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Soy Briefs

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As flood waters recede from towns like Hamburg, residents are dealing with extensive damage and farmers are learning that federal disaster aid won’t cover all of their losses, specifically crops that were damaged while in grain bins. (Photo: Joseph L. Murphy/Iowa Soybean Association)

Ames, IA — It’s not a type of livestock that others would typically associate with Iowa, but growers here are looking at making their splash into aquaculture. With careful market research and siting considerations, it could be an opportunity that flourishes in the state, experts said recently at the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers’ (CSIF) aquaculture conference.

Plus, the industry could create valuable opportunities for Iowa soybean farmers to provide a high-quality protien feed source. Read more.

Washington, D.C. — Farmers throughout Iowa and Nebraska are reeling this week after being told that federal disaster aid won’t cover all of their losses, specifically any due to crops that were already harvested before the flood and now sit in swamped grain bins, silos or other storage areas. Economists estimate the hit to Iowa's economy from flooding will reach $2 billion as farmers struggle with damaged grain, massive cleanup, and impassable roads and bridges to fields and livestock.

Reuters reported that U.S. Agriculture Under Secretary Bill Northey said the USDA has never experienced this large of a disaster impact on stored crops.

“It’s not traditionally been covered,” Northey said. “But we’ve not usually had as many losses.”

The fate of a multi-billion disaster aid package remained uncertain Tuesday, as the Senate failed to move forward on competing plans for providing assistance to communities affected by hurricanes, wildfires and devastating floods — including farmers whose stored grain and soybeans were destroyed by flooding along the Missouri River in March.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle expressed uncertainty over the next steps amid President Donald Trump‘s vocal opposition to assistance for Puerto Rico that has fueled a partisan clash.

To aid Iowa residents impacted by recent flooding, the USDA announced the availability of Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) benefits for five western Iowa counties. Households that do not normally qualify for SNAP may be eligible for D-SNAP if they meet certain requirements.

To facilitate that neighbor-helping-neighbor process, the Iowa Farm Bureau has developed the Farming Community Disaster Exchange — an online message board where Iowans can offer help to those impacted by the floods, or to seek assistance.  

Kansas City, MO — As disaster aid remains uncertain, farmers and landowners in Missouri River Basin have brought a lawsuit  against the United States, acting through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), who has control over the Missouri River system.

The court case covers not only floods starting in 2007, but also recent flooding, including the historic floods farmers in Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri are facing today. The plaintiffs allege that the flooding consuming thousands of acres of farmland  is proof the floods are becoming more frequent. The lawsuit says the flooding is a result of the Congress’s USACE Master Water Control Manual, which doesn’t make flood control a top priority.

Washington, D.C. — In remarks from the Oval Office, President Donald Trump reiterated his threat to shut the border if Mexico, America’s third largest trading partner, cannot restrict a flow of asylum seekers trying to cross into the United States.

“Sure, it’s going to have a negative impact on the economy, but security is most important,” President Trump said. “Security is more important to me than trade.”

Republican lawmakers, economists and business groups warned this week that closing the border could cripple the flow of goods and workers and devastate American automakers and farmers, as well as other industries that depend on Mexico for sales and goods. The president’s economic team said it was looking for ways to limit the fallout if the president moves forward with closing the border.

Majority leader Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KS): “Closing down the border would have a potentially catastrophic economic impact on our country. I would hope that we would not be doing that sort of thing.”

U.S. Chamber of Commerce: “Closing the U.S.-Mexico border would inflict severe economic harm on American families, workers, farmers and manufacturers across the United States.  … Even threatening to close the border to legitimate commerce and travel creates a degree of economic uncertainty that risks compromising the very gains in growth and productivity that policies of the Trump administration have helped achieve."

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue: “I certainly hope we can get this Mexican border issue solved without closing the borders. That would be devastating to both of our dairy, pork and corn industries in that way.”

David Herring, president of the National Pork Producers Council: “We are at the breaking point and cannot afford a total loss of the Mexican market, one that accounted for more than 20 percent of total U.S. pork exports last year. A cloud of uncertainty and restricted access to our most important export markets have strained U.S. pork producers and their families for more than a year. The value of our exports to Mexico and China are down 28 percent and 32 percent, respectively, this year.”

Washington, D.C. — Certain dicamba products are in their third season of legal use for over-the-top application in soybeans. However, their legal use is dependent on applicators’ adherence to the regulations in place by the EPA and individual states. Notable changes to the 2019 label include:

  • Only certified applicators can apply the products over-the-top of crops. In the past those working under a certified applicator could apply the products—that is no longer legal.
  • No applying dicamba products over-the-top of soybeans 45 days after planting or cotton 60 days after planting.
  • Soybeans stay limited to two over-the-top applications and cotton is reduced from four to two over-the-top applications.
  • Applications are only permitted between one hour after sunrise and two hours before sunset.
  • Counties with endangered species have 57 feetbuffers required around all sides of the field. The existing downwind buffer of 110 feet remains for all counties.
  • Dicamba-specific training is required.

Applicators must complete dicamba-specific training and be a certified pesticide applicator. Farmers and commercial applicators alike must meet these requirements.

West Lafayette, IN — Ag producer sentiment weakened slightly in March as agricultural producers expressed less confidence in future economic conditions. Ag producers also expressed more concern about farmland values as one of every four producers in the March survey said they expect farmland values to move lower over the next year. Despite their concerns about future economic conditions, producers in March were more inclined to think this was a good time to make large investments in their farming operations than they were in February as the Large Investment Index rose 7 points compared to a month earlier.

Financial stress is evident among some producers. Survey results from January 2019 and March 2019 suggest that 5 to 7 percent of U.S. farms are suffering from some financial stress, using the need to carry over unpaid operating debt as an indicator of financial stress. Just over half of farms surveyed said they are less optimistic about their farm’s financial future now than they were a year ago.

Finally, producers expressed more confidence in the future growth of U.S. ag exports than they have since we first began posing export-focused questions in spring 2017. Although the trade dispute with China is still ongoing, 77 percent of producers expressed confidence that the dispute will ultimately be resolved in a way that favors the United States. However, 45 percent of the producers surveyed think it is likely that the trade dispute will be resolved prior to July 1, 2019.

Read the report.

Beijing, China — As part of the continued, multi-country tour to promote U.S. soy, leaders from United Soybean (USSEC), American Soybean Association (ASA) and United Soybean Board (USB) are meeting with Chinese importers in Beijing and Shanghai this week.

ASA president Davie Stephens and USB chairman Keith Tapp are participating in the meetings, where they will talk to buyers about the advantages of U.S. soy, including years of farming experience, technology innovations, sustainability practices, and being positioned to effectively serve a global marketplace.

The meetings are a part of USSEC’s efforts to maintain and further build relationships with exporters and stakeholders in international markets.

Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia — ASA’s World Initiative for Soy and Human Health (WISHH) organized an animal feed workshop this week in Cambodia, providing technical assistance to local feed millers in an effort to help them grow the animal production industry with U.S. soy.

Nearly 20 feed millers and hog farmers attended the workshop, which covered quality control, mixing, pelleting and cooling.

Dr. Carlos Campabadal, a Kansas State University International Grain Program feed technical expert, presented at the workshop and providing five feed millers with technical assistance. In June, WISHH will bring a trade team to the KSU International Grains Program feed course.

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

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