In This Issue:

  • Maryland Developing Improved Winter Barley Cultivars for Mid-Atlantic
  • USDA Announces Sign-Up for WHIP+ Quality Loss Provisions; NBGA Asks FSA to Revise Documentation Requirements for Barley Sold as Feed
  • Enrollment Underway for Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage Programs for 2021
  • NASS Crop Acreage Reports
  • Nominees and Appointees Announced for Key USDA Positions
Maryland Developing Improved Winter Barley Cultivars for Mid-Atlantic

The University of Maryland started a barley breeding program headed by Dr. Vijay Tiwari that is devoted to the development of barley cultivars for production throughout the Mid-Atlantic.
 
This year, the Maryland Grain Producers contributed funding to support research that aims to develop high yielding winter barley varieties adapted to the region with an increased resistance against Fusarium Head Blight and improved malting characteristics. The long-term goal is to establish a continuous pipeline to release elite winter malting barley varieties that can be fall-planted as cover crops and harvested for grain in a dual cropping system with soybeans. In the proposed research the University will use genetics and genomics tools to integrate resistance against fungal pathogens and to increase the overall yield and quality traits of the Maryland barley cultivars. Learn more on the University's Small Grains Site.
USDA Announces Sign-Up for WHIP+ Quality Loss Provisions; NBGA Asks FSA to Revise Documentation Requirements for Barley Sold as Feed

On January 5th USDA announced the Quality Loss Adjustment Program (QLAP), which is the long-delayed WHIP+ quality loss provisions for losses due to natural disasters in 2018 and 2019. The application period is 1/6/21 - 3/5/21. Producers have until 3/19 to submit required documentation. Payments won't be made until sign-up period ends so they can determine if they need to pro-rate payments. Those eligible are producers in counties that received a Presidential Disaster declaration or Secretarial disaster designation in 2018 or 2019 with harvested affected production that had quality loss due to a qualifying disaster event and had at least 5% quality loss. 
 
Payment Calculation:
There is a 70% payment factor for all and an additional 50% payment factor for those that don't have specified documentation.
 
Producers total dollar value loss (if they have specified documentation) x 70%
Or, (without specified documentation): 
Producers affected production x county average loss x 70% x 50% 
 
Recipients must purchase crop insurance for next two years. The USDA notice can be viewed here: 2020-28914.pdf (federalregister.gov)
 
Some barley producers have reported problems with the documentation requirements for malting barley that was rejected and sold for feed. NBGA has shared these issues with USDA FSA and urged them to review and revise the documentation requirements. Similar issues have been reported by wheat and pulse crop producers whose sales to feed markets do not show quality discounts on the sales documentation. Producers are encouraged to discuss with their FSA office and share questions and concerns with NBGA staff. 

Enrollment Underway for Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage Programs for 2021

Agricultural producers have until March 15th to make elections and sign-up for the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs for the 2021 crop year. ARC provides income support payments on historical base acres when actual crop revenue declines below a specified guaranteed level. PLC provides income support payments on historical base acres when the effective price for a covered commodity falls below its reference price. Covered commodities include barley, canola, large and small chickpeas, corn, crambe, flaxseed, grain sorghum, lentils, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, dry peas, rapeseed, long grain rice, medium and short grain rice, safflower seed, seed cotton, sesame, soybeans, sunflower seed and wheat.
NASS Crop Acreage Reports

On January 12th, NASS released its Annual Crop Production report for the 2020 crop year, which can be viewed at: https://release.nass.usda.gov/reports/cropan21.pdf 

U.S. producers planted 2.621 million acres of barley in 2020, down 151,000 acres (-5.4%) from 2019. Harvested acreage was 2.133 million, down 88,000 or (-4%). The National Average Yield was virtually unchanged from last year, at 77.5 bushels/acre. Total production was 165.324 million bushels, down 7.1 million bushels from 2019. Harvested acreage in the NBGA member states decreased 75,000 collectively, to 1.934 million acres, or  (-3.7%) from 2019. Total Production declined 4.9 million bushels, or (-3%).  
Nominees and Appointees Announced for Key USDA Positions

Following are some of the nominations and appointments to leadership positions at USDA:
Deputy Secretary – Dr. Jewel Bronaugh. Dr. Bronaugh has served since 2018 as the commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. She previously served as the Virginia State Executive Director for the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA). Prior to being appointed to FSA, she served as Dean of the College of Agriculture at Virginia State University with oversight of Extension, Research and Academic Programs. 

Chief of Staff, Office of the Secretary – Katherine Ferguson. Ferguson served in the Obama Administration as Chief of Staff for the White House Domestic Policy Council and as Chief of Staff for Rural Development at USDA. Ferguson also worked on the Senate Agriculture Committee and as staff to several U.S. Senators.

 Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of the Secretary – Robert Bonnie. Most recently Bonnie served as an executive in residence at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University. Previously, he served as Director of the Farm and Forests Carbon Solutions Initiative at the Bipartisan Policy Center. During the Obama Administration, he served as Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment and as a Senior Advisor to Secretary Vilsack for climate and the environment.
National Barley Growers Association
(202) 548-0734
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