Weekly Update

Soybean Weekly Update - February 19, 2016

February 18, 2016

Illinois Soybean Farmers Fine Tune Strategic Plan for the Future

The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) board of directors recently refined and approved its strategic direction through the year 2020 to help ISA achieve maximum profitability and global competitive positioning for Soy from Illinois.  ISA's targeted result remains utilizing 600 million bushels of Illinois soybeans by 2020.  ISA previously categorized soybean checkoff-funded project opportunities by priority area, including animal agriculture, transportation, yield, composition and profitability, freedom to operate and organizational excellence.  The new strategic plan shifts the focus to the audiences ISA serves; customers, Illinois soybean farmers, stakeholders and influencers and internal audiences.

Illinois Soybean Growers Commends Obama for Planned Cuba Visit

Illinois Soybean Growers (ISG) is excited U.S. President Barack Obama plans to visit Cuba March 21-22.  ISG values the President's leadership on opening up relations with Cuba.  Last week ISG staff led a U.S. Agriculture Coalition for Cuba (USACC) press conference and panel discussion at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.  The event featured Rep. Cheri Bustos and U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack, along with other bi-partisan leaders.  ISG also met with Illinois legislators to discuss the anticipated value of trade between Illinois and Cuba if additional credit restrictions and other trade barriers are removed.  ISG supports ending the embargo with Cuba.  ISG plans to visit Cuba in April with members of the USACC and Illinois Cuba Working Group.  This will be ISG's seventh visit since March 2012.

Illinois Soybean Growers Invites Farmers to Attend Ag Legislative Day

Illinois Soybean Growers invites its members to participate in the 46th Illinois Agricultural Legislative Day, March 1, in Springfield, Ill.  Known as IALD, the event brings together agricultural organizations during National Agriculture Month to speak to state lawmakers.  Jointly, agricultural groups provide baskets filled with food and ag products plus specialty lunches for legislators delivered by Illinois FFA members and their teachers.  The package reminds lawmakers about the multiple roles agriculture has in the lives of their constituents and the impact their choices make on agriculture.  If you are interested in attending, contact Judy Smith at the ISA office by Feb. 23.  More details about the event are here.

Illinois Soybean Summit is in Peoria Next Week

ISA will hold its annual Soybean Summit in two more locations this year.  The free, one-day events will be held in Peoria, Ill., at the Peoria Civic Center Feb. 25; and in Rockford, Ill., at Giovanni's Convention Center March 11.  These informational and educational events feature keynote and breakout session speakers from university research programs, crop consulting firms, agricultural media and more.  Participants also have the opportunity to visit the exhibit area.   Register here.

Illinois Pork Expo Seminar a Success

More than 75 Illinois Pork Expo visitors attended the seminar about farm diversification and expansion sponsored by ISA during the annual show this week.  Attendees learned about opportunities to raise hogs from a panel of contractors, integrators, farmers and experts.  ISA also participated in the trade show and other Expo events, all to support the hog industry, the primary Illinois market for soybean meal.

Survey for Illinois Wheat Growers Available

The Illinois Wheat Association and the U.S. Wheat & Barley Scab Initiative are conducting a survey targeting wheat growers.  The purpose of the survey is to get a better picture of the wheat varieties that farmers planted in the past year to assist with future research initiatives.  Find more information about scab-resistant varieties and general performance of varieties here.  The survey is four questions long and all responses will be kept anonymous.  To take the survey or for more information, email Fred Kolb.

Videos Show Value of Biodiesel

Three B20 Club members are profiled in the latest Illinois soybean checkoff program-funded videos featuring the benefits of biodiesel.  Watch the videos featuring City of Moline, Cook-Illinois Corporation and S.K. Davison.  The B20 Club recognizes and rewards Illinois-based fleets running on biodiesel blends of B20 or greater.  It is a partnership between ISA and American Lung Association in Illinois.  State-based fleets, biodiesel distributors, fuel producers and associated non-profits can learn more at B20Club.org.

Register for NREC Phosphorus Runoff Webinar

The Illinois Nutrient Research and Education Council (NREC) is hosting a webinar focusing on the effects of phosphorus runoff.  Kristin Greer, senior research specialist at the University of Illinois, will discuss the research project in detail, March 2, from 9-10 a.m.  Click here to register.

ISA Participates in Key Transportation Discussions

ISA director Jeff Lynn and Transportation and Export Infrastructure Lead Scott Sigman attended the Illinois Chamber of Commerce Infrastructure Council meeting Feb. 16 in Springfield, Ill.  The agenda included a Washington, D.C., update from Congressman Darin LaHood and an update from Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) Assistant Secretary Rich Brauer about Illinois State Freight Advisory Committee progress.  Michael Tarpey, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers program manager, gave a presentation about the Illinois Waterway Public-Private Partnership (P3).  ISA is working closely with the Corps on the P3 project to secure dedicated funding for Illinois River locks and dam rehabilitation and maintenance.  The waterway plays a critical role in getting Illinois soy to domestic and global customers.

Illinois Soy CCA Envoys Share Observations

The ISA checkoff program and Illinois Certified Crop Adviser program partnered to organize the Soy CCA Envoy program last year.  Nine Soy CCA Envoys throughout Illinois, each in a different part of the state, write one or two articles or provide audio/video reports per month for ILSoyAdvisor.com, focusing on issues specific to their region.  Topics range from plant and soil heath, weed and insect management, diseases, growing methods and more.  Read more about the program with Soy Envoy Mike Wilson here.

Visit ISA at Commodity Classic

ISA directors and staff are “getting jazzed” for Commodity Classic in New Orleans, March 3-5.  Visit booth 722 to learn how to boost soybean production and profits with ILSoyAdvisor.com, Illinois’ checkoff-funded soybean management website.  Experience the new features on Voice for Soy, Illinois Soybean Growers’ online legislative action network, and sign up for text message action alerts.  See you in The Big Easy!

Upcoming ILSoyAdvisor Webinar:

Monsanto will offer 11 new varieties of soybeans this year, all of which are tolerant to dicamba and glyphosate herbicides.  Lance Tarochione, technical agronomist with Monsanto, will lead a webinar Feb. 24 about the RR2Xtend weed control system available through Monsanto.  One continuing education unit (CEU) in Integrated Pest Management is available.  Register here.  

Apply for Illinois Ag Leadership Program

Applications are open for the Illinois Agricultural Leadership Program (IALP) Class of 2018. The two-year program is designed for those in agribusiness or in production agriculture.  Through a unique combination of educational seminars and travel experiences, IALP opens doors to contacts and knowledge and for personal and professional growth.  The Illinois Agricultural Leadership Foundation (IALF), which sponsors the IALP, will soon select participants for the leadership class.  The application period is open until Feb. 29, 2016.  Visit the website at www.agleadership.org for further information or to apply.

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