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Soy Briefs

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The biodiesel industry called ‘Mayday’ at a Capitol Hill rally to call attention to the need to extend the expired biodiesel tax incentive on Wednesday. (Photo: Joseph L. Murphy/Iowa Soybean Association)

Washington, DC — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced a soybean checkoff request for referendum (RFR). Eligible U.S. soybean farmers may request a referendum beginning May 6, 2019, and ending May 31, 2019.

To be eligible to participate, producers must certify that they or the producer entity they are authorized to represent paid an assessment any time between Jan. 1, 2017, and Dec. 31, 2018. The RFR occurs every five years, and the official notice is available online in the Federal Register (

For more information about how the request works, read USDA’s frequently asked questions here.

Washington, DC — Iowa biodiesel industry called ‘Mayday’ at a Capitol Hill rally for the expired biodiesel tax incentive. Read more of ISA's coverage here.

The National Biodiesel Board hosted the event on May 1 with Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Rep. Abby Finkenauer (D-IA), Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL), Rep. Darin LaHood (R-IL), Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-IA) and others to discuss the status of the lapsed credit. Grassley and Finkenauer have each introduced legislation that would extend the tax credit for 2018 and 2019. The event was streamed live on Facebook.

Among the companies participating was HERO BX, which owns a biodiesel plant in Clinton, Iowa. Also participating was Tom Brooks, general manager of Western Dubuque Biodiesel and chair of the Iowa Biodiesel Board, who issued this statement:

Washington, DC — USDA extended the deadline to May 17 from May 1 for agricultural producers to certify 2018 crop production for payments through the Market Facilitation Program (MFP), which helps producers who have been significantly affected by foreign tariffs, resulting in the loss of traditional exports. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) extended the deadline because heavy rainfall and snowfall have delayed harvests in many parts of the country, preventing producers from certifying acres.

Payments will be issued only if eligible producers certify before the updated May 17 deadline. Producers can certify production by contacting their local FSA office or through

While the Trump administration indicated readiness to provide more federal aid to farmers if required, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says there will not be another round of trade aid in 2019, as farmers will make planting decisions in 2019 to account for the current market situation.

“We have allocated $12 billion, some such, to farm assistance. And we stand ready to do more if necessary,” White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told reporters.

Kudlow made the statements in light of the latest numbers, which showed that the first round of trade aid was buoyed by the trade aid issued in the last quarter. However, earnings plunged by an annualized $11.8 billion in the January to March period, according to seasonally adjusted data.

However, Perdue says the claims are untrue. While in Iowa, he stated, “I’m afraid that’s not accurate,” adding it could be miscommunication.

Washington, DC — President Donald Trump and Democratic congressional leaders agreed to work together on a $2 trillion infrastructure package — but put off for later the difficult question of how to pay for it.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said there was "good will in the meeting" — a marked departure from the last meeting between Trump, Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, which ended with Trump walking out. Schumer said the two sides agreed infrastructure investments create jobs and make the United States more competitive economically with the rest of the world.

Most importantly, Schumer said, "we agreed on a number."

"Originally, we had started a little lower. Even the president was eager to push it up to $2 trillion, and that is a very good thing," Schumer said.

Added Pelosi: "We did come to one agreement: that the agreement would be big and bold."

Washington, DC — The Environmental Protection Agency has reaffirmed its conclusion that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Bayer’s Roundup, is "likely" not carcinogenic, in a proposed registration decision that would allow the herbicide to continue to be used in the United States.

“EPA did not identify any risks of concern for humans from exposure to glyphosate,” the agency said in its proposed interim decision. “In addition, the agency determined glyphosate is not likely to be carcinogenic to humans,” though it said it did identify risks “primarily from spray drift for non-target organisms.”

“EPA has found no risks to public health from the current registered uses of glyphosate,” EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a news release. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said “USDA applauds EPA’s proposed registration decision as it is science-based and consistent with the findings of other regulatory authorities that glyphosate does not pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans.”


Did you know? Individuals engaged in agriculture are more prone than the general population to react strongly to perceived threats. Anything that endangers a farmer's economic well-being and capacity to continue farming is usually perceived as a threat and causes added stress.

Learn about managing that stress from Dr. Mike Rosmann, an Iowa psychologist and farmer:

Stretch out the stress after long hours in the tractor or truck, which can leave you feeling uncomfortable and irritable. Try these six stretches from Alison Hartman, Physical Therapist with Pro-Activity, to fuel your safe and productive planting season. Read more on AgPro:

Need someone to talk to about financial, legal, family or other stress? The 24/7 Iowa Concern Hotline (1-800-447-1985) is free of charge and confidential. It was created in the 1980s to help producers through the farm crisis but now offers a wide range of services.

Washington, DC — Reminder: Farmers who are interested in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) are encouraged to sign up by May 10 through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) website or at their local offices.

Washington, DC — The updated Herbicide Classification Chart is now available for download on the Take Action website. Refresh your office wall with the newest version, and make sure you download the Take Action app, so you always have the herbicide lookup tool handy.

Don’t forget to connect with Take Action on Facebook and Twitter to stay engaged with the latest Take Action updates and resources!

For media inquiries, permission to republish articles or to request high-res photos, please contact Katie James, ISA Public Relations Manager at © 2020 Iowa Soybean Association. All rights reserved.