We are encouraged to see movement on this critical piece of legislation

RITZVILLE, WA, May 03, 2024 /24-7PressRelease/ — As both the House and Senate ag committees released summaries of proposed farm bill legislation this week, the Washington Association of Wheat Growers is pleased and encouraged to see movement on this critical piece of legislation.

“Washington wheat growers are thrilled to see forward progress on the 2024 Farm Bill and hope lawmakers can work together to pass a comprehensive, bipartisan farm bill this year,” said Anthony Smith, president of the Washington Association of Wheat Growers. “We look forward to working with both chambers through the National Association of Wheat Growers to ensure that the wheat industry has a seat at the table and that our concerns and priorities are addressed during markup.”

WAWG’s priorities for the 2024 Farm Bill include maintaining the current structure of the crop insurance program and current cost-share levels. The association also supports making adjustments to the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) and Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) programs so they can become an adequate safety net for wheat production, especially the current $5.50 PLC reference price, which neither covers the cost of production nor takes input costs into account.

“Producers are some of the best stewards of the land, and we encourage farm bill writers to prioritize working lands conservation programs in the conservation title,” said Michelle Hennings, executive director of the Washington Association of Wheat Growers. “Conservation programs should remain voluntary and incentive-based, and producers should be recognized for their efforts at climate mitigation.”

The Senate Ag Committee’s Rural Prosperity and Food Security Act proposal incorporates summaries of bills that have been introduced as markers of what members want to include in the bill and moves the agriculture sections of the Inflation Reduction Act into the farm bill. The proposal includes no bill text, and the Senate hasn’t released a plan for committee action yet.

The House Ag Committee’s proposal is a title-by-title summary and includes increased support for PLC and ARC, the authority to expand base acres, reallocating Inflation Reduction Act funds to the conservation title, and modernizing the Conservation Reserve Program by incentivizing enrollment of marginal lands and emphasizing state partnerships. The House Ag Committee plans to markup the bill later this month.

Education and outreach are the heart of WAWG activity, all of which is aimed at helping Washington wheat families. Since 1954, WAWG has been dedicated to the enrichment of the Washington wheat industry as a nonprofit trade association, which depends on volunteers, membership dues and donations to carry out activities as representatives on the state and national levels. WAWG monitors state, transportation, research and natural resources policy and partners with the National Association of Wheat Growers to monitor national farm policy.

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