ROY MOTTER SWORN IN AS USW SECRETARY/TREASURER At the conclusion of the US Wheat Associates (USW) summer board meeting in Spokane last Sunday, outgoing Chairman Randy Seuss (WA) passed the gavel to incoming Chairman Darrell Davis (SD). Dan Hughes of Nebraska moved up to Vice Chairman and Roy Motter (CA) entered the officer group as Secretary-Treasurer. Roy, a durum grower from Brawley, CA is the California Wheat Commissioner from District 12 and the current Vice Chairman.
USW is the industry's market development organization working in more than 100 countries. Its mission is to "develop, maintain, and expand international markets to enhance the profitability of U.S. wheat producers." The activities of USW are made possible by producer checkoff dollars managed by 19 state wheat commissions and through cost-share funding provided by USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service. The United States exports about half of its annual wheat production; California exports approximately 25% of its crop to markets as diverse as Italy, Nigeria, Colombia, Taiwan, and Indonesia.
CWC COMMISSIONER ELECTIONS Elections to be Held in Five Districts As announced earlier, the California Wheat Commission will conduct district elections next month for the positions of Commissioner and Alternate Commissioner for five California districts:
District 1 - Siskiyou, Tehama, Lassen, Modoc & Shasta Counties
District 5 - Alameda, Contra Costa, Stanislaus & San Joaquin Counties
District 8 - Kings & Tulare Counties
District 10 - Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, San Benito & Santa Clara Counties
District 13 - Imperial County lying south of Keystone Road.
Petitions are available from the Commission office and must be returned to the Commission no later than July 23, 2012.
Wheat growers in these districts should watch for their ballots to arrive in early August. Please return them as indicated by August 15th.
Involvement in the California Wheat Commission enables California producers to help set the priorities for how grower assessment dollars are spent and to take a more active role in national wheat organizations and policymaking bodies. A qualified producer member or alternate is defined as any person in California who is engaged in the business of producing wheat for market during any of the preceding three marketing seasons, and who resides or conducts farming operations in the district in which the election is to be held. The term of office for Commissioners and their Alternates is three years.
CROP QUALITY TESTING UNDERWAY The California Wheat Commission is the only state wheat commission with its own quality lab. Created in the early 1990's to improve California wheat varieties, the lab performs extensive testing each year on new crop samples collected from around the state. Lab Director Sam Huang, Lab Assistant Teng Vang, and four UC Davis students have begun the annual testing process, the results of which will be published in our own reports, included in USW reports, and made available on the Commission's website in October.
CROP INSURANCE FOR NON-IRRIGATED SMALL GRAINS On July 2, 2012, the USDA Risk Management Agency office in Davis, CA announced a change to the crop insurance program for small grains that will affect California dryland grain growers. Beginning in 2013, producers who grow wheat, barley, or oats, in a non-irrigated farming practice, will only be allowed to insure these crops as a grain crop if they can provide adequate records. These records must indicate that the crop was harvested as grain in at least one of the past four years. This requirement will be applied to all producers who plant small grains under a non-irrigated farming practice in all counties except Lassen, Modoc, Siskiyou, or Shasta. For more information, see the full press release on our website or contact the RMA in Davis.
The Marketing Branch at the California Department of Food and Agriculture, which provides administrative guidance to commodity boards and commissions, recently made some new assignments. The California Wheat Commission bids goodbye to Kathy Diaz-Cretu, Senior Agricultural Economist, and thanks her for her support over the years. We look forward to working with April Izumi, our new liaison.
The next Commission meeting will be on August 29 at the ARS facility in Albany. Commissioners and guests will meet with ARS scientists to get an update on their wheat-related research.