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Soy Briefs

Article cover photo
Soybean buyers and exporters met last week in Spain to boost U.S. sales to Europe, the Middle East and North Africa (Photo: Matthew Wilde/Iowa Soybean Association)

Ankeny — The Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) is seeking feedback from Iowa soybean farmers through their annual farmer survey. Topics include:

  • Opportunities and challenges impacting your farm and the soybean industry
  • Importance and value of ISA programs and services
  • Credibility and reliability of information provided by ISA
  • Understanding of and participation in conservation/nutrient management practices

“ISA values and acts on farmer input,” says ISA president Lindsay Greiner, who farms near Keota. “This is your association. Take the opportunity to help shape the future of the organization, so it can continue to serve you effectively.”

The survey, which will take farmers 12-15 minutes to complete, will be distributed through various online channels over the next few weeks. ISA members can expect to receive a direct link to the survey via email on Thursday, Dec. 6. A link to the survey will also be sent via text message next week and be available on the homepage of the ISA website, Facebook and Twitter accounts.

"We take our responsibility to serve soybean farmers seriously,” says Aaron Putze, ISA director of communications and external relations. “Feedback from our members is important. Hearing from farmers in the field helps us tailor our efforts and offerings to better serve them."

ISA has emphasized farmer opinion surveys since 2012 as a way to gauge sentiments from the field and the association’s performance on critical issues. It conducts two surveys annually — one in August and one in December.

We want to hear from you — take the survey now. As a token of appreciation, ISA will draw the names of 50 survey-takers who will win a $10 Amazon gift card.

Barcelona, Spain --- It appears a $50,000 checkoff investment by Iowa farmers to boost soy exports to Europe, the Middle East and North Africa will pay off handsomely.

The U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) hosted the 2018 U.S. Soybean Regional Trade Exchange for the three regions Nov. 27-30. Funding from the Iowa Soybean Association, various other state and national soy organizations and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service helped bring the “who’s who” of soybean buyers and U.S. exporters together in Barcelona, Spain. Click here for the complete story.

Washington, D.C. — The American Soybean Association (ASA) was pleased to hear positive reports from the G20 Summit Saturday night that President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping have potentially agreed to deescalate the current trade friction by not raising tariffs further while negotiations continue. According to a White House statement, China has also agreed to purchase more U.S. agricultural and other products.

John Heisdorffer, a soybean grower from Keota and ASA president said, “This is the first positive news we’ve seen after months of downturned prices and halted shipments. If this suspension of tariff increases leads to a longer-term agreement, it will be extremely positive for the soy industry. We want to begin repairing damage done to our trade relations with China, which has been essential to successful soybean exports for years.”

Under the agreement reached on Saturday, tariffs on $200 billion worth of goods will not increase to 25 percent on January 1 from the current 10 percent level. Details have not been announced regarding the quantity of U.S. goods that China will purchase, but the White House statement indicated that purchases of ag products would begin immediately.

Trump and Xi struck the deal during a dinner Saturday night following the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The agreement apparently has a moratorium of 90 days for both sides to come to resolution on issues including technology transfer, intellectual property protection, and other concerns.

“During the 90-day negotiating period, ASA hopes to see China reopen its market to significant U.S. soybean imports as a key confidence-building step that will help restore our trade relationship,” Heisdorffer said. “This is an important opportunity to demonstrate positive momentum that will strengthen efforts on both sides to restore economic relations that are mutually beneficial.”

Washington, D.C. — It could be close to Christmas before the new farm bill gets to the White House for President Trump’s signature.

The lead Senate Democratic negotiator, Debbie Stabenow, tells Agri-Pulse the Congressional Budget Office is still working on cost estimates for the bill. That's why, she says, details of the legislation still haven’t been released by the House and Senate Agriculture committees.

Stabenow also says she expects the House to take up the legislation first. “It may be a couple of weeks before we have it. That’s not totally determined.”

She went on: “I’m confident we’ll get it done, but we have to lay it out once we get the CBO numbers and the language.”

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told reporters in Chicago he would recommend President Trump sign the bill that congressional negotiators agreed on, even though it won’t tighten food stamp work requirements.

Perdue made clear he plans to go forward with a proposed rule that would make it harder for states to get waivers from the current work requirements.

Orlando, Florida — As farmers look to improve their profitability in an unpredictable agricultural environment, the educational sessions at the 2019 Commodity Classic are designed to help farmers make better-informed decisions that can have a powerful impact on their bottom line.

The 2019 Commodity Classic will be held Feb. 28 through March 2 in Orlando, Florida.

Educational sessions in Orlando will cover a wide range of important topics including soil health, grain marketing, farm policy, cover crops, farm succession planning, nutrient stewardship, weed and herbicide management, rural economic development, soybean cyst nematode (SCN), wheat yields, Blockchain technology, corn residue, weather trends and more.

The 2019 Commodity Classic will offer nearly 50 educational sessions including Learning Centers, Early Risers, What’s New, Mini What’s New and additional presentations on the Main Stage on the trade show floor.   Applicable educational sessions are offered at no extra charge for the days for which an attendee is registered.

“Every educational session is selected by the Commodity Classic Farmer Committee to ensure the content and the presenters provide high-quality, relevant content that matters to today’s growers,” said Wade Cowan, a soybean farmer from Texas and co-chair of the 2019 Commodity Classic.

“In a time of great challenge for agriculture, it’s critical that farmers continue to educate themselves—and there is no better place to do that than Commodity Classic.”

Washington, D.C. — William “Bill” Beam has been appointed by the Trump administration to serve as Deputy Administrator of Farm Programs (DAFP) for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA).

Beam was sworn in on Oct. 22.As deputy administrator, Beam will be responsible for overseeing and implementing policies and procedures that regulate the delivery of federal farm programs. He along with DAFP staff oversee major portions of the farm bill including programs that help America’s farmers, ranchers and forest stewards manage market risks, recover from disasters and conserve and protect natural resources through FSA’s network of over 2,100 state and county offices.

Prior to his appointment, Beam was the president, owner/operator of Beam Farms, Inc., a fourth-generation row crop, specialty crop and hay operation in Elverson, Pennsylvania. In addition to his farming operation, Beam owns and manages a sawdust trucking business.

He was an appointed member of the United Soybean Board for nine years. In this role, Beam traveled internationally promoting U.S. soybeans and export markets. He also served two years on the United States Soybean Export Council and held leadership positions with the Pennsylvania Soybean Board.

Beam was also featured in an Iowa Soybean Review series in 2015 entitled, “Contrasting Currents.” It compared water quality issues in Iowa to the Chesapeake Bay. Beam’s farm is in the bay’s watershed.

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For media inquiries, please contact Katie Johnson, ISA Public Relations Manager at or Aaron Putze, ISA Communications Director at

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

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