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Soy Briefs

Article cover photo
Perry soybean farmer Tom Vincent discusses water quality efforts with U.S. Representative Cindy Axne (D-Iowa) during a tour of the Iowa Soybean Association’s water lab. ISA Public Affairs Director Michael Dolch and Axne’s district director Kaity Patchett were also a part of the conversation and tour. (Photo: Bethany Baratta/Iowa Soybean Association)

Ankeny, IA — U.S. Representative Cindy Axne (D-Iowa) spent time talking to farmers and staff about issues ranging from disaster assistance to water quality during a visit to the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) office and water lab in Ankeny. The ISA team offers a personalized approach, which has helped make a difference in water quality.

“We’ve got the systems here. People are making the routes, pulling water samples and then the lab quantifies what's happening on my farm,” said Tom Vincent, an ISA member and farmer from Perry. Results from water samples on Vincent’s farm helped him determine that a saturated buffer and a bioreactor on two separate farms would benefit water quality.

“The lab helps answer the question, ‘How do I get started?’ These folks can tell me how I can get the results I’m aiming for,” Vincent said.

Washington, DC — U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue on June 10 issued the following statement on disaster and trade-related assistance:

“Whether it’s because of natural disasters or unfair retaliatory tariffs, farmers across the country are facing significant challenges and tough decisions on their farms and ranches. Last month, immediately upon China reneging on commitments made during the trade talks, President Trump committed USDA to provide up to $16 billion to support farmers as they absorb some of the negative impact of unjustified retaliation and trade disruption. In addition, President Trump immediately signed into law the long-awaited disaster legislation that provides a lifeline to farmers, ranchers, and producers dealing with extensive damage to their operations caused by natural disasters in 2018 and 2019.

“Given the size and scope of these many disasters, as well as the uncertainty of the final size and scope of this year’s prevented planting acreage, we will use up to $16 billion in support for farmers and the $3 billion in disaster aid to provide as much help as possible to all our affected producers.

“I have been out in the country this spring and visited with many farmers. I know they’re discouraged, and many are facing difficult decisions about what to do this planting season or if they’ve got the capital to stay in business, but they shouldn’t wait for an announcement to make their decisions. I urge farmers to plant for the market and plant what works best on their farm, regardless of what type of assistance programs USDA is able to provide.

“In the coming weeks, USDA will provide information on the Market Facilitation Program payment rates and details of the various components of the disaster relief legislation. USDA is not legally authorized to make Market Facilitation Program payments to producers for acreage that is not planted. However, we are exploring legal flexibilities to provide a minimal per acre market facilitation payment to folks who filed prevent plant and chose to plant an MFP-eligible cover crop, with the potential to be harvested and for subsequent use of those cover crops for forage.”

Read more background and frequently asked questions.

Sioux City, IA — Sapp Bros. is celebrating the opening of its newest biodiesel blending terminal located in Sioux City, Iowa. The new blending terminal is located approximately one mile from the Magellan Sioux City terminal. Fuel suppliers can load diesel on their transport at the terminal, then load biodiesel at the Sapp Bros. terminal to the desired blend level. Fuel suppliers will have 24/7 access and loading upon approval.

Biodiesel has many beneficial properties, including increased lubricity, high cetane, reduced emissions and compatibility with diesel engines and equipment. The biodiesel offered at Sapp Bros.’ new blending terminal in Sioux City will be sourced from BQ-9000-certified plants, assuring high-quality biodiesel.

Sapp Bros. opened its first travel plaza in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1971 and has grown to 17 travel plazas and more than 30 wholesale locations in nine states. Sapp Bros. is a supporter of biodiesel, first offering the renewable fuel at its Peru, Illinois, location in 2004. Today, Sapp Bros. distributes and sells biodiesel throughout its wholesale and travel center network.

Washington, DC — Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer today announced the appointment of 140 private-sector members to the Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee for Trade and six Agricultural Technical Advisory Committees for Trade. Iowa’s own Dean Coleman, a soybean farmer from Humboldt, has been appointed to the Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee. Coleman has been on the American Soybean Association's Board of Directors since 2016.

Congress established the advisory committee system in 1974 to ensure that U.S. agricultural trade policy objectives reflect U.S. public- and private-sector commercial and economic interests. USDA and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative jointly manage the committees.

The Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee provides advice and information to the Secretary of Agriculture and the U.S. Trade Representative on the administration of trade policy, including enforcement of existing trade agreements and negotiating objectives for new trade agreements. The Agricultural Technical Advisory Committees offer technical advice and information about specific commodities and products. The appointees will serve until June 15, 2023.

Council Bluffs, IA — While President Trump was in Iowa Tuesday, he signed the Modernizing the Regulatory Framework for Agricultural Biotechnology Products (MRFABP) Executive Order. The MRFABP calls for, among other things, regulatory streamlining in order to facilitate the innovation of agricultural biotechnology to the market efficiently, consistently and safely under a predictable, consistent, transparent and science-based regulatory framework.

The United States Department of Agriculture had already taken a major step toward Trump’s goal by releasing a proposed rule last week that would exempt many new gene-edited crops from regulation. Companies would be allowed to decide on their own whether their products are regulated. 

Washington, DC — Democrats, Republicans and witnesses at a Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee hearing Wednesday all agreed on the need for clean water, but disagreed on whether the Trump administration’s proposed WOTUS rule is the best way to get it.

Building on her efforts to ensure the Trump Administration's new WOTUS rule is good for Iowa’s farmers and landowners, Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) pressed leaders in the agriculture community about the definitions and qualifications of WOTUS.

Ames, IA — Mother Nature was more cooperative this past week, allowing planting and other field activities like cutting and putting up hay, sidedressing, and herbicide applications to occur. According to the June 10, 2019 USDA-NASS Crop Progress and Condition Report, approximately 93% of the expected corn crop and 70% of the expected soybean has been planted. Check out what Iowa State University Extension and Outreach field agronomists are seeing and hearing for field conditions and planting progress in their respective regions across the state.

Jefferson, IA — Corteva Agriscience will provide tuition and books for 25 students from 40 rural Iowa towns interested in software development. Corteva's total $187,500 gift will go to rural Iowa students who live along the "Lincoln Corridor," nearly 40 rural communities along Lincoln Highway or U.S. 30 and want to study computer languages at Des Moines Area Community College. Some of the graduates will be chosen for further training in a four-month commercial software development training program at a new Jefferson technology hub opening in September.

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