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Soy Briefs

Article cover photo
Flood waters cover the road and agriculture fields in Fremont County near the small town of McPaul in southwest Iowa. (Photo: Joseph L. Murphy/Iowa Soybean Association)

Soy Briefs has a new look. Click the underlined header to read more on each brief.

A letter from the President
Tim Bardole assumed the role of Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) President during the September meeting of the Iowa Soybean Association Board of Directors.

Bardole has been farming for 29 years. Along with his father, brother and son, he operates a no-till/strip-till soybean and corn operation and also raises hogs near Rippey. Bardole introduces himself and touches on some of the challenges facing Iowa soybean farmers in his first ISA President’s Letter.

Southwest Iowa farmers still under water
ISA member Leo Ettleman and other Missouri River farmers are concerned that heavy rains this week will prolong the flooding they have dealt with for more than six months.

"It doesn't look like it's going to end any time soon with the amount of water we have north of us because of the heavy rains," says Ettleman, who raises soybeans near Sidney. "Even the ground that doesn't have water standing on it is just saturated."

Harvest prep underway in Iowa
While some Iowa farmers have started harvest, others are weeks away. A rain delay in much of the state this week is the perfect opportunity to chip away at a to-do list.

ISA District 9 Director Pat Swanson, a farmer and crop insurance agent from Ottumwa, shares some things to think about as it relates to this year’s crop and ISA On-Farm Network Director Scott Nelson provides a to-do list of considerations when preparing for harvest this year.

Access to skilled workforce, global markets priorities for Iowa manufacturers, farmers
The state of manufacturing and business is strong in Iowa. But just like farming, threats are always present. They include global economic gyrations and political unrest to regulatory uncertainty and tight labor market. How do these issues intersect with Iowa agriculture? How do the priorities of Iowa manufacturers align with those of the soybean industry? What opportunities exist to increase manufacturing jobs and off-farm employment?

These are just a few of the topics I discussed with Mike Ralston, President of the Iowa Association of Business and Industry (ABI), during a recent conversation at the organization’s headquarters in downtown Des Moines.

October issue of the Iowa Soybean Review now online
Domestic and international animal agriculture add significant value to the U.S. soybean crop. Explore the intersections of livestock and soybean production in the October issue of the Iowa Soybean Review.

Watch the entire series of The State of Soy now
International trade, food labeling, livestock production, water quality, agricultural policy — all topics discussed in ISA's video series, The State of Soy. Watch each episode and join the discussion today.

Gov. Reynolds signs overweight loads proclamation for fall harvest
Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a proclamation this week allowing the transportation of oversize and overweight loads of grain for 60 days during the harvest season. 

This proclamation allows vehicles transporting corn, soybeans, hay, straw, silage and stover to be overweight (not exceeding 90,000 pounds gross weight) without a permit, for the duration of this proclamation.

This proclamation applies to loads transported on all highways within Iowa (excluding the interstate system) and those which do not exceed a maximum of 90,000 pounds gross weight, do not exceed the maximum axle weight limit determined under the non-primary highway maximum gross weight table in Iowa Code § 321.463 (6) (b), by more than 12.5 percent, do not exceed the legal maximum axle weight limit of 20,000 pounds and comply with posted limits on roads and bridges.

The Iowa Department of Transportation is directed to monitor the operation of this proclamation to ensure the public’s safety and facilitate the movement of the trucks involved in our state's harvest.

The proclamation went into effect 12:01 a.m. on Oct. 1 and will expire at 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 29, 2019. 

Crop insurance discounts available for farmers who plant cover crops
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig announced this week that farmers who plant cover crops this fall may be eligible for a $5 per acre reduction on their spring 2020 cash crop insurance premiums. To qualify, the cover crop acres cannot be enrolled in other state or federal cover crop cost share programs. Farmers who were unable to plant a cash crop this year and utilized a cover crop to protect fields in 2019 are still eligible for the discounted insurance premiums.  

“All Iowans have a role to play in improving water quality in our state and downstream,” said Secretary Naig. “Cover crops are proven to reduce nutrient loads and improve soil health. As part of the Nutrient Reduction Strategy, our goal is to have at least 14 million acres of cover crops planted in the state of Iowa. This program represents just one of many funding sources available to help farmers add conservation practices to their fields.”

Planting rye or oat cover crops helps improve the health of the soil and prevents erosion, especially during high-intensity rainfalls. Cover crops are also proven to reduce nitrogen loads by 28-31 percent and phosphorous loads by 29 percent, which helps improve water quality, according to the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy Report compiled by Iowa State University,

China buys U.S. soybeans as part of tariff-free quota ahead of trade talks
Chinese firms bought up to 600,000 metric tons of U.S. soybeans on Monday for shipment from November to January as part of a tariff-free quota allotted to the importers to buy up to 2 million metric this week, Reuters reports.

Monday's purchases come ahead of high-level U.S.-China trade talks, due to begin next week, aimed at ending a nearly 15-month trade war that has slashed U.S. agricultural exports and rattled global markets.

Between two and 10 cargoes of about 60,000 metric tons of soybeans had already been sold, the sources said. One source said buyers included both private and state-owned firms.

Seyfert hired to manage policy team in new DC soybean office
The American Soybean Association (ASA), just months shy of its centennial anniversary, will begin this milestone year by implementing several strategic decisions made by grower-leaders to move the organization forward. One key transition, effective Oct. 1 with the commodity organization’s new fiscal year, is a D.C.-based government affairs office comprising independent ASA staff rather than policy consultants.

Washington veteran Christy Seyfert will join ASA’s senior leadership team Oct. 21 as executive director of government affairs and will work hand in hand with soybean grower-leaders from across the country and ASA’s chief executive officer to direct and implement policy strategy and manage ASA’s policy staff.

NBB, ASA ask Commerce Secretary Ross for meeting before final decision on Argentine biodiesel duty rates
The National Biodiesel Board and American Soybean Association sent a letter to Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross on Tuesday, requesting he meet with the groups before the U.S. Department of Commerce finalizes its review of countervailing duties on biodiesel imports from Argentina. The letter notes that Ross met with the Government of Argentina after issuing a preliminary decision in the review but has not yet met directly with U.S. biodiesel producers.

"Since Commerce issued the preliminary results in the review on July 9, our multiple requests to schedule a meeting with you have gone unanswered," the groups write. "We still hope that you can provide us the same courtesy that you provided to representatives of the government of Argentina and meet with us."

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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