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Soy Briefs

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Governor Kim Reynolds has declared August as a time to celebrate all things soy! Iowa farmers account for 14.5 percent of the nation’s annual soybean production and their hard work contributes to Iowa communities’ vitality and economic prosperity. (Photo: Joseph L. Murphy/Iowa Soybean Association)

Ankeny, IA — The Iowa Soybean Association joined Gov. Kim Reynolds on Tuesday, July 30 to once again proclaim August as Soybean Month. ISA celebrates Soybean Month through continuing its commitment to soybean farmers and their industry.

The proclamation acknowledges the 42,000 soybean farmers in the state of Iowa and the more than 565 million bushels they harvested in 2018, earning the nation’s No. 2 ranking in soybean production.

With an annual soybean crop valued at more than $5 billion, there’s plenty of reasons to celebrate Soybean Month in Iowa:

  • Iowa produces more than 14 percent of the nation’s annual soybean production.
  • Soybean products are found in everyday household items such as vegetable oil, ranch dressing and peanut butter.
  • Iowa soybean farmers have invested more than $40 million in research and conservation efforts.
  • Iowa soybean farmers provide a primary feed ingredient for livestock and poultry farmers.

While ISA celebrates soybeans year-round, August is a timely reminder to invite others to celebrate. One million fairgoers will have the opportunity to see just how big soybeans are in Iowa during this year’s Iowa State Fair. Attendees will see the presence of soybeans and soybean farmers through several interactive activities on fairgrounds:

  • Ag Building and Animal Learning Center: Soybean farmers will be in the Ag Building Aug. 8 and 15 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. to share insights about the soybean industry and answer questions about production, environmental stewardship and trade. ISA also helps to sponsor the popular “Thank a Farmer” magic show which happens several times each day on the state at the Animal Learning Center.

  • Little Hands on the Farm: Little Hands on the Farm teaches children the importance of agriculture and how it affects their daily lives in a fun and interactive way. 

  • Biodiesel Powering the Fair: ISA and Iowa’s home-grown biodiesel will also power the state fair trams, raising awareness on the importance of this biofuel. Biodiesel is America’s first Advanced Biofuel. It’s renewable, clean-burning and reduces America’s dependence on imported diesel.

  • Farm to Fair: On Friday, Aug. 16, nearly 100 farmers will welcome 400 guests as they gather around the largest dinner table ever set at the Iowa State Fair. The ISA is proud to help sponsor this unique event where farmers will share how food is grown and makes its way from the farm to the fair.

  • Iowa Food & Family Project: The 2019 Iowa Food & Family Project (Iowa FFP) Iowa State Fair display will showcase the artwork in agriculture and celebrate the collaboration, color and creativity of farming! More than 250,000 fairgoers are expected to visit the booth and gain perspective on modern agriculture in Iowa.

To join in on the celebration, stay tuned on our social media channels all month as we showcase just how BIG soybeans are in Iowa!

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Ankeny, IA — The Chair of the Iowa Biodiesel Board and a farmer leader from the Iowa Soybean Association today requested the Environmental Protection Agency reconsider its proposed requirements for biodiesel under the federal Renewable Fuel Standard. Testifying at an EPA hearing in Ypsilanti, Michigan, IBB joined the National Biodiesel and its members in asking EPA to increase the 2021 Biomass-based Diesel volume by 330 million gallons, to 2.76 billion gallons. They also asked that EPA increase the advanced biofuel and overall standards for 2020 by 500 million gallons, to 5.5 billion for 2020.

In his testimony, Dave Walton, a farmer from Wilton, Iowa, who serves as a director for ISA and IBB, said:

“When EPA considers available feedstock for biodiesel production, you should know that we have a record carryover of soybean stocks...projected to remain at 795 million bushels at the end of the 2019/2020 marketing year. That equates to more than a billion gallons of potential biodiesel. We have the capability to meet feedstock needs for a growing RVO, and now is the time to secure higher volumes through the RFS.

“The Administration must understand that a feeble RFS has a ripple effect. This proposal is yet another blow, with farm income already down by 50 percent compared to five years ago, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Soybean prices are at a ten-year low.

“While there’s a multitude of reasons why prices farmers are receiving are well below the cost of production, including sharply reduced soybean exports due to the trade standoff with China, several primary factors have been placed upon us by our government’s action or inaction. The retroactive small refinery exemptions are a damaging factor, especially when combined with multi-year stagnant RVOs.

“Importantly, the demand for biodiesel opens other markets for farmers and adds value to our products. Supporting our participation in the energy market through common sense policies like the RFS can help agriculture get back on course.”

Ankeny, IA — Farmers are encouraged to attend one of the many upcoming learning opportunities with the Iowa Soybean Association. RSVP and more information for any fo these events at iasoybeans.com/calendar/.

  • Skillet Creek Watershed Meeting at the Dayton Community Center on Aug. 5.
  • West Buttrick Creek Watershed Meeting at the Paton Presbyterian Church on August 6.
  • Cedar Creek-Twin Cedars Watershed Meeting at the Fire Station in Tracy on Aug. 7.
  • 4R Field Day at the Darin Stolte farm in Olin on Aug. 7. The field day is free, and lunch is provided.
  • Mill Creek Watershed Meeting at the public library in West Branch on Aug. 8.
  • Making Soil Conservation Profitable event on Aug. 20 at Hills Bank. The event is free and includes a catered lunch. 
  • Making Soil Conservation Profitable on Aug. 30 at Couser Cattle Company. The event is free and includes lunch, catered by the Story County Cattlemen.

Washington, DC — Signup opened this week for the Market Facilitation Program (MFP), a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program to assist farmers who continue to suffer from damages because of unjustified trade retaliation from foreign nations. Through MFP, USDA will provide up to $14.5 billion in direct payments to impacted producers, part of a broader trade relief package announced in late July. The sign-up period runs through Dec. 6.

“Our team at USDA reflected on what worked well and gathered feedback on last year’s program to make this one even stronger and more effective for farmers. Our farmers work hard, are the most productive in the world, and we aim to match their enthusiasm and patriotism as we support them,” said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.

MFP payments will be made to producers of certain non-specialty and specialty crops as well as dairy and hog producers. More information can be found on farmers.gov/mfp, including payment information and a program application. Read more about how payments were calculated.

Washington, DC —  On Aug. 12, USDA will release its monthly Crop Production and World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE). This year’s August reports will include more information than ever before, including the resurvey announced in June, satellite data and, for the first time ever, FSA acreage certification information. 

USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) is still calculating how many prevent plant acres are out in farm country. The agency doesn’t have a concrete number on prevent plant acres yet, but they know the current value and pace of prevent plant claims.

“We are right at $458 million in prevent plant claims paid,” said RMA’s Martin Barbre. “That’s up from about $300 million a week ago.”

Read more insights about the upcoming WASDE.

Beijing, China — China’s pig herd could halve by the end of 2019 from a year earlier as an epidemic of African swine fever sweeps through the world’s top pork producer, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

Analysts at Dutch bank Rabobank reported:

  • China’s herd was already estimated to have shrunk by 40 percent from a year ago, well above official estimates which have ranged from 15 percent to 26 percent.
  • Agriculture officials this month launched an investigation of local authorities’ efforts to contain the disease.
  • China’s pork production in 2019 was expected to fall by 25 percent from the previous year, a smaller drop than pig herd loss due to the large number of animals slaughtered in first half of 2019.
  • China’s output of pork will likely drop by a further 10% to 15% in 2020.
  • Production may take more than 5 years to recover to levels prior to the deadly.
  • As many as half of China’s breeding pigs have either died from African swine fever or been slaughtered because of the spreading disease.
  • 200 million pigs out of China’s estimated 360 million could be culled or die due to the disease.

At the same time, U.S. hog farmers have been suffering during the ongoing trade war. They’ve been virtually locked out of the Chinese market as American pork entering China now faces a 62% levy, according to a Reuters analysis of data from the U.S. Meat Export Federation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

As the U.S. and China square off in their latest round of trade talks, one of the topics on the table will be Chinese purchases of agricultural goods. While soybeans have been a commodity making headlines, the world’s two largest economies may actually be able to find some common ground on pork amid the African swine fever epidemic. Iowa pork producers are the No. 1 customer of Iowa soybean farmers, consuming about one out of five rows of soybeans grown in the state.

Jefferson City, MO — The National Biodiesel Board has extended the deadline to apply for matching funds to be used for promotional vehicle wraps through Thursday, Aug. 1. If you power your fleet or vehicles with biodiesel, NBB’s annual Vehicle Wrap Program is a great opportunity to share your commitment to cleaner air. Let your community and customers know that you care about the environment by applying today!

On a first-come first-serve basis as funding remains available, NBB will share half of the actual costs for vehicle decals or wraps promoting biodiesel on diesel vehicles. To qualify, biodiesel users must be recommended by an NBB member. Selection criteria will include parallel promotion commitments, visibility, project scope and potential influence. We invite you to apply now and promote your commitment to America's Advanced Biofuel. Feel free to share this opportunity with biodiesel users you know.

More information about program requirements can be found on the wrap application. Please note that applications are due by August 1 and winners will be notified by August 5, 2019. Contact Melissa Narins, with any questions about the program.

For media inquiries, please contact Katie James, ISA Public Relations Manager at kjames@iasoybeans.com or Aaron Putze, ISA Communications Director at aputze@iasoybeans.com

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

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