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Soy Briefs

Article cover photo
The sights, sounds and scents of autumn in Iowa come together to create an irresistible fall issue of the Iowa Food & family Project's Fresh Pickings magazine. (Illustration by Ashton Boles/Iowa Soybean Association)

Fresh Pickings fall issue brings to life the sights, sounds and scents of autumn
More than 100,000 food and health-minded Iowans discovered the latest issue of Fresh Pickings magazine in their mailboxes and email inboxes this week. Now in its third issue, the Iowa Food & Family Project (Iowa FFP) publication makes farm life more accessible, interesting and relevant to Iowans through engaging editorial and stunning photography.

Readers are introduced to a family that’s passionate about raising pigs, crops and community; learn how farmers are leveraging soil science to maximize production and care for the land; follow an apple across the farm-to-fork chain at Center Grove Orchard and see the Beagle Brigade’s role in protecting the U.S. food system.

Fresh Pickings magazine, published quarterly, is available at no cost at Iowa-based Earl May Nursery & Garden Centers and MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center locations and will be distributed at Iowa FFP events (while supplies last). Readers can also view the publication online and request a mailed subscription at

Iowa Crop Progress and Conditions Report: Sept. 30–Oct. 6
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig today commented on the Iowa Crop Progress and Conditions report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. The report is released weekly from April through November. 

“Harvest is off to a slow start since much of the state received heavy rainfalls this weekend,” said Secretary Naig. “We need several consecutive days of dry conditions and seasonal temperatures to give farmers time to make significant progress in their fields.”

Ninety-two percent of the soybean crop has begun coloring or beyond, 2 weeks behind last year and 10 days behind average. Sixty-eight percent of the crop has begun dropping leaves, 15 days behind last year and 10 days behind average. Five percent of soybeans have been harvested, 12 days behind average. Soybean condition rated 64 percent good to excellent.

Agriculture‐Related Provisions of the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement
The United States and Japan signed the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement on Oct. 7. One of the Trump Administration’s most important goals was to get an early deal with Japan that would enable American farmers, ranchers, and agribusinesses to remain competitive in the face of other countries having preferential tariffs in the Japanese market.  This agreement opens markets and will support expansion of U.S. food and agricultural exports, increase farm income, generate more rural economic activity, and promote job growth.

Nationwide, U.S. food and agricultural exports totaled nearly $145 billion in 2018, supporting more than one million American jobs. Global demand for these products is growing but so is competition among suppliers. When implemented by Japan, American farmers, ranchers, and agribusinesses will be able to compete on an even playing field with CP-TPP countries for many of the products that the United States exports into the Japan market.

Japan’s $5.0 trillion economy is the third largest in the world, and a trade agreement between the United States and Japan is of particular importance, since Japan is already the United States’ fourth‐largest agricultural export market.

Read remarks by President Trump at the signing of the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement and U.S.-Japan Digital Trade Agreement.

U.S. corn exports remain dismal, but soy shipments lifted by China
U.S. soybean exporters had a record fourth quarter and corn shipments slumped to a six-year low. But overseas demand for U.S. corn is starting off the new marketing year on an even worse note, while the soybean market hopes for renewed Chinese business.

The United States exported 4.93 million tonnes of soybeans in August, a record for the month and the third consecutive monthly record, according to data published on Friday by the U.S. Census Bureau. That put shipments in the fourth quarter of 2018-19 some 19% above last year’s record for the period.

China buys more U.S. soybeans, record volume of pork ahead of trade talks
Chinese importers stepped up purchases of U.S. agricultural goods ahead of high-level trade talks in Washington, including another wave of soybean deals and the country’s record largest weekly purchase of American pork, U.S. data showed on Thursday.

Private exporters sold 398,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans to China, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported via its daily sales reporting system that tracks large purchases. It was the second daily “flash sale” of soybeans this week to the world’s top soybean importer.

USDA also confirmed a net 1.18 million tonnes in soybean sales to China in the week ended Oct. 3 and record-large sales of pork, including 18,810 tonnes for shipment this year and 123,362 tonnes for shipment in 2020.

The flurry of deals came ahead of high-level U.S.-China trade talks in Washington that started on Thursday aimed at ending a 15-month trade war that has rattled global markets and slashed U.S. farm product exports to the world’s top commodities importer.

Good Farm Neighbor Award nominations open
The Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award recognizes Iowa livestock farmers who take pride in doing things right and go above and beyond as environmental stewards and animal caretakers. It is an opportunity to tell the story of responsible livestock farming in Iowa, and highlight the families who make it so successful.

Nominees must meet four criteria:

  1. Family operation
  2. Active in their community
  3. Producer livestock or poultry to the highest animal care standards
  4. Dedicated to conservation and/or environmental stewardship on their land

Click the link above to nominate a deserving farmer or farm family by Nov. 15.

FMC partners with Iowa Soybean Research Center at Iowa State University
FMC has joined the Iowa Soybean Research Center at Iowa State University as an industry partner. In this role, FMC will have a representative on the ISRC’s industry advisory council, which provides guidance on research priorities for the center.

“FMC will be a great addition to the collaborative efforts that the center is engaged in to support the needs of Iowa soybean farmers through innovative agronomic and discovery research,” said Ed Anderson, senior director of research for the Iowa Soybean Association and chair of the Iowa Soybean Research Center’s industry advisory council.

The center is a formal collaboration of industry partners, the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) and Iowa State’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Together, representatives from ISA and the industry partners make up the ISRC’s Industry Advisory Council. Current industry partners include BASF, Bayer, Cornelius Seed, Corteva Agriscience, FMC, GDM and Syngenta.

For media inquiries, permission to republish articles or to request high-res photos, please contact Katie James, ISA Public Relations Manager at © 2020 Iowa Soybean Association. All rights reserved.