Soy Briefs10/31/2019 | Livestock, Soybean News, Economics
The Iowa Soybean Association wants to hear from you
The Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) is seeking feedback from Iowa soybean farmers through its annual farmer survey.
“ISA values your input,” says ISA president Tim Bardole, who farms near Rippey. “This is your association and your opportunity to help shape the future of the organization, so it can continue to serve you effectively.”
The survey, which will take farmers about 12 minutes to complete, will be distributed through various online channels over the next few weeks. As a token of appreciation, ISA will draw the names of 50 survey-takers who will win a $10 Amazon gift card.
"We take our responsibility to serve soybean farmers seriously,” says Aaron Putze, ISA director of communications and external relations. “Feedback from our members is important. Hearing from farmers in the field helps us tailor our efforts and offerings to better serve them."
ISA has emphasized farmer opinion surveys since 2012 as a way to gauge sentiments from the field and the association’s performance on critical issues.
Iowa Soybean Association seeks nominations for Leadership Awards
The Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) seeks to recognize outstanding leadership from farmers and industry professionals actively advancing Iowa agriculture and the Iowa soybean industry. Nominations are open until Nov. 17. Winners will be recognized at the ISA annual conference in January.
“The annual awards ceremony is a valuable way to thank those who work tirelessly for our industry,” said ISA President Tim Bardole. “I know it’s a busy time of year, but I encourage farmers to think about who would be deserving of some recognition.”
To nominate a deserving leader, explain why the nominee deserves recognition in 150 words or fewer. Include the nominee’s name, hometown, phone number and e-mail. Submit all nominations to Lauren Houska at email@example.com. Find out more about each award at the link above.
Project to provide farmers in North Raccoon River watershed conservation resources
Agriculture’s Clean Water Alliance (ACWA), a group of Iowa ag retailers collaborating to improve water quality, is working on an ambitious three-year project to provide farmers in the critical North Raccoon River watershed information and incentives to spur the adoption of conservation practices, such as cover crops, bioreactors and saturated buffers.
As part of its $2.6 million North Raccoon Farm to River Partnership Project, the ACWA has also funded a conservation specialist for the first time in its 20-year history.
The ag retailer group, working in conjunction with the Iowa Soybean Association, hopes to eventually fund several more conservation specialists as it continues its efforts to promote conservation and improve water quality, said Harry Ahrenholtz, who chairs the organization of ag retailers that operate in the Raccoon and Des Moines river watersheds.
New grant will help scientists study how cover crops affect plant disease
Alison Robertson, a professor of plant pathology and microbiology at Iowa State University, will lead a portion of the experiments as part of a much larger project awarded a $10 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative. The overall project includes around 100 scientists at 35 institutions and will seek to develop new tools to improve sustainability, profitability and efficiency in agriculture by enhancing the effectiveness of cover crop-conservation tillage systems for commodity crops such as corn, soybeans and cotton.
“It’s really exciting because we found these results in Iowa, but we don’t know what’s happening in the rest of the country. Do farmers need to worry about this in Florida or Texas, Kentucky or Ohio, for instance? We’re going to try to answer that question,” says Robertson.
Gov. Reynolds signs proclamation easing propane delivery rules
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a proclamation temporarily suspending certain regulatory provisions pertaining to hours of service for the delivery of propane. The proclamation is effective Nov. 1, and will expire at midnight on Nov. 30.
Early winter weather conditions, late harvest, and high demand for petroleum products throughout the Midwest have resulted in low supplies of propane. The proclamation temporarily suspends provisions of Iowa Code § 321.449 pertaining to hours of service for crews and drivers delivering propane.
Protecting the RFS: The Trump Administration's Abuse of Secret Waivers
The Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change of the Committee on Energy and Commerce held a legislative hearing on Oct. 29 in the Rayburn House Office Building titled "Protecting the RFS: The Trump Administration's Abuse of Secret Waivers."
"The Renewable Fuel Standard is about much more than the 15 billion gallons of ethanol that Congress required to displace gasoline in the nation’s fuel tank," said witness Gene Gebolys, President and CEO of World Energy. "As of 2016, Congress established that all growth in the program would come from advanced biofuels like biodiesel and renewable diesel."
Gebolys represented the National Biodiesel Board and the biodiesel industry during the hearing.
"An analysis conducted at the University of Illinois found that small refinery exemptions issued over the past several years slashed demand for biomass-based diesel by 2 billion gallons, with the economic damage expected to reach $7.7 billion overall," Gebolys testified.
House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis hears from agriculture
House lawmakers are searching for ways farmers can help address climate change. A hearing on Oct. 30 focused on the potential benefits of improving soil health and increasing soil carbon.
The U.S. House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis has launched a formal request for information as it drafts policy recommendations for Congress. The committee is slated to submit legislative recommendations to Congress in March of 2020 and a final report by December. It requests feedback by Nov. 22. The committee’s questions for stakeholders are posted at climatecrisis.house.gov/inforequest.
Committee moves bipartisan bill to expand CFTC’s reach
A bipartisan bill advanced by the House Agriculture Committee on Wednesday would give the Commodity Futures Trading Commission authority to keep pace with new technology and pursue market fraud and manipulation taking place outside the United States.
The reauthorization bill, which was approved on a voice vote, also includes provisions aimed at deterring the European Union from trying to regulate U.S. futures markets.
The bill “helps strengthen our financial market infrastructure and makes it more resilient. It also combats fraud and promotes cooperation among regulators,” said House Agriculture Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn.
JBS USA Begins $20M Expansion to Iowa Plant
JBS USA began a $20 million expansion to its Ottumwa facility on Oct. 23. The expansion will increase capacity in the bacon division, adding six new production lines, a new smokehouse and create 25 new jobs at the facility.
“We’re thrilled about this expansion — what it means for us, and what it means for [Ottumwa],” said Tom Lopez, president of JBS’s prepared foods division. “It just makes me hungry for more bacon.”
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