In This Issue:

  • NBGA Federal Policy Priorities
  • Congress Considering Next COVID Response Package
  • USDA Leadership
  • WHIP+ Quality Loss Adjustment Program
  • ARC & PLC Sign-Up
  • Northern Crops Institute to Host Barley to Beer Course
NBGA Federal Policy Priorities

During the recent board meeting, NBGA approved the federal policy priorities, which can be viewed here. NBGA has also joined other agricultural groups on several letters to Congress and President Biden expressing our interests on priority issues, including opposition to cuts in crop insurance, support for increased investment in agricultural research & development, support for funding for international food aid programs and support of transportation and rural infrastructure priorities.
Congress Considering Next COVID Response Package

On February 26th, the House of Representatives passed a $1.9 trillion COVID response package that includes over $4 billion in funding for food supply chain and agriculture pandemic response and food aid. The measure is under consideration in the Senate, where the outcome is uncertain.
USDA Leadership

Tom Vilsack was confirmed and sworn in as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Secretary Vilsack is returning to the position which he previously served for eight years under President Obama. Nominees and appointees have also been named to key positions at USDA:

Deputy Secretary- Dr. Jewel Bronaugh, who has served since 2018 as the commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Chief of Staff, Office of the Secretary- Katherine Ferguson, who served in the Obama Administration as Chief of Staff for the White House Domestic Policy Council and as Chief of Staff for USDA Rural Development.

Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of the Secretary- Robert Bonnie, who was an executive in residence at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University.

Gloria Montano Greene was named deputy undersecretary for farm production and Conservation (FPAC). Montano Greene was the Arizona FSA executive director from 2-14-2017 and previously served as chief of staff to Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz.

Zach Ducheneaux was selected to be Administrator of the Farm Service Agency (FSA). Ducheneaux most recently was executive director of the Intertribal Agriculture Council, the largest Native American agriculture organization in the United States. He and his brothers operate a family ranch on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in north central South Dakota.
WHIP+ Quality Loss Adjustment Program

NBGA continues to urge USDA to alter the documentation requirements for barley that did not meet malt quality and was sold for feed. The application period ends March 5 and producers have until March 19 to submit required documentation. USDA has not made payments for quality losses while they review the applications and cases. Those eligible are producers in counties that received a presidential or secretarial disaster designation from a qualifying disaster event in 2018 or 2019 and at least 5 percent quality loss. 
ARC & PLC Sign-Up

Farmers have until March 15 to sign-up for the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs for the 2021 crop year. The ARC provides income support payments on historical base acres when actual crop revenue declines below a guaranteed level. The PLC provides payments on historical base acres when the effective price for a covered commodity falls below its reference price. Covered commodities include canola, corn, soybeans, wheat, barley and a range of minority crops.
Northern Crops Institute to Host Barley to Beer Course

The Northern Crops Institute will be hosting an online Barley to Beer course this April. This online course, which will be completed at your own pace, will provide participants with information on how to successfully choose high quality malting barley, as well as a basic understanding of the malting process and the brewing of beer, through networked lectures and video tours. It is suitable for craft brewers, craft maltsters, researchers, and anyone looking to learn more about barley and beer! For more information, see the interactive flyer here.
National Barley Growers Association
(202) 548-0734
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