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Soy Briefs

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Mike Naig was elected Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Tuesday. He told the Iowa Soybean Association that he is “laser focused” on improving water quality and soil health. (Photo: Joseph L. Murphy/Iowa Soybean Association)

Des Moines — Emmetsburg native Mike Naig was elected Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Tuesday. Naig, who bested Democrat challenger Tim Gannon by four points in Tuesday’s election, said trade and livestock growth will remain priorities for the state’s ag department. 

“It will be our message and mission to urge the administration to make real progress with China,” Naig said. “In the meantime, we’ll continue working with the Iowa Soybean Association and its national counterparts to find new markets and developing existing ones to help meet the growing global demand for protein.” 

The first-time candidate for state elected said he’s thrilled to be back at work representing farmers and Iowa and addressed the need for progress on trade in the soybean industry. Read more from the Iowa Soybean Association’s exclusive interview.

Ames — Iowa State University Extension and Outreach economists will offer valuable insight on key factors impacting 2019 farm operating decisions at 12 Pro-Ag Outlook and Management Seminars to be held across the state in November and December.

Each three-hour seminar includes information on grain price outlook and global factors to watch, livestock prices and margins, and farmland operating margins, outlook and trends.

The focus of the program is to provide farmers and agribusiness leaders a concise evaluation of current market conditions, expected trends in crop and livestock income potential and management implications.

Speakers line-up will vary by location but will include ISU Extension and Outreach state specialists Chad Hart, associate professor in economics and extension grain markets specialist; Alejandro Plastina, assistant professor and extension economist; Lee Schulz, assistant professor and livestock economist; Keri Jacobs, assistant professor and co-operatives economist; and Wendong Zhang, assistant professor and extension economist. ISU Extension and Outreach field specialists will also be present at the meetings.

Seminar locations and dates:

The sessions are open to the public, however pre-registration is requested two days prior to the date of the event. Speakers, registration fees and provided meals vary by location.

Des Moines — U.S. biodiesel production rose to 169 million gallons in August from 164 million gallons a month earlier, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in a recent report.

Soybean oil remained the largest biodiesel feedstock, with 705 million pounds used in August, or about 54 percent of the total. In July, soybean oil used in biodiesel production was 671 million pounds.

Des Moines — Farmers who are using cover crops and not receiving state or federal cost share can sign up for a $5 per acre premium reduction on their crop insurance.

A new online application process is available to make it easier for farmers to sign up for the program. Farmers can sign up for the program now at

“As we have seen cover crop acres increase significantly in recent years, we are also getting more data on the long-term value of cover crops to farmers. This incentive program is a tool to help farmers scale up acres of cover crops and get even more comfortable with how this practice fits on their farm,” Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig said in a statement.

Farmers who participate will receive the reduction on their crop insurance in 2019. Farmers are encouraged to sign up after their cover crop seeding has been completed.

Applications will be taken until Jan. 15, 2019.

Des Moines — The NRCS month-long soil health campaign No-Tillage November is back again this year. Mirrored after the cancer awareness No Shave November, which encourages people not to shave during the entire month, the NRCS campaign encourages farmers to “keep the stubble” to promote soil health and protect water quality, while saving time and money. Farmers interested in learning more about the no-till practice can visit the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Iowa website.

By choosing not to till cropland, soil is more likely to stay in place, reducing the risk of erosion into streambanks or being carried away by the wind. Iowa’s rich soil is the state’s most valuable resource, and one that needs protection for future generations to come. The Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy, completed in the spring of 2013, offers insights on the benefits of no-till.

Last year’s campaign No-Till November campaign reached nearly 775,000 people on Twitter through 778 total tweets by 450 contributors, including the brand Annie’s Homegrown, which has more than 154,000 followers. Nearly 80 newspapers in Iowa and across the country included stories about the No-Till November campaign.

To participate in the campaign this year and help spread the message that farmers care for Iowa’s land and water, share photos on social media show how you #KeeptheStubble and #DoNotDisturb your soil during #NoTillNovember.

Ogden — As harvest wraps up, farmers will be storing large amounts of unpriced corn and soybeans. Information is available to help farmers earn the most for every bushel.

Farmers can learn to use a variety of crop marketing tools and compare these strategies to just storing bushels unpriced. Attend the ISU Extension and Outreach Ag Marketing Club meeting on Nov. 15 at the Leonard Good Community Center, 114 SW 8th St., in Ogden. The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. and doors open at 6 p.m.

Expect most farm cash flows to remain tight despite access to the new Marketing Facilitation Program (MFP) payments, experts said. Storing unpriced bushels likely requires an understanding of cash flow needs along with a written crop marketing plan. That plan should consider reasonable price and time objectives, local basis, futures carry and cost of ownership for those bushels being stored.

Steve Johnson, ISU Extension farm management specialist and Ed Kordick, commodity services manager with the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, will team teach on the topic, “Does Storing Unpriced Crops Really Pay.” Participants will review the importance of understanding basis, carry and comparing the cost of ownership using Central Iowa trends for the 2015, 2016 and 2017 crops.

The meeting is free and open to the public thanks to sponsorship from Vision Bank and Iowa Corn Growers Association. For further information, please contact Alex Merk at the Boone County Extension Office at (515) 432-3882 or

Iowa Falls — A continuing education workshop for commercial pesticide applicators for ag weed, insect, and plant disease will be held Nov. 14 from 9- 1:30 a.m. at the Hardin County Iowa State University Extension Office in Iowa Falls.

The workshop is for certified applicators with categories 1A, 1B, 1C and 10 endorsements and will cover equipment calibration and safe application techniques, pesticide drift reduction, phytotoxicity, pesticide stewardship, and pest management.

Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) Continuing Education Units (CEUs) in soil and water management and pest management will be offered at this program. Interested participants should bring their CCA number.

The registration fee is $45. To register, contact the Hardin County ISU Extension Office at (641) 648-4850 or toll free (888) 648-5005. The workshop is provided by the ISU Extension and Outreach Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP).

For media inquiries, permission to republish articles or to request high-res photos, please contact Katie James, ISA Public Relations Manager at © 2020 Iowa Soybean Association. All rights reserved.