NAWG visits Upper Plains to get first-hand look of drought conditions for wheat farmers

Left to right: South Dakota Wheat Inc. Board of Directors and NAWG officers Tanner Handcock, Julian Roseth, David Schemm, Caren Assman, Doug Simons, Chandler Goule, Todd Mangin. Courtesy photo

South Dakota Wheat Inc.

Pierre SD – On August 28 and 29, South Dakota Wheat Inc., Board of Directors and South Dakota Wheat Commissioners met with National Association Wheat Growers (NAWG) President David Schemm and CEO Chandler Goule from Washington, DC, concerning the drought and its effect on wheat acres and SD farm economy. On farm tours were scheduled for NAWG officers in Pierre and Mitchell, to learn more about how the drought is impacting growers and their planting decisions.

As part of the trip, NAWG then participated on a drought panel, hearing from Department of Agriculture, Congressional representatives, Farm Services Agency, financial institutions, insurance representatives, and Wheat Board of Directors and Commissioners. The message was clear, “producers are feeling the effects of not just 1 but 3 difficult years for wheat,” said Director Todd Mangin “a strong farm bill and exports are key for our industry.”

“The ongoing drought in the Upper Plains is a real-time example of why wheat farmers need a strong safety net program in place,” stated NAWG President and Sharon Springs farmer David Schemm. “Congress needs to realize that this drought is not only affecting wheat growers but the entire wheat value chain, impacting the agriculture industry.”

“Witnessing first-hand the current state of the wheat industry in South Dakota really put into perspective the need for quick reauthorization of the Farm Bill,” stated Chandler Goule, CEO of the National Association of Wheat Growers. “Wheat growers in the Dakotas are truly struggling but with such programs as federal crop insurance, growers are able stay in business and continue to plant their next wheat crop.”