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Results of a five-year study shows cover crops added to a corn-soybean rotation have no negative effect on yield and result in statistically significant reductions in nitrate concentration in subsurface water. (Photo: Joseph L. Murphy/Iowa Soybean Association)

Ames — The 5th Annual Farm4Profit Conference, sponsored in part by the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA), will feature nationally-known speakers, updates on the ag economy and an opportunity to network with a wide variety of industry leaders, innovators and operators.

Registration is now open for the day-long event to be held Friday, Dec. 7, beginning at 8 a.m. at CNH Industrial Ag Information Center in Nevada (located just east of Ames adjacent Hwy. 30).

Formerly known as the Ames Ag Summit, the conference is a local and independently-organized meeting providing farm operations of all types and sizes information to help increase farming profitability. Topics will include financial, land value, cash rent and commodity price trends, grain storage safety and tips, farm bill updates, global ag economic conditions and long-range weather forecasting.

“The material to be presented and opportunity to network with others will be extremely valuable and timely as farmers are facing another year of tighter margins,” said Farm4Profit Conference co-founder Tanner Winterhof, an ag and commercial banker who was also raised on a farm.

Speakers will include representatives from ISA, Iowa Corn Growers Association, Sukup Manufacturing, True North Insurance, VisionBank of Iowa, Whitaker Marketing Group, Principal Financial Group, Cropstar, BAMWX and Ag West Commodities.

CNH Industrial Ag Information Center is located at 23942 590th Ave, Nevada, IA 50201.  Tickets are available at no charge this year courtesy of investments made by ISA and ICGA. Attendees must RSVP to reserve their spot as seating is limited. To register or for more information, visit www.farm4profit.com.

Washington, D.C. — U.S. oilseed processors crushed a record volume of soybeans in October while soyoil stocks declined for a sixth straight month, the National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) said last week.

Reuters reported NOPA members, which handle about 95 percent of all soybeans processed in the United States, crushed a record 172.346 million bushels of soybeans last month. That’s up from the 160.779 million bushels processed in September and 164.242 million bushels in October 2017, the group said.

Last month's crush topped the prior monthly record of 171.858 million bushels set in March 2018, according to NOPA.

Ames — The results of a five-year study conducted by the Iowa Learning Farms, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and Practical Farmers of Iowa, reinforced that cover crops added to a corn-soybean rotation have no negative effect on yield and result in statistically significant reductions in nitrate concentration in subsurface water. The details of the study are included in an infographic available for download at www.iowalearningfarms.org/content/cover-crop-research.

This study helps to dispel the commonly held belief that cover crops reduce yield in the following cash crops. Throughout the 22 site-years of yield data, there was no significant difference in cash crop yields between control strips without cover crops and those planted with cover crops. The report notes that planter settings may impact yield if not properly managed to accommodate residue from the cover crops.

Iowa soils are highly vulnerable to nitrate losses between April and June when natural nitrate production exceeds typical crop demands. The analysis of water samples from those three months, showed a statistically significant reduction in nitrate concentration in the cover crop strips. The data collected for water quality was comprised of 17 site-years. The most significant reductions were measured in the single species treatments – 61 percent reduction for rye and 23 percent for oats when compared to the no cover treatment in the same field.

“We are really excited to see this significant reduction in nitrate concentration when cover crops are present, as addressing nitrate levels is a key component to reaching our Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy goals,” stated Liz Juchems, conservation outreach specialist for Iowa Learning Farms who oversees the data collection and plot management for the project.

Omaha — The president of a major farm machinery manufacturer recently described how import tariffs on steel and aluminum, coupled with export tariffs on U.S. agricultural products, leave agricultural machinery companies "between a rock and a hard place."

Leif Magnusson, president of CLAAS Global Sales America Inc., said the combine equipment manufacturer is affected by higher input costs and higher sales prices because of current tariffs imposed by the Trump administration and China, according to a report by DTN.

Despite finishing negotiations on the new North American free trade agreement, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the Trump administration has not moved to eliminate tariffs on imported steel and aluminum from those countries. Other major steel and aluminum exporters to the U.S. face the same tariffs as well.

As a result, input costs are going up and U.S. metal producers have raised their prices as well. All of that boosts the costs to make heavy equipment, resulting in higher prices for farmers looking to purchase.

At the same time, Magnusson’s customers are farmers who have seen declining prices because of lost exports due to retaliatory tariffs from China, most significantly on soybeans. Given the steady decline in income for farmers, Magnusson said he is concerned how lower farm income will affect large combine machinery sales, most of which happen between October and the end of the year.

"To me, I don't know how this October-to-December sales period will turn out in the end," he said. "We will see, once the lower soybean prices start to hurt income, is that also going to reflect in holding off on a purchase? It's too early to say, but we will see."

Washington, D.C. — China's purchases of Brazilian soybeans in September jumped 28 percent from the prior year, data from the General Administration of Customs recently showed, as buyers stocked up ahead of an expected shortfall in the fourth quarter.

This is the first time that China has provided data on the country of origin for its commodity imports since the month of March, according to Reuters.

China typically buys most of its soybeans in the fourth quarter from the United States but has sharply reduced its purchases of American beans amid an ongoing trade war.

Beijing hit U.S. products including soybeans and grains with a 25 percent duty on July 6 in response to similar trade measures levied on Chinese goods.

China is the world's top importer of the oilseed which it crushes to turn into soymeal to feed its huge herd of livestock.

For media inquiries, please contact Katie Johnson, ISA Public Relations Manager at kjohnson@iasoybeans.com or Aaron Putze, ISA Communications Director at aputze@iasoybeans.com

For permission to republish articles or to request high-res photos contact Aaron Putze at aputze@iasoybeans.com. Iowa Soybean Association | 1255 SW Prairie Trail Pkwy | Ankeny | IA | 50023 | US

©2018 Iowa Soybean Association On-Farm Network®. All rights reserved. On-Farm Network® is a registered trademark of the Iowa Soybean Association, Ankeny, IA.Portions of some On-Farm Network trials are paid for in total or in part by the soybean checkoff.

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