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Soy Briefs

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Tom Oswald (Cleghorn), Delbert Christensen (Audubon), Larry Marek (Riverside) and April Hemmes (Hampton) joined soybean farmers from throughout the country in assessing USB programming effectiveness, prioritizing activities and approving 2020 budgets at the United Soybean Board meeting in Fargo, ND this week. (Photo: Aaron Putze/Iowa Soybean Association)

Fargo, ND — Iowa farmers serving as directors on the United Soybean Board (USB) were in Fargo, North Dakota, this week taking action on issues impacting the U.S. soy industry at the USB’s July meeting.

Tom Oswald (Cleghorn), Delbert Christensen (Audubon), Larry Marek (Riverside) and April Hemmes (Hampton) joined soybean farmers from throughout the country in assessing USB programming effectiveness, prioritizing activities and approving 2020 budgets. They also received updates on soybean production and demand and key issues impacting industry profitability including the status of African swine fever impacting pig herds in countries that are key export destinations for U.S. soybeans.

Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) Communications Director Aaron Putze caught up with a few industry leaders at the meeting, as well.

Des Moines, IA — The Iowa Food & Family Project (Iowa FFP) will return to the South Atrium of the Varied Industries building for the 2018 Iowa State Fair to be held Aug. 8-18.

New this year, we’ll feature an interactive display that brings the masterpiece of farming in Iowa to fairgoers! Visitors will express their creativity by helping paint a larger-than-life mural depicting food and farming themes. Visitors can also register to win agriculture-inspired artwork and picture themselves on the farm with a fun green screen photo booth. Each interaction is designed to bring curious consumers into the Iowa FFP network and spark conversations about modern agriculture.

To make our colorful, creative and collaborative display a highlight at the world’s greatest fair, we’ll need a helping hand from more than 400 exceptional volunteers! Volunteers will help welcome fairgoers to the display, distribute materials and spread the word about Iowa FFP.

To join in on the fun, follow this link to sign up for your volunteer slot(s). Don’t see a time slot that works for you? Contact Kelly Visser at

Thanks in advance for making this our most successful state fair to date and helping the 98 percent of Iowans who don’t farm grow relationships with those who do!

Ankeny, IA — The summer issue of the Iowa Soybean Review is now online and in mailboxes! This issue looks at the future of soybean production with a focus on profitability, featuring thoughts from Iowa soybean farmers and stories on new uses, emerging markets, water management and ISA's ag awareness efforts.

On the cover, readers will see Brent Swart, an ISA director and farmer from Spencer who believes it will be important to maintain good farmer leadership in agricultural associations in order to ensure a successful future.

Olin, IA — Farmers are invited to attend the Iowa Soybean Association’s 4R Field Day at the Darin Stolte farm at 304 Rose Ave, Olin, IA 52320 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (registration will begin at 9:30 AM). RSVP by Aug. 1.

The goal of the field day is to show farmers and landowners ways to maximize profitability while conserving and improving soil health and water quality. The 4Rs of nutrient management — Right Source, Right Time, Right Rate, Right Place — will be discussed as well as in-field and edge-of-field practices that reduce nutrients entering water bodies. The field day is free, and lunch is provided.

North Liberty, IA — Plan to attend the ISA’s "Making Soil Conservation Profitable" event on Aug. 20. Learn the benefits of soil and water conservation practices from farmers, landowners, agronomists, and peer-to-peer discussions. 

The event will be at Hills Bank, 590 W. Forevergreen Road, North Liberty from 9:45 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The event is free and includes a catered lunch from LJ's. Sponsored by: Iowa Soybean Association, Next Generation Ag Advocates, Hills Bank, and Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance

Registration is limited to 75 people. RSVP by Aug. 10.

Nevada, IA — Plan to attend the Iowa Soybean Association event "Making Soil Conservation Profitable" on Aug. 30. Attendees will learn the benefits of soil and water conservation practices from farmers, landowners, agronomists, and peer-to-peer discussions. The event will be held at Couser Cattle Company, 20408 620th Ave, Nevada from 9:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event is free and includes lunch, catered by the Story County Cattlemen. Sponsored by: Iowa Soybean Association, Hertz Farm Management, and Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance. Registration is limited to 75 people. RSVP by Aug. 20.

Washington, DC — The United States could impose new tariffs on China “if we want,” President Donald Trump said Tuesday, warning there’s a “long way to go” in sealing a trade pact as the Chinese drag their feet on a commitment to American farmers.

“They are supposed to be buying farm products. Let’s see whether or not they do,” Trump told his Cabinet at a White House meeting. China agreed to buy agricultural products in exchange for a pause on levies against $300 billion in imports. “I wish they didn’t break the deal that we had,” Trump said.

According to Archer Daniels Midland Co., one of the world's largest agricultural commodities traders, the trade war will change forever the way the world's top importer buys its soybeans.

The tariff spat, which has already shrunk American soybean exports, could mean China will try to reduce its dependence on the U.S. soybeans by improving their own yields and sourcing it from other countries, said Ray Young, chief financial officer at Archer Daniels Midland.

Chicago, IL — Large U.S. grain merchants Cargill Inc.and Archer Daniels Midland Co have reached a deal to swap some of their grain elevators in the U.S. Midwest in a deal expected to close later this summer, both companies said last week.

The deal includes a sale by Cargill of its Mount Vernon and Evansville, Indiana, elevators on the Ohio River to ADM. In return, ADM will sell its Beardstown, Naples and Keithsburg, Illinois, elevators along the Illinois River to Cargill, representatives from both companies said.

ADM and Cargill did not release financial terms of the deal. Both companies, among the largest grain merchants in the world, said the swap would increase efficiencies and fit both companies’ long-term strategies.

Washington, DC — Fewer than 150 employees of the Economic Research Service and National Institute of Food and Agriculture have agreed to move to the Kansas City region, where their agencies are being relocated, according to USDA.

Late Tuesday afternoon, a USDA spokesperson told Agri-Pulse 72 ERS employees and 73 NIFA employees had agreed to move, and 250 — 99 from ERS and 151 from NIFA — had declined. Monday was the deadline by which employees had to decide whether they would relocate. They are required to report to work Sept. 30.

The two agencies have about 480 employees currently, according to union representatives. Seventy-six ERS employees and 21 NIFA employees will remain in Washington, D.C.

The spokesperson said the declinations include employees who did not provide a response. “We expect these numbers may fluctuate until Sept. 30,” USDA said, because “employees are free to change their status until that date.” The department said it would “implement an aggressive hiring strategy to maintain the continuity of ERS and NIFA’s work.”

Washington, DC — The House Judiciary Committee on July 11 passed a bill that will help more family farmers avoid liquidation or foreclosure, allowing them to stay in operation. The Family Farmer Relief Act of 2019 (H.R. 2336) would raise the Chapter 12 operating debt cap from $4.1 million to $10 million.

The tremendous challenge of record nominal farm debt and poor economic conditions has led many farmers to seek Chapter 12 bankruptcy as a debt relief and restructuring option. Though Chapter 12 has been a help to many family farmers, its $4.1 million debt limit kept many more from using it.

The Family Farmer Relief Act of 2019 alters the definition of “family farmer” under Chapter 12 of the bankruptcy code as it pertains to the total liabilities threshold to qualify as a “family farmer.” By raising the level of total liabilities to $10 million, the bill would address several problems plaguing small and midsize farms across the country.

For media inquiries, please contact Katie James, ISA Public Relations Manager at or Aaron Putze, ISA Communications Director at

For permission to republish articles or to request high-res photos contact Aaron Putze at Iowa Soybean Association | 1255 SW Prairie Trail Pkwy | Ankeny | IA | 50023 | US

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