ISA Connects with Key Soybean Meal Customers

Last week, a team of ISA directors and staff met with key U.S. soybean meal customers in Colombia and Panama during an ISA checkoff program trade mission. Just five years ago, most of Colombia’s soybean meal came from Argentina. Today, Colombia buys most of its meal from the U.S., and is now the fourth-largest meal destination. Almost all of the soybean meal in Panama comes from the U.S. Both of those markets benefit from free trade agreements with the U.S., and their livestock farmers are interested in working more closely with Illinois soybean farmers. For details, contact Mark Albertson.

 

ISA Participates in Successful National Biodiesel Conference & Expo

The biodiesel industry celebrated its 25th anniversary at the National Biodiesel Conference in Fort Worth, Texas, last week. Petroleum leaders, government officials, students and state soybean associations gathered to recognize successes and discuss future opportunities for biodiesel. Highlights of the conference included: $18,000 raised for the National Biodiesel Foundation to support educational programs and scholarships; Ford Motor Company introduced a new diesel F-150 truck, featuring B20 capabilities, that will be available this spring; petroleum leaders acknowledged biodiesel’s important role in future growth of the industry; and student scientists presented their biodiesel research work. Read more about the top 25 takeaways from the conference here.

 

ILSoyAdvisor Presents 2017 Master Adviser Award

The ISA checkoff program recently honored Stephanie Porter, past ISA Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) Soy Envoy and sales agronomist with Burrus Hybrids, with the 2017 Soybean Master Adviser Award. ISA started the award program in 2016 as part of its mission to help Illinois soybeans farmers excel in the global marketplace. The award acknowledges the significant role CCAs play in improving soybean production. Read the news release and learn more about this year’s award winner here.

 

Monitor Soybean Composition and Quality

Producing soybeans is about selling pounds of oil and protein, not just bushels. End users buy oil, protein or leftover hulls. The soybean industry is looking for a bean that produces a minimum 19 percent oil and 35 percent crude protein (at 13 percent grain moisture); sometimes referred to as the 19/35 initiative. Unfortunately, many farmers produce beans with oil under the 19 percent mark and less than 35 percent crude protein. Interested in learning more? Read here on the ILSoyAdvisor blog.

 

Evolving Consumer Expectations Can Drive Farm-level Change

Consumers’ brand expectations have changed, as they seek more transparency and purpose from them. Smaller, new brands delivering sustainable, purpose-driven products are overtaking legacy brands on supermarket shelves. Other brands are making changes to better align with consumer desire for sustainable products. Companies realize the majority of their sustainability improvements lie in their supply chains, including the farm field. Speakers at the recent Trust in Food Symposium stressed that farmers need to feed into this brand purpose by making changes that align with consumer values. ISA communicates the impact of those changes to consumers through various efforts. Learn more here.

 

Illinois Farm Families Reaches 20 Million Consumers in 2017

Illinois Farm Families’ efforts to connect consumers to food and farmers resulted in reaching nearly 20 million consumers during 2017. More than 300 influencers connected with farmers and industry experts through farm tours and speaking opportunities. Partnerships with well-known foodies reached 4.5 million through social posts, videos, online chats and advertisements. In addition, nearly 100,000 visitors visited watchusgrow.org, and social media engagement increased by 270 percent.

 

ISB Seeks Soybean Farmers for USB Nomination

The Illinois Soybean Board (ISB) is looking for farmers interested in filling one of Illinois' four director positions with the United Soybean Board (USB). Lynn Rohrscheib, soybean farmer from Fairmount, Ill., is eligible for another term. Any soybean farmer affected by the soybean checkoff is eligible to serve. To be considered, farmers must complete the required application and "Agreement to Serve" statement and return them to ISA office by Feb. 23, 2018. The ISB Board of Directors will submit to USDA a "first preferred choice nominee" and "second preferred choice alternate" for the open position. The Secretary of Agriculture will make final appointments, and the chosen individual will begin serving a three-year term in December 2018. Each individual appointed is eligible to serve a total of three terms. Download the documents here or contact the ISA office for information at 309-663-7692.

 

Help Lead Soybean Industry with the ISA Board

ISA will have five director positions open when the current fiscal year ends Aug. 31, 2018. The process for district director elections officially begins in April 2018. Districts with openings are District 10, representing Christian, Dewitt, Macon, Moultrie and Shelby counties; District 16, representing Clay, Edwards, Lawrence, Richland, Wabash, Wayne and White counties; and District 17, representing Jackson, Jefferson, Perry, Randolph and Washington counties. The process for at-large director elections is officially underway. Two nominees from the application pool will be elected by a majority of soybean farmers in attendance at the annual meeting, Aug. 1, 2018, in Champaign, Ill. No write-in provision exists for at-large directors. For more information, contact Angel Terrell.

 

Better Beans Series Continues Next Week

The ISA checkoff program is offering local agronomic solutions to issues on your farm during a series of half-day winter meetings. ILSoyAdvisor still has events planned Feb. 6, Altamont; and Feb. 22, Fairview Heights.  CCAs can earn up to four CEU credits for attending. Registration is found here.

 

Double-Cropping Conference Offers Profitability Tactics

ISA, along with the Illinois Wheat Association, will host the second annual double-crop conference in Mt. Vernon, Ill., on Feb. 7. The one-day conference will bring growers and industry experts together to discuss challenges and tips for successful double-crop systems. Growers will walk away with enhanced knowledge for improving yield and profitability of the rotation. The informational conference will be held from 8 a.m.to 3 p.m., includes lunch and will offer 5.5 CEUs for CCAs. Partially funded by the checkoff programs, registration is $20 to cover meal costs. Register online here or by calling 888-826-4011.

 

Farmer Profitability Roadshow Begins Feb. 13

Through price swings, weather concerns and everything else farmers face, some farmers achieve better profits than average. How do they do it? Join ISA, University of Illinois professor Gary Schnitkey, FBFM and other financial experts for a “Resilient Farmer Roadshow—Building Habits to Be a Successful Risk Manager.” Coming mid-February to Dekalb, Galesburg, Bloomington, Altamont and Mt. Vernon, click here for dates, more information and registration details.

 

Winter Webinars Offer Valuable Soybean Management Tips

ILSoyAdvisor is offering a series of virtual learning experiences. Coming next month is What We’ve Learned from Nitrogen-on-Beans Research, Feb. 21, at 10:30 a.m. Tim Smith from Cropsmith and Fred Below, Ph.D., from the University of Illinois, will discuss their research on applying nitrogen on soybeans, when it makes sense to use it, the optimal timing and application rates and what role soil plays in providing additional nitrogen. One CEU in nutrient management is available. Register here. Soil Health, Soil Respiration and Nutrient Cycling will take place Mar. 7 at 10 a.m. Will Brinton of Wood End Laboratories will explain the importance of various soil tests and how they relate to overall soil health and productivity. One CEU in soil and water management is available. Register here. The Role Cover Crops Play in Soil Health session is slated for Mar. 21 at 10 a.m. Learn about the benefits of cover crops from Scott Wohltman of La Crosse Seeds. Wohltman also will discuss how growers can integrate cover crops into their operation. One CEU in soil and water management is available. Register here.

 

Consider the Membership Options for Illinois Soybean Growers

To bring farmers the most value possible, Illinois Soybean Growers has two membership options: policy membership and informational membership.  Membership in ASA is included with both options.  Contact the ISG office at 888-826-4011 for more details and to join or renew.

 

Join ISG’s Political Action Committee Today

Illinois soybean farmers are invited to join the Illinois Soybean Growers Political Action Committee (ISGPAC).  ISGPAC provides farmers with strong involvement in political races and a direct pipeline to tell legislators about issues that matter most to them. ISGPAC helps nurture those relationships and keeps key contacts in office where they work for the industry's best interests.  Visit ISGPAC.

 

ILSoyAdvisor Tweet of the Week

Growing soybeans is like a puzzle with many different pieces. Jason Haegele, @WinFieldUnited. Check out the tweet here. Follow @ILSoyAdvisor for daily updates.