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November 13, 2015

Recap provided on behalf of the National Association of Wheat Growers

Last week the grower-leaders of the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) and U.S. Wheat Association (USW) held their Fall Wheat Conference in western Nevada. Following is a recap of committee meetings. The next NAWG Board and committee meetings will be at the Wheat Industry Winter Conference in Washington, D.C. February 2-6, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill.

NAWG Advocates for Swift Congressional Consideration of TPP
Last week, the Obama Administration released the text of the recently concluded Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Following initial review, the NAWG Board of Directors and U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) Board of Directors together called on Congress to quickly consider the agreement once it is presented to them. The agreement will provide for immediate duty-free access for U.S. wheat in Vietnam and it will create country-specific quotas for additional U.S. wheat exports to Japan. Congressional approval of TPP could also open the door to adding in other countries to the TPP framework. NAWG President Brett Blankenship participated in a press conference Wednesday with USDA Foreign Agricultural Services Administrator Phil Karsting and other agricultural commodity organizations to urge quick Congressional support and action on this important trade deal.

Domestic and Trade Policy Committee
NAWG’s Domestic and Trade Policy Committee heard updates from staff about several pending policy issues including Farm Bill implementation, the impact of the budget agreement on crop insurance, Grain Standards Act reauthorization, immigration reform, and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle regulations, among other issues. Additionally, the committee heard from Mike Steenhoek, executive director of the Soy Transportation Coalition, about a number of highway and rail transportation issues affecting the agriculture industry. USDA Deputy Undersecretary Alexis Taylor briefed the Committee on many of the details of the TPP agreement, the text of which was publicly released the morning following the committee meeting.

The committee also approved a resolution that had been previously considered by the Joint International Trade Policy Committee and the USW Board to urge the U.S. Trade Representative to pursue a case before the World Trade Organization (WTO) against any country currently in violation of its international trade commitments. The resolution comes on the heals of a study recently released by USW and NAWG showing that the distorting agricultural support programs in China, India, Turkey, and Brazil are costing U.S. farmers nearly a billion dollars a year in lost revenue.

Joint International Trade Policy Committee
The Joint International Trade Policy Committee heard from NAWG and USW staff about the econometric study commissioned by USW as well as the details of the recently concluded TPP. After reviewing the details of the agreement, the committee urged Congress to take swift action in considering the agreement, once the President officially presents it for consideration.

In addition to reviewing the TPP agreement, the committee heard from Domestic and Trade Policy Committee Vice Chairman Ben Scholz, a Texas wheat grower, about his trip earlier this year to Cuba. Scholz was part of an agricultural trade delegation from Texas to explore potential trade opportunities for U.S. wheat farmers.

Joint Biotechnology Committee
The Joint Biotechnology Committee, consisting of NAWG and USW Board members, heard updates from staff on GMO labeling of food products, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy efforts to update the Coordinated Framework for Biotechnology, and EU member country “opt out” of GM crop cultivation, as well as company updates regarding their current wheat research. Dave Jenkins with EGT presented information on the complex issue of segregation in GM and non-GM grain handling. Mike Firko, Deputy Administrator of APHIS Biotechnology Regulatory Services at USDA, also presented on the proposed changes to GMO wheat field trials. Dr. Firko went in depth regarding his agency’s thought process behind the proposed changes, current crops that are under permitting field trials and answered questions regarding the proposed change.

Environment and Renewable Resources Committee
NAWG’s Environment and Renewable Energy Committee met to discuss environmental regulation and conservation efforts impacting wheat growers. During the meeting, the committee heard from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding the proposed pesticide certification regulation. The committee will be preparing written comments for NAWG to submit prior to the December 23 deadline. The committee also discussed legislation and legal actions surrounding the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) regulation developed by the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The committee will be reaching out to USDA regarding the inconsistent administration of the Conservation Stewardship Program between counties and states. Finally, the committee is exploring issues related to drought in the Western wheat growing areas, and creative ideas to help mitigate the effects of the drought that could benefit wheat growers.

Research and Technology Committee
NAWG’s Research and Technology Committee had a packed agenda. The committee reviewed the concern of the National Wheat Improvement Committee regarding USDA Agricultural Research Service funding cutbacks affecting Quality Labs across the wheat belt. The committee also discussed the practice of shifting funds away from field stations and other agronomic research by the USDA ARS, without any input from NAWG, to other areas of need that are deemed a higher priority. The committee approved a proposed policy resolution designed to encourage USDA ARS to avoid this practice in the future.

In addition, Kellye Eversole, CEO of the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium, updated the committee on the progress of sequencing the wheat genome and Dr. Mike Firko, APHIS Deputy Administrator, discussed current biotech regulations and plans for future changes to regulations that will impact GMO wheat research.

NAWG Industry Partners Council
The semi-annual meeting of the NAWG Industry Partners Council, comprised of companies and organizations providing products and services to U.S. wheat growers and the wheat value chain, met adjacent to the 2015 Fall Wheat Conference on November 3. Tim O’Connor, the recently appointed president of the Wheat Foods Council, provided the featured presentation. O’Connor provided information about the Council, how it operates, the current issues related to the various wheat foods, and how the Council is working to favorably resolve those issues.

September 8, 2015

Applications are due Friday, Sept. 18th

The National Wheat Foundation (NWF) is now accepting applications for the 19th Annual Wheat Industry Leaders of Tomorrow (WILOT) program, scheduled for November 14-19, 2015 in St. Louis, Missouri.

The WILOT program is an unique opportunity for 10 wheat growers to come together to hone and develop the skills necessary to become more involved in state grower associations and state wheat commissions. Now in it’s 19th year, wheat growers gain a deeper understanding of the structure and priorities of the wheat industry, agricultural policy and economics, as well as leadership, media and advocacy training by participating in this year’s program.

The NWF WILOT leadership development program is funded by NWF industry partner, Monsanto, and is held in St. Louis, Missouri. In addition to the outstanding educational sessions, this program also gives participants the opportunity to visit Monsanto labs and talk with researchers working on wheat innovation.

All applicants will need a letter of recommendation from their state wheat association, so please contact the Texas Wheat Producers Association office at 806-352-2191 for more information.

If interested in the program, growers should review and complete the application here. All completed applications are due to Preston Millard ( by September 18, 2015.

Updated September 18, 2015 
For the original article posted on November 21, 2014, please scroll down. 

With ongoing questions and concerns surrounding glyphosate, the National Wheat Foundation(NWF) put together a five-part series of blog posts titled “The Truth About Glyphosate”, sharing the facts about glyphosate and its use in the wheat industry.

November 21, 2014

What is all of the talk about?

A recent blog post titled “The Real Reason why Wheat is Toxic (and it isnt gluten)” by the Healthy Home Economist has stirred a lot of conversations regarding glyphosate-treated wheat or better known as applying herbicides like Roundup to wheat prior to harvest. The article alarmingly claims that Roundup herbicides are commonly doused on wheat crops a few days before harvest, linking glyphosate residues to the recent surge in Celiac disease and claiming wheat is now toxic.

Claim Vs. Fact

Claim 1: Wheat crops are doused or drenched in Roundup herbicides a few days before harvest.

Fact: It is not routine for U.S. wheat producers to use Roundup, or other formulations of glyphosate, for pre-harvest applications. Most of the states in the wheat belt have drier climates, so getting additional help in maturing out the crop from a desiccant, like Roundup, isn’t necessary as much of the field will dry out and ripen on its own.

Although Roundup is labeled for pre-harvest applications, there is a standard pre-harvest interval (PHI) of at least seven to 14 days before harvest can take place, if the herbicide is applied to the wheat crop. Glyphosate, the active ingredient of Roundup, is used to control perennial weeds, although a very small percentage of producers also use it as a desiccant to evenly ripen a field of wheat for harvest.

Fact: Plants are not “doused” in Roundup or its active ingredient glyphosate. Relatively small amounts of glyphosate are applied as weeds emerge. Think about it this way:

No more than 22 ounces per acre mixed with 3–20 gallons of water (depending on application) can be applied pre-harvest. One acre is relatively the same size as a football field (minus the endzones), or 43,560 square feet. If a farmer decided to apply Roundup and he put out 22 ounces mixed with 10 gallons of water on one acre, that would be equivalent to a Gatorade bottle (20 ounces) of Roundup mixed with 10 gallons of water spread evenly on the size of an entire football field. If you converted those 10 gallons of water into ounces that would equal 1,280 ounces. The concentration of the Roundup mix would only be 0.017 or 1.7% (22 ounces of Roundup in 1,280 ounces of water).

As stated in “The Truth About Herbicides in Wheat”  by Kansas Wheat, Anita Dille, Ph.D., a professor of weed ecology at Kansas State University states:

“The purpose of herbicides (like Roundup®) is for weed control. There are a number of different times that herbicides are put on for weed control. And often if you think of a wheat production system, it could be right before planting or right after planting if there’s weeds during the crop.”

So, the  majority of herbicide usage happens before, or shortly after planting. That is around eight to nine months prior to harvest and if the herbicide IS used prior to harvest, only a MINUTE amount is actually applied.

Claim 2: Glyphosate applications are not regulated.

Fact: It is important to remember that glyphosate is regulated and poses no concern with regard to human health. It is regulated under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). As mentioned above, no more than 22 ounces of herbicide mix can be applied per acre.

Farmers also regularly consult local seed companies and state extension offices to make sure certain farm practices are needed for operation success during the growing season. Practices that are available may not always be practical.

For more information, please reference the additional resources links.

National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) Vice President Brett Blankenship addresses recent concerns about the applications of the general herbicide Glyphosate and encourages consumers to reach out to farmers if they have any questions about their food.

Additional Links and Information:

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will be providing a wheat-based educational program during this year’s Amarillo Farm and Ranch Show, set for Tuesday, Dec. 2 at the Amarillo Civic Center, Grand Plaza Ballroom, 401 S. Buchanan St. in Amarillo.

The program titled – A Focus on Wheat in the Texas Panhandle – will begin at 1 p.m. and adjourn at 5:40 p.m. This will be a complete overview of wheat, including weeds, diseases, insects, breeding, fertility and plant growth regulators.

The program will have a $10 registration fee and offer four Texas Department of Agriculture continuing education units (CEU) – two general, one integrated pest management and one drift management – for pesticide applicators.  Four Texas Department of Agriculture and Certified Crop Advisors (CCA) continuing education units – two general, one integrated pest management and one drift management – will also be offered.

In addition to attending the wheat-based program, producers should also plan to attend the Farm Bill Analysis program that will be from 9 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, Dec. 2, with Dr. Steve Amosson, AgriLife Extension economist in Amarillo. Amosson will discuss farm bill provisions, sign-up requirements and deadlines. Amosson will also walk producers through the decision-aid tool developed by the Agricultural and Food Policy Center at Texas A&M University, which is designed to help economically evaluate program choices.

For more information on any of these AgriLife Extension programs, contact Carr at 806-373-0713 or

Program Speakers:

  • Overview of Texas wheat and AgriLife Extension programs and a focus on new herbicides and application timing | Dr. Clark Neely – AgriLife Extension State Small Grains Specialist, College Station.
  • Plant growth regulators in wheat | Dr. Jourdan Bell – AgriLife Extension Agronomist, Amarillo.
  • Dealing with wheat disease management, fungicide, and diagnostics. “A focus on High Plains virus, barley yellow dwarf, and wheat streak mosaic” | Dr. Ron French – AgriLife Extension Plant Pathology Specialist, Amarillo.
  • Best management practices related to control of wheat pests. “A focus on wheat curl mites, Russian wheat aphids, and greenbugs” | Dr. Ed Bynum – AgriLife Extension Entomologist, Amarillo.
  • Effects of alternative hosts and mite movement during the growing season. The impact of temperature and water on diseases and viruses. The wheat virus early detection system | Jacob Price – Texas A&M AgriLife Research Senior Research Associate, Amarillo.
  • Breeding for resistance to Wheat Streak Mosaic and the introduction of TAM 204 | Dr. Jackie Rudd — AgriLife Research Wheat Breeder, Amarillo.
  • Impact of fertility and nitrogen on small grains, what does a soil sample mean related to fertility and nutritional management needs of wheat | Dr. Calvin Trostle – AgriLife Extension Agronomist, Lubbock.

November 10, 2014

Last week Texas Wheat traveled to Corsicana to present at the annual Navarro County Food and Fiber Roundup. The one-day event  held in the Navarro County Exposition Center invited elementary schools, primarily fourth graders, to learn about where their food and fiber comes from.

Six demonstration stations were set up around the exposition center and 763 fourth graders from across the county moved from station to station to learn about a specific part of the agriculture industry. Meredith DeBorde, Navarro County Agrilife 4-H agent, said the sole purpose of the roundup is to educate fourth graders, who are at an impressionable age, about where their food comes from in Navarro County and around the world.

Stations included a dairy cow milking demonstration, soil samples and information about cotton, corn and wheat. A swine and cattle station completed the round of education sessions. Katie Heinrich, director of communications and producer relations at Texas Wheat, taught the students about when and how wheat is grown, why there is different types of flour, and the small return farmers get from the sale of a common wheat product – a loaf of bread. Heinrich also showed non-food products made from wheat including school glue, hair conditioners and dog treats. Common food items, such as sphaghetti, cake and cookies were also presented. Heather Morris, daughter of Texas Wheat Producers Board member Gary Murhpy, helped organize and provide the wheat products for the presentation.

The students were served pizza for lunch and each station also showed where each ingredient in a pizza originates.

The roundup proved to be a successful event again this year and incorporates the rural setting of Corsicana with the young minds of students who may not have ever seen any type of agriculture production. The roundup also allows presenters to connect items the students use on a day-to-day basis with the agriculture products that are included in those items.


2014 Navarro County Ag Day 2


October 22, 2014

AMARILLO – Farmers and landowners in the Panhandle will have an opportunity to learn more about the farm bill in a second round of educational meetings conducted by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. The series of meetings is cosponsered by the Texas Corn Producers, Texas Sorghum Producers, Texas Wheat Producers and the Plains Cotton Growers Associations.

The meetings will include FSA staff discussing farm bill provisions, sign-up requirements and deadlines. Farm program analysis will also be discussed by DeDe Jones or Steve Amosson, AgriLife Extension specialists. A demonstration of the online decision aid tool, developed by the Agricultural Food and Policy Center at Texas A&M University, will be performed using examples of producers who have already been through the decision aid.

All meetings are free and will start at 10:00 a.m. and will conclude at noon. An optional afternoon session will also be offered for producers wanting assistance in entering their data into the decision aid tool.

Those interested in the one-on-one assistance after lunch are asked to bring the following information (assistance in entering the data into the decision aid tool can not be performed without this information):

  • FSA Reported Commodity Crop History Summary
  • FSA 156 EZ Form (for those with cotton base only; not all producers will have this)
  • 2014 Schedule of Insurance for all crops
  • 2008-2012 Insurance APH History for all crops





November 3 Deaf Smith Rick Auckerman
Hereford Community Center
100 Ave. C
Hereford, Texas
November 4 Hall Josh Brooks
Kathy Fowler Building
123 S. 6th St.
Memphis, Texas
November 6 Hall Josh Brooks
Bob Wills Center
602 Lyles St.
Turkey, Texas
November 6 Hansford/
Kristy Slough
First Baptist Church
123 S. Bernice
Spearman, Texas
November 11 Dallam/
Mike Bragg
Rita Blanca Coliseum
FM 281
Dalhart, Texas
November 12 Moore Marcel Fischbacher
Moore County Community Bldg
1600 S. Maddox Ave.
Dumas, Texas
November 13 Wheeler Dale Dunlap
Wheeler Co. Ag & Family Life
7939 N. US HWY 83
Wheeler, Texas
November 17 Lipscomb JR Sprague
Wolf Creek Heritage Museum
13310 Texas 305
Lipscomb, Texas
November 18 Sherman Alexa Reed
Sherman County Barn
501 S. Maple St.
Stratford, Texas 79084
November 18 Potter Nathan Carr
Texas A&M AgriLife Research &
Extension Center
6500 Amarillo Blvd West
Amarillo, Texas
November 19 Ochiltree Scott Strawn
Ochiltree County Expo Center
402 Expo Drive
Perryton Tx
November 20 Randall JD Ragland
Kuhlman Extension Center
200 Brown Rd.
Canyon, TX
November 25 Briscoe Tanner Young
 Happy State Bank, Pioneer Rm
Main St.
Silverton, TX
December 4 Hemphill Andy Holloway
Hemphill Co. Exhibition Center
10865 Exhibition Center Rd.
Canadian, Texas
December 5 Donley Leonard Haynes
Church of Christ Family Center
300 S. Carhart
Clarendon, Texas
December 8 Armstrong Dustin Sanders
Armstrong Co. Activity Center
FM Rd. 207 S.
Claude, Texas
December 10 Oldham  Austin Voyles
Oldham County Barn
305 Coke St.
Vega, Texas
December 11 Roberts Michael Wilkes
Roberts County Annex
122 Water St.
Miami, TX
December 16 Carson Jody Bradford
 War Memorial Building
500 Main St.
Panhandle, Texas
December 17 Gray Brandon McGinty
Clyde Carruth Show Barn
in Recreational Park
Pampa, Texas
December 18 Collingsworth Katy White
Bura Handley Community Bldg
802 10th St.
Wellington, TX 79095


The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will be providing farm bill education sessions beginning July 10 – Aug. 20 across the High Plains. Meetings are scheduled in 22 counties. Although sign-up for the new farm bill program is still months away, it is key to continue to help farmers understand the complexity of the new legislation, including new programs and coverage options for a successful sign up.

The county-level public meetings will explain general farm program provisions and provide a decision-aid demonstration from Dr. Steve Amosson, AgriLife Extension economist, or DeDe Jones, AgriLife Extension risk management program specialist. Meetings will last about two hours and are free to attend. AgriLife Extension agriculture and natural resources county agents will also aid in the instruction.

Both Amosson and Jones will lead a second round of county meetings tentatively scheduled for October and November to provide further details and guidelines before the sign-up period begins.

Click here or visit the “View All Events” on the home page to view the meeting schedule. For more information on a particular meeting, contact the AgriLife Extension office in that county. For a list of county offices, visit

The following wheat field days have been tentatively scheduled by Texas AgriLife Extension. The field days will feature tours of the uniform variety trials and update on ongoing and current research results.

**All information subject to change. We will be updating this list as information becomes available.





April 23 Uvalde 8:00 AM – Uvalde AgriLife Center Daniel Leskovar
April 24 Hill 9:00 AM – Brandon, TX | More Ryan Collett
April 25 McLennan 8:00 AM – McGregor, TX | More Shane McLellan
April 25 Bell 2:30 PM – TAMU Blackland Research Center Lyle Zoeller
April 29 Wharton 8:00 AM
May 1 Concho/McCulloch 8:00 AM – Millersview Gym Brady Evans
May 2 Taylor/Callahan 8:30 – Abilene | More Robert Pritz
May 5 Ellis 4:00 PM – Bardwell Mark Arnold
May 6 Lamar Paris Michael Morrow
May 7 Grayson Howe Chuck Jones
May 8 Collin 9:00 AM – Farmersville | More Ricky Maxwell
May 9 Cooke Muenster
May 14 Hardeman – AgriLife Field Day 8:25 AM – Chillicothe | More Info Steven Sparkman
May 15 AgriPro Lockett David Worrall
May 20 Ochiltree 10:00 AM – Perryton Scott Strawn

The 2014 Farm Bill contains significant changes to the farm safety net that include new options for producers. It will be important that growers educate themselves on all the facts in order to make informed risk management decisions that best suit their operation. As an initial look at these new provisions, the Ag and Food Policy Center, Texas A&M Agrilife Extension, and the Southwest Council of Agribusiness have teamed up to put together info sessions to give those involved in the agriculture industry insight on some of the changes headed their way.





March 3 El Campo El Campo Civic Center  
March 4 Winnie Nutty Jerry’s  
March 12 Taylor Knights of Columbus Hall Schedule
March 13 Waco TX Farm Bureau Conference & Training Center Schedule
March 14 Greenville Fletcher Warren Civic Center Schedule
March 19 Lamesa Forrest Park Community Building  Schedule
March 20 Lubbock Plains Cotton Cooperative Association  Schedule
March 21 Amarillo Amarillo Civic Center – Regency B  Schedule
April 7 Corpus Christi
April 8 Weslaco
TBD Stamford

Visit for additional information.

The thirteenth annual Texas Commodity Symposium will be held Wednesday, Dec. 4, in Amarillo in conjunction with the Amarillo Farm and Ranch Show in the Grand Plaza Room at the Amarillo Civic Center. The free event will begin at 9:30 a.m.

The symposium, which is hosted by the Corn Producers Association of Texas, Plains Cotton Growers, Inc., Texas Grain Sorghum Association, Texas Peanut Producers Board and Texas Wheat Producers Association, will conclude with the annual Ag Appreciation Luncheon, presented by the symposium and the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce Ag Council.

“The program again brings pertinent information to those in the agricultural industry, as well as the local community,” TGSA Executive Vice President Wayne Cleveland said.

“Agricultural production plays an important role to the area’s economy, as it brings in more than $12.2 billion to the High Plains,” CPAT Executive Vice President David Gibson said. “Events such as this symposium are a great way for us to provide pertinent information to farmers and ranchers, as well as the communities they support.”

Wyman Meinzer, the official photographer for the state of Texas, will present the symposium’s keynote address during the Ag Appreciation Luncheon. Meinzer’s photography is renowned, and in his more than 33 years as a photographer he has photographed and/or written 24 large format books and his work has been featured on the cover of more than 250 magazines.

“Meinzer’s work is nothing short of breathtaking, and his eclectic experience across the state brings a unique perspective and interesting tale,” TPPB Executive Director Shelly Nutt said.

Additionally, the symposium will examine a variety of issues that impact producers and the agribusiness sector. Featured topics this year include the farm bill and agricultural policy, estate planning, market and weather outlook, and program updates from NRCS and FSA.

Additionally, the Water Conservation Advisory Council will recognize its 2013 Blue Legacy Award in Agriculture recipients at the event as well.

The event is made free of charge for attendees because of the generous support of the symposium’s sponsors, including ArmTech Insurance Services, Bayer CropScience, DuPont Pioneer, High Plains Journal, Monsanto, and National Peanut Board.

For sponsorship opportunities or more information, please call 800.647.CORN (2676) or email