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Soy Briefs

Article cover photo
Iowa Soybean Association directors Rick Juchems and Bill Shipley spent the week in Querétaro to analyze and expound on global market demand for U.S. soy. Juchems stands next to a finished soybean oil product that could very well have been made from soybeans grown on his farm. (Photo: Katie Johnson/Iowa Soybean Association)

Querétaro, Mexico — Iowa Soybean Association directors Rick Juchems and Bill Shipley had the rare opportunity to travel to Mexico last week to see how international soybean demand can be improved.

Touring Coral International — a remote oil processing facility in East Central Mexico — was a chance to see a strong international demand for U.S. soybeans.

“Our customers are used to high quality products,” says Manager Juan Camou. For Coral, quality means using U.S. soybean oil.

Read more about the trade mission.

Washington, DC — After nearly three months of negotiations, President Trump and Chinese President Xi could not reach a conclusion and bring to an end tariffs imposed on soy growers by China since July 2018, a measure that would have brought great relief to soy growers.

Davie Stephens, a soybean grower from Clinton, Kentucky, and American Soybean Association (ASA) president stated, “We are glad that talks between these two countries will continue without the tariff hike previously expected at the 90-day deadline later this week, but we need resolution and are discouraged that it’s still hard to see a tangible end in sight.”

The Chinese government has committed to buying up to $1.2 trillion of U.S. goods, an announcement that came as U.S. and Chinese officials taking part in trade talks met with President Trump in the Oval Office last Friday. They have begun to make good on government-to-government commitments to purchase American soybeans totaling around 20 million metric tons (735 million bushels), which is a positive step. However, ASA continues to push for more than piecemeal purchases and see open access to the China market restored through the removal of tariffs.

The value of U.S. soybean exports to China has grown exponentially the past 20 years, from $414 million in 1996 to $14 billion in 2017. China imported 31 percent of U.S. production in 2017, equal to 60 percent of total U.S exports and nearly one in every three rows of harvested beans. Over the next 10 years, Chinese demand for soybeans is expected to account for most of the growth in global soybean trade, making it a prime market for the U.S. and other countries.

While ASA is pleased that the Administration has announced that negotiations have been positive and will continue past Trump’s imposed 90 day window, soy growers continue to urge the Administration to rescind the tariffs and instead make soybeans a part of reducing our trade deficit with China.

The two sides have reportedly reached agreement on some common ground involving currency, but U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer says there are still great hurdles left, but he was also upbeat, saying progress has been made on very important issues.

Watch: ISA CEO Kirk Leeds shares his thoughts on the situation.

Washington, DC — More than 200 organizations representing U.S. manufacturers, farmers and other industries — including the American Soybean Association — rolled out the USMCA Coalition to push for congressional approval of USMCA. The new coalition will mark the largest lobbying effort launched to date to support passage of the new deal.

“USMCA is critical to the success of American businesses, farmers, and workers,” said Cathy Van Way, head of government relations for major manufacturer Cummins and co-chair of the coalition. The deal “will help rural and urban communities across the U.S. thrive and we encourage Congress to approve this important agreement.”

Washington, DC — The American Soybean Association joined more than 120 seafood industry leaders and other aquaculture proponents in signing on to a letter urging US lawmakers to open up opportunities for offshore fish farming and support for increasing U.S. production of sustainable and affordable seafood through marine aquaculture.

Read the letter.

Washington, DC — Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) is back in review for changes that could positively affect the agricultural community. This proposed adjustment will remove some of the “fuzzy” restricted areas that were previously proposed that could greatly affect agricultural fertilizer and pesticide use across the U.S. and reduce our ability to properly treat the fields we and our customers farm.  The public comment period ends February 28, 2019, so we will hopefully soon have a better understanding of the new rules. 

Get additional WOTUS info.

Ames, IA — The Iowa Water Conference, March 12-13, is the largest outreach and collaboration effort of the Iowa Water Center. It brings together multi-disciplinary organizations and institutions to discuss relevant water issues across Iowa. The inaugural event in 2006 combined several existing conferences with the purpose of coordinating research and management efforts. Drawing nearly 400 attendees, the conference still strives to encompass the whole of Iowa’s water landscape including expanding into realms of education and outreach, conservation, policy, and regulations.

Through general and concurrent sessions, conference goers will explore current trends across water resource management in both urban and rural landscapes. This exploration will have a particular emphasis on the interconnected nature of our water resources. Further, it will explore the opportunities this offers for collaboration.

This year, the event has several session tracks, workshops and panel discussions focused on agriculture. Farmers and landowners are encouraged to attend to learn about best management practices to help improve water quality on their farms and downstream.

Roger Wolf, Director of Environmental Programs and Services at the Iowa Soybean Association, will moderate two panels during the conference: "Operationalizing the One Water Approach: Innovating and Collaborating to Improve Water Management in Iowa” and "Ag Retailers Engagement Strategies for Conservation Delivery."

Across Iowa, there are examples of the One Water ethos: Water management that is innovative, inclusive, and integrated. This approach is championed by the U.S. Water Alliance, based in Washington, D.C. The organization's CEO Radhika Fox will keynote the opening session of the conference. By collaboratively reducing flood risk, treating wastewater, improving conservation and leaving a land legacy, the One Water approach seeks to achieve the best outcomes for all Iowans.

This conference is March 12-13, at the Scheman Building at the Iowa State Center, 1805 Center Dr, Ames, IA 50011.

Champaign, IL — Soybean growers gained another herbicide trait platform with the notification that Enlist E3 had been granted import approvals in the Republic of the Philippines.

China opened its doors to the biotech trait in January, but seed companies were waiting for this latest approval. The Philippines is a top buyer of U.S. soybean meal, used primarily to feed livestock.

Read more.

Ames, IA — Join the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers (CSIF) for the 2019 Aquaculture Conference in Ames. On March 22-23, attendees will hear from a dynamic group of speakers on business planning, and work hands-on with fish health and water quality workshops.

This program is brought to you by CSIF, North Central Regional Aquaculture Center, The Ohio State University, University of Minnesota and Iowa State University. This conference and workshop are supported by grant No. 2014-38500-22138 through NCRAC and USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture awarded to The Ohio State University and University of Minnesota.

Register now.

For media inquiries, please contact Katie James, 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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