insisting that because of soy’s purported healthful properties, soy “milk” is a healthy alternative to conventional cow’s milk. Not only is this health claim without significant scientific support, based on FDA’s proposed rule, it also blatantly skirts federal regulations on the labeling of dairy foods like “milk,” “cheese” and “yogurt,” said NMPF.

“It is imperative that consumers have accurate label information in addition to health claims – specifically the name of the food, which also conveys nutrition information,” said NMPF, reiterating its plea for FDA to take enforcement action against such products.


Wheat Researchers and Farmers Take to Capital Hill to Discuss Research Priorities for Wheat

Today concluded the 2018 National Wheat Improvement Committee Fly-in, where more than 20 researchers and farmers from across the country visited Capitol Hill to discuss with Members of Congress and their staff the importance federal funding of research to the wheat industry. The NWIC is comprised of 24 members representing regional public and private sector researchers, growers and the food processing industry.

“Growers are dealing more and more with extreme weather conditions, disease, and pest challenges, which can only be addressed through public and private research efforts,” said Chandler Goule, CEO of the National Association of Wheat Grower.  “In order to maintain an adequate food supply and keep the United States as the source of premier quality wheat on the world market, we must have robust and stable federal, state, and private investment in wheat research.”

During their meetings, NWIC researchers will make specific FY2018 and FY2019 Ag Appropriations requests including maintaining and/or increasing the funding levels for NIFA Hatch Act (at least $243.7 Million), Smith-Lever Formula Grants (at least $300 Million) and Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (at least $375 Million). The NWIC is also requesting a funding increase of $1.3 million for the US Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative (USWBSI) to bring appropriated funding levels to the $10 million authorized in the 2014 Farm Bill.

NWIC members will put in an ask of a $2.44 million increase for the Small Grains Genomic Initiative. Lastly, NWIC supports the inclusion of report language in the final FY 2018 Agriculture Appropriations bill to direct $1 Million to address the issue of financial losses and potential losses of export markets due to weather-induced poor end-use quality as indicated by low Falling Numbers (FN). The same language should be included in the FY 2019 Ag Appropriations.

“We believe NWIC’s appropriations requests will help maintain and improve the success of the public wheat research community and strengthen and increase the much needed public-private partnerships” said Chandler Goule, CEO of the National Association of Wheat Grower.  “NAWG will continue to work with Congress during the 2018 Farm Bill reauthorization to ensure a strong and well-funded research title is included in the legislation.”

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