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Soy Briefs

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Pat Swanson, an ISA director from Ottumwa, notifies other directors of news concerning expanded cover crop usage due to adverse weather during the board meeting earlier today. ISA directors met in Ankeny to approve the 2019/2020 checkoff and non-checkoff budgets. (Photo: Joseph L. Murphy/Iowa Soybean Association)

Urbandale, IA — The Iowa Pork Producers Association is closely monitoring the African swine fever (ASF) outbreak throughout China and several other countries and encouraging producers to have a written response plan in the event of a foreign animal disease outbreak in the United States. Jamee Eggers, producer education director for the IPPA, told the Iowa Soybean Association’s demand committee this week that the impact on soybeans in the event of an ASF outbreak in the United States would be damaging. ASF in the United States would mean a $1.5 billion hit to the U.S. soybean industry due to the culling of pigs and decreased demand for soybeans.  The pork market would take an $8 billion hit, according to 2011 statistics.

Washington, D.C. — It’s no secret that pork exports add additional value to the soybean industry. Information released this week from the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) to the Iowa Soybean Association’s demand committee shows exactly how valuable pork exports are to Iowa soybean growers. In 2018, pork exports added $97.3 million of value to Iowa soybeans, John Hinners, vice president of industry relations for the USMEF, said.

Without pork exports, Iowa soybean growers would have lost $484.8 million in soybean revenue in 2018, according to the study conducted by World Perspectives. The value is expected to grow, Hinners noted. The projected value of pork exports to Iowa soybeans from 2018 to 2027 is expected to grow to $1.05 billion, the study found.

Des Moines, IA — Gov. Kim Reynolds Wednesday received word that additional damage caused by the severe weather and flooding that began March 12, 2019, will be eligible for federal disaster assistance.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has granted Iowa's request to reopen  and extend the incident period for the Presidential Disaster Declaration that was granted for Iowa by President Trump on March 23. The incident period, which defines the period of time during which damage occurred is eligible for federal assistance, had previously been March 12-May 16. That incident period has now been extended to June 15. Currently, 71 counties are eligible to apply for funding through the Public Assistance Program.

Washington, DC — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said Thursday it would be allowing cover crops to be cut for silage, haylage and baleage sooner than the original Nov. 1 date due to adverse weather conditions throughout the country.

“Historical flooding and excessive rainfall throughout much of the country will likely lead to an unprecedented amount of prevented planting claims under Federal crop insurance. Given these extraordinary events and the need for animal feed in many parts of the country, flexibility around the use of a cover crop planted on prevented planted acreage for haying, grazing, and cutting for silage, haylage, and baleage has become necessary,” the USDA said in a bulletin.

For the 2019 crop year only, producers may begin grazing and cutting cover crops for use in silage, haylage and baleage beginning on Sept. 1, USDA Risk Management Agency Administrator Martin Barbre said.

Washington, D.C. — The House Ways and Means Select Revenue Measures Subcommittee Chairman Mike Thompson (D-CA) introduced legislation today to extend expired tax incentives, including the biodiesel tax incentive, according to the National Biodiesel Board (NBB). The proposal would provide U.S. biodiesel producers certainty through 2020 and incentivize investment and growth in domestic production capacity, according to NBB.

“Biodiesel and renewable diesel producers across the United States thank Subcommittee Chairman Thompson for proposing a multiyear, forward-looking renewal of the tax incentive,” said Kurt Kovarik, NBB’s Vice President of Federal Affairs. “The industry has been very vocal in asking for policy certainty that has proven successful in supporting industry growth over the years.”

NBB continues to work with Congressional champions of the biodiesel industry to highlight the urgency for renewing the tax incentive. NBB hosted a May 1 rally and press conference on Capitol Hill with Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Reps. Abby Finkenauer (D-IA), Cheri Bustos (D-IL), Darin LaHood (R-IL), Dave Loebsack (D-IA), and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), who are among the 53 co-sponsors of the Biodiesel Tax Credit Extension Act of 2019 (HR 2089). NBB also led 12 other trade groups representing farmers, rural lenders, crop and biobased oil producers, and biodiesel producers in a May 22 letter to leaders of the House of Representatives and Senate, asking them to quickly extend the biodiesel tax incentive to improve the economic outlook for rural economies.

The U.S. biodiesel market grew from about 100 million gallons in 2005, when the tax incentive was first implemented, to more than 2.6 billion gallons in 2018. The biodiesel tax incentive was last renewed in February 2018, but retroactively only for 2017; the credit lapsed as soon as it was renewed. While the biodiesel blenders tax credit has applied in each year from 2010–2016, it has only been in effect at the start of the calendar year in 2011, 2013 and 2016, while other years it has been applied retroactively.

Made from an increasingly diverse mix of resources such as recycled cooking oil, soybean oil and animal fats, biodiesel is a renewable, clean-burning diesel replacement that can be used in existing diesel engines without modification. It is the nation’s first domestically produced, commercially available advanced biofuel. NBB is the U.S. trade association representing the entire biodiesel value chain, including producers, feedstock suppliers, and fuel distributors, as well as the U.S. renewable diesel industry.

Washington, D.C. — As the nation marks Pollinator Week, the fate of the monarch butterfly’s protection is on hold. The National Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) extended the “deadline to determine whether the species warrants federal protection to December 15, 2020” according to a news release. This means that FWS will have additional time to assess whether the monarch should be included under the Endangered Species Act. For more information visit and check out the #PollinatorWeek hashtag on social media.

Corning, IA — A cover crop, grazing and soil health field day at Ray and Elaine Gaesser’s farm in rural Corning on Tuesday, July 9from 5:30-7:30 PM.  The event is free and open to the whole family to attend and learn more about how cover crops can help toward better water quality, which is the goal of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy.

The field day consists of a complimentary meal and presentations by Ray and Chris Gaesser, Adams Co. Farmers; Jacob Ness, Soil Health Partnership and Sarah Carlson Practical Farmers of Iowa. RSVP by July 3: 515.294.5429 or

Ames, IA — The Integrated Crop Management Team of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach advises the following to avoid weed resistance:

  • Scout fields in the fall for weed escapes and locations.

The Iowa Pest Resistance Management Plan, developed through the efforts of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa State and 11 partnering agricultural organizations, seeks to delay the development of resistance in insects, weeds and diseases and to preserve management tools and profitability for farmers. Watch a video of the Harrison County Herbicide Resistance Project - 2018 Field Day.

Ames, Iowa — Corteva has joined the Iowa Soybean Research Center at Iowa State University as an industry partner. In this role, Corteva will have a seat on the ISRC’s industry advisory council, which provides recommendations on research priorities.

“It is wonderful to welcome Corteva as an industry partner with the center. We greatly appreciate their support of the center and our research activities,” said Greg Tylka, director of the Iowa Soybean Research Center and a professor of plant pathology and microbiology at Iowa State.

“As a long-time industry leader in soybean production research, they will provide valuable perspective and advice to the center and its activities,” said Tylka.

“Corteva will make a great addition to the public-private collaborations that the center is engaged in to meet the research, production and protection information needs of Iowa soybean farmers,” said Ed Anderson, senior director of research for the Iowa Soybean Association and chair of the Iowa Soybean Research Center’s industry advisory council.

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