Upcoming Barley Industry Events
November 2019: Tri-State Grain Growers Convention Spokane, WA 11/13-11/16; Craft Maltsters Guild Equipment Vendor Webinar 11/14

December 2019: Montana Grain Growers Association Annual Convention Great Falls, MT 12/3-12/5; National Scab Initiative Meeting Milwaukee, WI 12/7-12/9; Prairie Grains Conference Grand Forks, ND 12/11-12/12

January 2020:

February 2020: Winter Meeting in DC 2/3-2/6; Craft Maltsters Guild Advanced Class in Craft Malt Production 2/3-2/6; Craft Malt Conference in Fort Collins, CO 2/7-2/8, Craft Maltsters Guild Annual Meeting 2/8; Canadian Barley Symposium and BRMBRI Triennial Meeting Winnipeg, AB 2/24-2/25
March 2020: National Barley Improvement Committee, Washington, DC 3/8-3/11

April 2020: World Beer Cup San Antonio, TX 4/17-4/19; Craft Brewers Conference San Antonio, TX 4/19-4/22

May 2020:

June 2020:

July 2020:

August 2020: MBAA and ASBC World Brewing Congress Minneapolis, MN 8/1-8/4

September 2020: Great American Beer Festival Denver, CO 9/24-9/26

In This Issue:

  • NBGA Participates in Beer Industry Meetings & Jobs Showcase on Capitol Hill
  • NBGA Alerts USDA to Disastrous Conditions in Northern Tier
  • USDA Encourages Producers to Contact Insurance Agents
  • NBGA Attends MRL Roundtable
  • ITC Holds Hearing on MRL
  • Trade Update: China & USMCA
  • Appropriations Update
  • MFP Disparity Raised at Senate Hearing on Farm Bill Implementation
  • Farm Program Payments for 2018 Crop Year
  • NBGA Winter 2020 Meeting
NBGA Participates in Beer Industry Meetings and Jobs Showcase on Capitol Hill

NBGA Vice President Greg Kessel and NBGA staff joined representatives from the entire value chain of the beer industry to highlight to congressional offices the jobs and economic impact of the industry and to reiterate federal policy priorities such as the extension of the beer tax provisions that expire at the end of 2019. Greg Kessel filmed a segment for a "Faces of Beer" video being developed by the Beer Institute, attended meetings with Members of Congress from North Dakota, Colorado, Washington, and Oregon. Greg and NBGA staff also provided barley farmer perspective and poured beers for congressional staff at a beer tasting reception that concluded the industry events.
NBGA Alerts USDA to Disastrous Conditions in the Norther Tier

While in Washington, DC for the beer industry event, Greg Kessel and NBGA staff met separately with USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA) and senior Farm Service Agency (FSA) officials to make them aware of the conditions facing farmers in the Norther tier following excessive rain followed by significant snowfall over the past month when there are still thousands of acres of crops still in the field. NBGA requested that RMA begin considering options and any flexibility they may be able to provide to farmers and to begin communicating necessary information with regional offices, cop insurance agents, and farmers. Discussion occurred on the eligibility of these disaster conditions for the Wildfires and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+) disaster assistance package that was passed by Congress for 2018 and 2019 disasters and is currently being implemented by USDA. RMA and FSA officials indicated they would review WHIP+ eligibility requirements to determine if and how it will apply to the conditions in the Northern Tier.

NBGA also joined a number of other farm and crop groups on a letter to USDA Secretary Perdue to make him aware of the situation and request that USDA make available the fullest appropriate disaster assistance under WHIP+ and other applicable USDA programs.

A copy of that letter can be viewed here .

USDA Encourages Producers to Contact Insurance Agents

On October 24th, USDA issued a release encouraging producers who currently participate in Federal crop insurance and are experiencing a delay in harvesting their crop to contact their Approved Insurance Provider (AIP) to file a Notice of Loss and request more time to harvest.

"Farmers are having a hard time with weather this year, and this early fall snow is just another example of this year's weather challenges," said Martin Barbre, Administrator of USDA's Risk Management Agency (RMA). "Impacted producers covered by Federal crop insurance should contact their insurance agent as soon as possible to determine what actions they can take." Producers must file a Notice of Loss and request more time to harvest before the end of the insurance period, so that Federal crop insurance claims are settled based on the amount of harvested production. The end of the insurance period for crops such as spring-planted wheat and barley is October 31 and for corn and soybeans is December 10.
NBGA Attends MRL Roundtable

NBGA attended a roundtable on Maximum Residue Levels & U.S. Row Crop Exports on October 24, as grower groups and companies continue to develop a response to the European Union's move to register crop protection products based on a hazards approach as opposed to a scientific-based risk approach. The EU law, adopted in 2009, is now being implemented, and products are beginning to be de-registered if they are considered a hazard to human health, and thus no residue is deemed acceptable and MRLs for those products are dropped to zero, meaning that there would be no import tolerances allowed for crops treated with those products. Roughly 50 compounds have been identified as the first group of crop protection products at potential risk of losing their MRLs in the coming years.
ITC Holds Hearing on MRL

The U.S. International Trade Commission began an investigation on the impact that policies related to pesticide MRLs have on international agricultural trade with a hearing on October 29. The investigation is the result of an August 30 request by the U.S. Trade Representative which asked the USITC to examine if pesticide residue regulations are being used by trading partners to restrict U.S. agricultural imports.
Trade Update: China & USMCA

The last few weeks have seen several positive developments on the trade situation with China and the USMCA. Following meetings in Washington, DC with Chinese officials, President Trump announced a potential temporary agreement for China to purchase a significant amount of agricultural products- as much as $40-$50 billion worth- while the two countries continue to work toward a broader trade agreement. A lot of questions and contingencies remain for the increased Chine purchases to become a reality, but it is a potentially significant and positive development.

On the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), reports and statements by Congressional leaders indicate that progress has been made in negotiations between the Trump Administration and Democrat congressional leaders and that a final agreement may be close that would enable a vote by Congress before the end of the year.

Appropriations Update

On October 31st, the Senate passed by a vote of 84-9 a mini-bus appropriations package that includes the FY2020 Agriculture Appropriations bill. Senate passage will allow the Ag Appropriations bill to move to conference committee with the House. However, overall action on the FY2020 Appropriations bills remains stalled while leadership negotiates on the overall process and controversial issues. The current Continuing Resolution (CR) expires on November 21st.

MFP Disparity Raised at Senate Hearing on Farm Bill Implementation

The Senate Ag Committee held a hearing on October 17th on the implementation of the 2018 Farm Bill, but Senators also brought up additional topics, including the Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments that USDA is providing to offset impacts of trade disruptions. USDA Deputy Secretary Steve Censky indicated that a final decision has not yet been made on whether the second traunch of MSP Round Two payments will go out. When the second round of MSP payments was announced, USDA indicated they would be made in three phases and would be subject to future status of trade. When indicating that the second phase of Round Two is not certain, Censky cited the potential agreement by China to begin substantial increases in purchases of U.S. ag products.

Senate AG Committee Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) also questioned Censky on whether the MFP payment amounts for counties and states matches up with the economic impacts resulting from the trade disruptions. Stabenow cited the higher payments for southern states and counties compared to northern states and the value given to cotton despite cotton prices increasing in 2019.

Farm Program Payments for the 2018 Crop Year

USDA-FSA began issuing the 2018 crop year ARC/PLC payments authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill in October. As of October 8, 2019, U.S. producers had received $1.5 billion in payments. For barley producers in particular, $59.5 million in total payments have been issued; $54.7 million for the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program and $4.8 million for the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) program. 74.8 percent of barley base acres were enrolled in the PLC program; with 21.7 percent and 3.5 percent respectively enrolled in the ARC-County and ARC-Individual Coverage programs.
NBGA Winter 2020 Meeting

Hyatt House Washington, DC/ The Wharf
725 Wharf St. SW, Washington, DC 20024

Make your reservation by January 3, 2020 to receive the
National Barley Growers Association group rate of $229/night:

Monday Feb 3: Travel day
Tuesday, Feb 4: Board meets all day
Wednesday, Feb 5: Hill visits, evening reception
Thursday, Feb 6: Board meets until noon
National Barley Growers Association
(202) 548-0734
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