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Soy Briefs

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Commodity prices, interest rates and trade disruptions drove Iowa farmland values down for the fourth time in five years. The average statewide value of an acre of farmland is now estimated to be $7,264. (Photo: Joseph L. Murphy/Iowa Soybean Association)

Ankeny — The Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) eWeekly will not be published Dec. 27 due to the Christmas and New Year’s holiday. The ISA office is closed through Jan. 1.

Look for the next edition of eWeekly on Jan. 3. If you have soy-related news you would like to share, please contact Joe Murphy at jmurphy@iasoybeans.coms.

West Des Moines — The Farm Bureau webinar series continues on Monday, January 7, at 1:00 pm with the live webinar “Managing Stress in an Era of Ag Uncertainty” with Dr. Mike Rosmann. A farmer and psychologist, Rosmann lives on his family farm near Harlan, Iowa. He will provide information and resources to help with farm stress and the webinar will provide participants the opportunity to ask questions.

Dr. Rosmann writes a column called Farm and Ranch Life that appears in 30 farming publications, including Iowa Farmer Today. Most of his life’s work is to improve the behavioral health of agricultural producers. Agricultural producers are struggling to achieve profits currently, but farmers have little control over most conditions that affect their economic well-being.

While farmers can’t control the weather or crop/livestock disease outbreaks and have limited input into governmental policies that influence agriculture and trade, farmers have much control over their own behaviors. This webinar offers strategies for behavior management that can help farmers deal with stress in order to function optimally as producers of food and renewable fuels.

Register now.

Des Moines — Applications are now being accepted for water quality planning and development projects in the state. Selected projects will help inform, prioritize and coordinate implementation of conservation practices focused on improving water quality.

“This is an opportunity to bring in new partners to work with farmers and landowners to scale up construction of infrastructure-based conservation practices,” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig. “With long-term water quality funding now joining existing conservation programs, we can look several years ahead and make sure we are able to use the additional funding in a targeted, cost-efficient manner to improve water quality.”

Projects should focus on planning and design efforts that will directly lead to the adoption of water quality focused conservation practices. Successful applicants will need to demonstrate a proven track record of delivering planning, development, and design of projects and practices. Strong partnerships with stakeholders that have or will be contributing significant resources to the project are also critically important.

Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs), counties, county conservation boards, other units of government, not-for-profit non-governmental organizations (NGOs), public water supply utilities or watershed management organizations are eligible to submit applications. Applicants are also encouraged to partner with additional stakeholders that will be able to assist with education and outreach.

The applications must be received by 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 15, 2019. Projects selected to receive funding will be announced in early March and are projected to start on April 1, 2019.

Project application guidance can be found here or can be requested by contacting the Department’s Division of Soil Conservation and Water Quality at (515) 281-5851.

Runnells – On Friday, Nov. 30, 21 Iowa Food & Family Project Champions, highly engaged consumers interested in exploring modern agriculture and food production, spent the afternoon learning about cover crops. 

Brett McArtor, regional agronomist for the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA), and Dan De Vries, soybean, corn and cattle producer from Prairie City, shared the basics of cover crops and soybean farmers’ commitment to conservation practices. The informal conversation provided insights on the costs and considerations of using cover crops, as well as the short and long-term benefits for Iowa’s soil and water quality.

In addition to the discussion on cover crops, the Champions toured Walnut Ridge Farm in Indianola to learn about growing Christmas trees and learned about the turkey industry during lunch with Gretta Irwin, home economist and executive director of the Iowa Turkey Federation.

Click here for complete event highlights.

Washington, D.C. — President Trump’s recent pledge to officially pull the U.S. out of the current North American Free Trade Agreement was aimed squarely at any lawmakers in Congress who are considering efforts to block or alter the renegotiated pact, now dubbed the United States, Mexico, Canada Agreement, Larry Kudlow said Monday in a teleconference with reporters.

I think he's trying to light a fire under Congress,” Kudlow said. “That's my guess, my hunch.”

There was some concern that Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto or Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau might not show up for the planned signing of the USMCA at the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires, but the signing ceremony worked out smoothly, said Kudlow. What is now upsetting Trump is Democratic lawmakers who want to take all three countries back to the drawing board.

“All right, you know … the ceremonies, the signing - the president is very happy with all that,” he said. “Everybody showed up. Trudeau showed up and so forth. And we're rolling. Congress, on the other hand, is not rolling.”

Johnston — National Biodiesel Board CEO Donnell Rehagen will highlight the American success story of biodiesel and discuss what is on the horizon for the nation’s leading advanced biofuel on January 29th at the Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit.

“Year after year the biodiesel industry continues to outpace and outproduce expectations,” Rehagen said. “Supporting more than 64,000 jobs and reducing greenhouse gasses by up to 86 percent, biodiesel has been a great success for rural economies and our environment. The future is bright for biodiesel and I’m excited to discuss the opportunities that lay before us and some of the questions we must answer together as an industry.”

The National Biodiesel Board is the national trade association representing America's first advanced biofuel. The group works to create sustainable biodiesel industry growth through education, communication, governmental affairs, technical and quality assurance programs. 

“Under Donnell’s leadership the National Biodiesel Board has made great strides in creating new opportunities for the biodiesel industry and we look forward to having him share his vision of what comes next for biodiesel,” said Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Managing Director Lucy Norton.

The 2019 Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit will take place at the Prairie Meadows Conference Center on January 29, 2019. The Summit is free to attend and open to the public, but registration is required.

To register to attend or learn more about the Summit, please visit:

Ames — After a reprieve in 2017, commodity prices, interest rates and trade disruptions drove Iowa farmland values down for the fourth time in five years. The average statewide value of an acre of farmland is now estimated to be $7,264. This represents a decrease of 0.8 percent, or $62 per acre, from the 2017 estimate.

Land values were determined by the 2018 Iowa State University Land Value Survey, which was conducted in November by the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development at Iowa State University and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Results from the survey are consistent with results by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the Realtors Land Institute and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Wendong Zhang, assistant professor and extension economist at Iowa State University, led the annual survey.

The $7,264 per acre estimate, and 0.8 percent decrease in value, represents a statewide average of low-, medium- and high-quality farmland. The survey also reports values for each land quality type, crop reporting district (district hereafter) and all 99 counties individually.

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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