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Soy Briefs

Article cover photo
Rich Stessman, an operations manager with the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) examines a sticky trap for signs of corn rootworm last year. The ISA On-Farm Network® will be conducting a corn rootworm study again this crop season. The team is seeking participants for the study, which will run from mid-July to early August. (Photo: Joseph L. Murphy/Iowa Soybean Association)

Ankeny, IA — The Iowa Soybean Association's (ISA) On-Farm Network® will be conducting a corn rootworm study again this crop season. The team is seeking participants for the study, which will run from mid-July to early August.

This will mark the fourth year the On-Farm Network has monitored corn rootworm beetles across the state. Together with corporate partners, the team is seeking to detect any patterns of resistance that may be evolving in beetle populations in Iowa and across the Corn Belt.

Eligible fields will be planted prior to June and not scheduled to be sprayed with insecticide before August 10. Farmers who want to participate should download, complete and email the enrollment form to for eligible fields which includes details such as location, planting date, hybrids, insect traits and more.

The On-Farm Network team will take care of the rest. They will site the field, place and collect the sticky traps that catch the corn rootworm beetle. Farmers will be notified if counts are high. Please contact an ISA regional agronomist with questions. This study is not funded by the soybean checkoff.

Des Moines, IA — Heavy rainfall and damaging storms kept Iowa farmers from making much planting progress with only 1 day suitable for fieldwork statewide during the week ending May 26, 2019, according to the Iowa Crop Progress and Condition Report. South central and southeast Iowa farmers reported less than a half day suitable for fieldwork this past week with little to no planting progress.

Less than one-third of the expected soybean crop has been planted, two weeks behind last year and average. This is the smallest percent of soybeans planted by May 26 since 1993 when just 23 percent of the expected crop had been planted. Eight percent of the crop has emerged, 12 days behind last year and eight days behind average.

Iowa corn growers now have 76 percent of the expected crop planted, 10 days behind last year and two weeks behind the five-year average. This is the smallest amount of corn planted by May 26 since 1995 when 75 percent of the expected crop had been planted.

Raleigh, NC — With only 20 percent of the nation’s soybeans planted thus far (according to the USDA), and more rain on the way in key soybean-producing states, the risk for sudden death syndrome (SDS) in soybeans is unusually high.

Caused by a soilborne fungus, SDS can affect soybeans very early in the season, infecting roots sometimes as quickly as a few days after germination. The fungus produces toxins that plants transport up to their leaves, which results in foliar symptoms. Normally this occurs after flowering, but it can occur during early soybean growth stages on susceptible varieties or when conditions are cool and wet, according to the Crop Protection Network. 

Champaign, IL — Farmers stand at a point of extreme price and policy uncertainty. In the Midwest, corn planting is historically late and many acres are or soon will be eligible for prevented planting payments on corn crop insurance policies. On many farms, corn prices have not increased enough to cause net returns from planting corn to exceed net returns from prevented planting. 

Decisions are difficult — professors in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics at the University of Illinois and the Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics at Ohio State University review scenarios related to prevented planting, 2019 Market Facilitation Program payments, disaster assistance and price dynamics.

Hanoi, Vietnam — The agricultural ministry of Vietnam announced on May 27 that 1.7 million pigs, or 5 percent of the country’s herd, has been culled recently due to African Swine Fever (ASF) according to multiple media reports. According to the Livestock Production department for the country,  ASF has spread to 42 of Vietnam’s 63 provinces. United States and Canada have agreed to modify export certificates to ensure safe trade in the event an outbreak of African Swine Fever occurs in either country.

China has already seen significant losses due to the outbreak of African Swine Fever. The largest pork producer in the world is expected to have losses in pork production of 25 percent to 35 percent and affects an estimated 150 million to 200 million pigs worldwide. Pork has long been the most popular protein in China, but rising consumer concerns about the product’s safety in the midst of a disease outbreak and a growing middle class with the ability to look elsewhere are chipping away at the protein’s domestic crown.

Tokyo, Japan — Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has won a respite from U.S. pressure on trade for now, but analysts expect President Donald Trump to push Japan in a few months into making concessions on agriculture and automobiles as he looks for a major win to bolster his 2020 re-election bid.

In official and informal talks Sunday and Monday during Trump's state visit to Japan, the U.S. leader indicated Washington would not press Tokyo for a bilateral trade deal until after a Japanese House of Councillors election slated for July, apparently taking into consideration Abe's desire to avoid tariff-cutting pressure on farmers. Trump, however, complained about the "tremendous" trade imbalance between the two countries and said there would be some announcements regarding bilateral trade "probably in August."

Houston, TX — A federal court this week invalidated the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers’ 2015 expansion of federal jurisdiction over small and isolated waters. After years of litigation in suits filed by dozens of state governments and trade groups, this is the first court to reach a final decision on the lawfulness of the 2015 Waters of the United States rule. Several court decisions have preliminarily blocked the rule in many states while the litigation progressed.  

Ames, IA — 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. In the last year, those stressors have been, and continue to be, abundant — an ongoing trade war with China, delayed planting progress, overall depressed commodity prices, uncertainty as to how certain policy items will play out and more.

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

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.

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.