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Soy Briefs

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The Iowa Crop Progress and Condition report, issued Monday from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service, showed there were just 2.8 days suitable for fieldwork last week. (Joseph L. Murphy/Iowa Soybean Association)

Ankeny, IA — Recent wet weather—and more forecast this week—has kept many Iowa farmers out of the fields. The Iowa Crop Progress and Condition report, issued Monday from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service, showed there were just 2.8 days suitable for fieldwork last week. Below-normal temperatures also slowed crop emergence, the report said.

Eight percent of Iowa’s soybean crop has been planted, two days behind last year and the five-year average, the report said.

Though behind average, there’s still plenty of time to plant a high-yielding crop, said the Iowa Soybean Association’s (ISA) On-Farm Network® Director Scott Nelson. Data from Iowa State University’s (ISU) Soybean Planting Decision Tool (funded by ISA) shows that yield penalty for delayed planting in central Iowa does not increase until the last half of May, Nelson said.

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Ankeny, IA — November soybean prices are edging lower this week following tweets from President Donald Trump threatening to raise tariffs on Chinese products from 10 percent to 25 percent. U.S. and Chinese officials are still expected to meet this week to continue trade negotiations as planned.

But the latest downturn in the soybean market is another hit to U.S. soybean farmers. The November 2019 soybean contract settled at $8.53 per bushel at the CME Group, down from the $10.60 range before the United States put tariffs on Chinese products a year ago.

But just how low will soybean prices go? That remains to be seen, said Chad Hart, grains market specialist at Iowa State University (ISU).

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Ankeny, IA — It is known that part of any healthy diet is drinking plenty of water each day, but not many people think about where their drinking water comes from. This week, May 5-11, is Iowa Source Water Protection Week as well as National Drinking Water Week. This commemoration calls attention to the importance of drinking water and the protection of its sources.

The group behind Iowa Source Water Protection Week is the Iowa Source Water Ag Collaborative, a group comprised of agricultural and environmental agencies and commodity groups that value the voluntary, proactive efforts of water supply stakeholders to create and implement Source Water Protection plans.  The Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) is one of the collaborative’s 15 members.

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Ames, IA — Iowa State University and the Iowa Soybean Association have teamed up to develop a new, web-based resource as an easy-to-use portal where producers can find the results of hundreds of on-farm research trials conducted by the association’s On-Farm Network.

The Interactive Summaries of On-Farm Strip Trials, or ISOFAST, makes data mining easy for farmers, researchers and others interested in accessing detailed information from the organization’s independent tests of products and practices.

“This tool is exciting for its potential as a framework to collect, analyze and present lots of high-quality data in a way we think will be coherent and meaningful for decision-making,” said Fernando Miguez, associate professor of agronomy at Iowa State, with expertise in crop modeling and data analysis tools.

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Des Moines, IA — The Iowa State Fair, Pioneer and media sponsors Iowa Farmer Today and WHO radio BIG SHOW are seeking entries for the 2019 Way We Live Award. The Way We Live Award, in its 11th year of recognizing outstanding farm families, will identify six Iowa families who exemplify hard working farm values and a love for the occupation of farming. So far, the Way We Live Award has been given to 63 well-deserving Iowa families.

To enter your family or someone you know, submit an entry form that describes how living on a farm and choosing the occupation of farming has shaped the family’s life.  All entries must include a family picture that illustrates the family’s commitment to their farming operation. Entry forms can be downloaded from the Iowa State Fair website:

Winners will receive a prize package including $250 cash, Fair admission, a parking pass, food vouchers and recognition in the Paul R. Knapp Animal Learning Center during the Iowa State Fair, August 8-18, 2019.

Eligible families must be residents of Iowa and the farming operation can be centered around any agricultural commodity. Families may be entered by a member of the family or by others.

All entries must be postmarked or e-mailed by May 17, 2019. Applications can be e-mailed to or postmarked by May 17 to: Iowa State Fair, Emily Wynn, PO Box 57130, Des Moines, Iowa 50317-0003

Washington, DC — The trade talks with China are set to resume Thursday in Washington following some new notes of optimism from the White House. On Sunday, President Trump Tweeted that he would increase tariffs on Chinese goods come Friday if an agreement isn’t reached before then. Robert Lighthizer filed the tariff increases Tuesday, according to the federal register. China has vowed to retaliate.

As of now, the United States has imposed tariffs on more than $250 billion worth of products from China, and China retaliated with tariffs on more than $110 billion worth of U.S. products, including notably substantial tariffs on U.S. agricultural products such as soybeans, pork, and ethanol. Read “Seven things to know about China to understand the trade war” by Wendong Zhang, ISU extension economist, for more insights on the trade war.

Washington, DC — African swine fever isn’t the only threat facing Chinese farmers. Fall armyworm, a pest that has quickly spread across Africa over the last three years, reached southern China in January and could spread to all of the country’s grain production this year, according to a report from USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service

U.S. farmers control the pest fairly easily with Bt varieties, but China is going to rely on chemicals; biological controls such as fungi or bacteria; or crop management practices. But the FAS report says the cost of the control measures is likely to wipe out any profit margin for many farmers. Most farmers in China do not have the financial resources and training needed to effectively manage FAW, the report warns.  

New York, NY — The ‘buy 'local' term is murky for shoppers, according to a study from Nielsen. Quick hits:

  • Among food-related causes, buying local has the highest awareness among U.S. consumers at 46%, according to a study from Nielsen. But based on a recent survey of 20,000 shoppers, Nielsen discovered that consumers’ definition of the term "local" varies depending on the product.
  • Some people consider products local if they come from the same city, while others think food is local as long as it is produced in the U.S. Survey respondents agreed the most about local labels on shelf-stable goods, with 34% defining local within this category as products coming from the U.S.
  • Bakery (31%) and eggs (29%) also offered some consensus, with shoppers agreeing that local for these foods means the product came from the same city as the store they are purchased in. Categories where consumers agreed least about what local means include deli meats, deli cheeses and seafood.

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.