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Farm Bill’s impact on Wheat Producers

By January 11, 2019 January 16th, 2019 Irrigation News

With several years of low farm prices, trade disruptions and increasing international competition, passing the 2018 Farm Bill came at a crucial time for farmers and ranchers. Kansas wheat farmers thank Congress for passing the 2018 Farm Bill and are hoping President Trump to sign the Farm Bill into law as soon.

Kansas wheat farmers are thankful to have a Farm Bill in place. It’s vital to have a strong safety net. KAWG Vice President Justin Knopf agrees that the passage of the Farm Bill comes at an especially critical time for farmers according to a recent article.
“I’m used to dealing with a fair amount of uncertainty as a farmer, but this year has been more extreme than most with trade issues, ongoing low commodity prices, and weather this fall that made completing harvest and wheat seeding terribly difficult,” said Knopf. “So, I greatly appreciate Chairman Roberts and Congressman Marshall’s diligence in getting the Farm Bill to the finish line. By doing so, we at least have some certainty around farm policy for the next several years.”
The National Association of Wheat Growers, which represents wheat farmer organizations throughout the United States including Kansas, approves the committee for maintaining a strong crop insurance title and supports the language allowing for producer choice between Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage. The association appreciates the Committee recognizing the importance of using consistent data in determining farm program payments, while making RMA data its primary source, and for making improvements to both ARC and PLC.
These changes enable farmers to better respond to market and production conditions by selecting the program that works best for their operation on an annual basis. These programs, and many others enacted by the Farm Bill, help producers find some stability in the rocky agricultural economy, an important win-win for the farmers and the American people they work to feed, clothe and fuel.
Another important portion of the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 establishes the Agricultural Trade and Facilitation Program that funds the Market Access Program, the Foreign Market Development program, the Emerging Markets Program and the Trade Assistance for Specialty Crops. That is a very important amendment for wheat farmers because FMD funds directly support the ability of U.S. Wheat Associates to maintain bases of operation and local representatives to conduct trade service and technical support activities with buyers, flour millers and wheat food processors.
The legislation now allows Congress to appropriate discretionary funds to cover the cost of administering the export market development programs, rather than covering costs from the appropriated program budgets. The law also establishes a Priority Trust Fund to be used at USDA’s discretion to help meet requests that exceed the appropriated program funds.
Breaking away from just Kansas wheat information. Wheat growers in North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Wyoming are invited to Wheat U, a one-day, information-packed educational opportunity Jan. 17 at the Bismarck Event Center in Bismarck, North Dakota. High Plains Journal provided the following information on this wheat growers event.
This event is sponsored by BASF, Wheat U promises to deliver a wealth of profit-enhancing wheat production and marketing information. Wheat U is structured as a combination of speakers and breakout sessions. Our luncheon speaker will be Dan Wogsland, executive director of the North Dakota Grain Growers Association. He will provide an overview of industry topics that growers will need to keep in mind for 2019 and beyond, including the recent passage of the farm bill, export markets and more.
The program begins with a panel of high-achieving grower leaders, from whom attendees can learn top productions tips and tricks.
The event concludes with a panel discussion from the local experts at Laughing Sun Brewing, who will advise wheat growers about how wheat quality characteristics translate into quality brewing.
Wheat U is free to attend and includes a complimentary luncheon, courtesy of event sponsors AGWEEK, BASF and High Plains Journal. Farmers are asked to register online at www.wheatu.com