Weekly Update

Soybean Weekly Update - January 15, 2016

January 15, 2016

ISG Schedules Annual Policy Session and Meeting

Illinois Soybean Growers members are invited to attend the ISG Policy Session Feb. 5 at the ISA office in Bloomington from 8 a.m.–11 a.m.  The purpose of the session is to allow ISG members and the board to review current ASA Resolutions for changes and amendments that will be presented at Commodity Classic in New Orleans in March.  The resolutions are available for viewing at www.ilsoygrowers.com by clicking on "Download 2015 ASA Resolutions."  You also may contact Judy Smith at 309-808-3612 and she will email you the file.  The ISG annual meeting will be held the same day from 11 a.m.–12 p.m.  The purpose is to provide reports on association activities, approve the acts and deeds of the directors and staff, and to transact such other business as may properly come before the meeting.  ISG members are invited to lunch from 12 p.m.–1 p.m.  Contact Dustin Scott at 309-808-3603 by Feb. 2, if you plan to attend. 
Several districts are expected to have openings next year for soybean farmers interested in serving on the ISA board.  Attend the upcoming meeting to learn more.  For information, contact ISA Staff.

ISB Seeks Soybean Farmers for USB Nominations

The Illinois Soybean Board (ISB) is looking for farmers interested in filling two of Illinois' four director positions with the United Soybean Board (USB).  Dan Farney from Morton, Ill., and Doug Winter from Mill Shoals, Ill., are both eligible for another term.  Any soybean farmer who is affected by the soybean checkoff is eligible to serve. To be considered for the national leadership position, farmers must complete the required application and "Agreement to Serve" statement and return them to the ISA office by Feb. 15.  The board of directors will submit to USDA a "first preferred choice nominee" and "second preferred choice alternate" for the open positions.  The Secretary of Agriculture will make final appointments, and chosen individuals will begin serving three-year terms in December 2016.  Each individual appointed is eligible to serve a total of three terms.  Click here to download the application and "Agreement to Serve."  You also may contact the office for additional information at 309-663-7692.

ISA Annual Report Now Available Online

The Illinois Soybean Association's 2014-15 Success Report is now available online.  The annual report contains financials from the last fiscal year, along with a report of ISA's achievements.

Register Now for 2016 Illinois Soybean Summit

ISA will hold its annual Soybean Summit in three locations this year.  The free, one-day events will be held in Effingham, Ill., at the Keller Convention Center Jan. 29; 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 and discover tools, technologies and resources for their farms.   Register here.

New Marine Aquaculture Fishery Management Plan to Expand Soybean Meal Market

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has published the federal rule to implement a marine aquaculture fishery management plan for the Gulf of Mexico.  ISA welcomes this plan, which creates a permitting and development process for offshore aquaculture in Gulf of Mexico federal waters.  The Illinois soybean checkoff has worked to build aquaculture, a rapidly growing market for soybean meal.  ISA worked with a broad coalition of organizations to support commercial open ocean aquaculture.  The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), a division of NOAA, will implement the rule beginning Feb. 12, 2016, carefully managing production farms to protect oceanic ecosystems.

Stay Active on Issues like WOTUS with Voice for Soy

The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a joint resolution to disapprove the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule and ensure that future Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules related to WOTUS are substantially different.  Key issues like this are highly impactful to your farm.  Any action taken to prevent rules like WOTUS from moving forward is a win for Illinois farmers. Click here to register for Voice for Soy to follow these issues and make your voice heard when legislators act on your behalf.

Attend Lake Springfield Nutrient Management Event

A Lake Springfield nutrient management event will be held Feb. 4 in Auburn, Ill., at the Holy Cross Hall.  The goal is to encourage more farmers to incorporate voluntary practices from the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy to avoid future regulations on the state and federal level.  The informational meeting is from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., and includes discussion of ways farmers can incorporate best management practices (BMPs), techniques to decrease tile nitrate loads, nutrient management, water quality analysis in the Lake Springfield Watershed and more.  Additional information about BMPs is available here.  The deadline to register is Jan. 29.  To register, email Michelle Seman or call 217-241-6635, ext. 3.

ILSoyAdvisor: The Challenge of Managing SCN

Soybean cyst nematode (SCN) is the top threat to soybean yields. Rotating crops and planting resistant varieties are two ways growers can alleviate soybean damage. Rotation won’t completely rid fields of SCN because the pathogen can hibernate for 10 years in the soil.  But it will keep SCN populations in check.  Planting resistant varieties does help, but some varieties have become SCN-resistant. Research efforts focus on the biology of SCN to better understand what it will take to control SCN in the long run. Read the full article by University of Illinois crop sciences assistant professor Nate Schroeder here.

Profitability Matters: Do the Math on Farmland Values

Lower commodity prices have brought tight margins to farmers around the country, and experts say cash rents and farmland values are in line to follow downward.  Brent Gloy, Ph.D., agricultural economist with Agricultural Economic Insights, says growers can remain profitable in 2016 by assessing their land value, negotiating their rent and evaluating their financing.  Hear Gloy’s advice in this week’s checkoff-funded episode of Profitability Matters, and tune in to Illinois ag radio this month for more profitability tips. 

ILSoyAdvisor January Webinar: Six Secrets Research and High-Yield Soybeans

During the next free ILSoyAdvisor.com webinar, Fred Below, Ph.D., University of Illinois, will review his latest findings on “The Six Secrets of Soybean Success.”  The webinar is from 10:30-11:30 a.m. on Jan. 27.  One CEU in crop management is available.  To register and learn more, click here.

Biodiesel Video Provides Plenty of Reasons to “Get Pumped Up”

For fleets and municipalities looking to reduce their environmental impact and improve air quality in their communities, biodiesel is an easy choice.  Biodiesel reduces all major emissions, is easy to use and widely available, and has demonstrated performance capabilities, plus it supports Illinois’ agriculture economy.  According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, soybean oil is used in approximately half of all biodiesel produced, making it the most commonly used biodiesel feedstock.  In a new soybean checkoff-funded video from American Lung Association, ISA directors and B20 Club members help explain why it’s “easy being green with biodiesel.”  View the video here

ISA Showcases P3 Approach to Transportation Investment

ISA’s collaborative effort to establish a public-private partnership (P3) supporting investments in the Illinois Waterway locks and dams was showcased during the recent Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. A panel discussion addressing lock and dam maintenance through alternative financing was led by project collaborators from the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Ingram Barge Company and Jones Lang LaSalle Public Institutions Group. Scott Sigman, ISA transportation and export infrastructure lead, helped convene the panel and attended on behalf of ISA. The Illinois Waterway P3 project is supported by the soybean checkoff, and seeks to ensure long-term reliability of a waterway critical for transporting soybeans to domestic and global customers.

ISA to Host Double-Crop Conference Next Month

ISA is hosting a free seminar on double-cropping wheat and soybeans Feb. 10 in Mt. Vernon, Ill.  The event is sponsored in part by the Illinois soybean checkoff.  Topics include profitability of double-cropping, challenges of the practice, a farmer-industry panel discussion and more with 5.5 CEUs available for attending.  Additional information about the event is available here.  Seating is limited, so register here.

Attend the 2016 Bi-State Crop Advantage Series

University of Illinois Extension and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach are working together to present research on crop production and management this month.  Topics range from cover crops to weed management to soil fertility and more.  Register here for the Moline, Ill., conference Jan. 29.  CCAs can earn up to six credits.  Early registration is $50 and late and on-site registration is $60.

USFRA Offers New Ag Education Program for High School Students

The U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) and Discovery Education are giving urban students a firsthand glimpse into modern agriculture.  With the documentary FARMLAND serving as its core, Discovering FARMLAND is a free education resource that offers several curriculum modules focused on critical ag issues, such as sustainability, GMOs and antibiotics.  Activities encourage students to track the source of their meals and define common food terms such as organic and hormone-free.

Free ASA Webinar Series: Cover Crops for Ag Professionals

The American Society of Agronomy (ASA) will offer a free three-part webinar series on cover crops, sponsored by the Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education Program.  The webinars include Feb. 4: Managing for Cover Crops: Don’t Forget Agronomic Basics, Feb. 11: So, Why Do You Want to Grow Cover Crops? and Feb. 18: Show Me the Money! Can Cover Crops Pay?  Register for the webinars here.  One CEU in crop management and one CEU in professional meetings are available for each webinar. 

ISA Seeks Crop Sciences College Students for Scholarships

College students who will be juniors in the fall of 2016 are invited to apply for one of up to five crop sciences scholarships funded through the soybean checkoff.  Scholarships are worth $4,000 each for the 2016-17 school year, and will be awarded to students majoring in crop sciences at Illinois State University, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign or Western Illinois University.  Guidelines and all application materials are available at www.iaafoundation.org.  Direct any questions to Susan Moore, IAA Foundation director and program administrator, at 309-557-2230 or smoore@ilfb.org.  Completed applications must be postmarked on or before Feb. 1, 2016.

IAA Foundation Offers Dwain Ford Memorial Soybean Scholarship

The IAA Foundation is offering the first Dwain Ford Memorial Soybean Scholarship for next school year.  Established by colleagues, friends and family to honor the memory of the long-time leader, the scholarship is a $1,000 award for a student studying an agriculture-related field who is or was active in 4-H and FFA.  In addition to general eligibility criteria, students will address an essay asking:  How are soybeans grown in Illinois having a global impact?  Students can apply online at www.iaafoundation.org between now and Feb. 1, 2016.  For more information on this scholarship, or to support education through donations, please call IAA Foundation Director Susan Moore at 309-557-2230.

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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