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Soy Briefs

Article cover photo
ISA President-elect Jeff Jorgenson says U.S. soybean farmers have a lot of product to move, so the recent progress on the United States-Mexico-Canada agreement is welcome news. (Photo: Joseph L. Murphy/Iowa Soybean Association)

SOYBEAN LEADERS DISCUSS 2019 CHALLENGES AND HOPES FOR 2020
ISA President-elect Jeff Jorgenson discusses the latest on USMCA, status of Missouri River flooding, take-aways from the 2019 growing season and other priority issues impacting soybean farmers and the industry with ISA's Aaron Putze. Listen to the discussion  here.

United Soybean Board (USB) CEO Polly Ruhland sums up 2019 in just two words, speaks to the symmetries between plant- and meat-based protein and shares why she’s optimistic about the soy industry’s future in 2020 and beyond while at this week’s USB meeting in St. Louis. Listen to the discussion  here.

UNITED SOYBEAN BOARD MEETINGS UNDERWAY THIS WEEK
Iowa soybean farmers serving as directors on the United Soybean Board (USB) joined growers from across the country in discussions this week in St. Louis. Topics included progress on stimulating new uses and demand for soybeans, enhancing the soybean industry’s influence on key production and agronomic issues and securing increased demand for meat- and plant-based protein.

Representing Iowa on the USB board: Larry Marek, Riverside; Tom Oswald, Cleghorn; April Hemmes, Hampton; Delbert Christensen, Audubon; and Lindsay Greiner, Keota. Christensen was recognized during the meeting as a retiring director while Greiner was sworn in as Iowa’s newest representative on the board. In addition, Oswald was elected by his peers to the USB executive committee.

AMERICAN SOYBEAN ASSOCIATION MEETINGS ALSO UNDERWAY
Iowa soybean leaders gathered in St. Louis this week to act on issues impacting their profitability – from ramping up biodiesel usage and soybean sales abroad to securing timely approvals of new traits and technologies.

Representing Iowa on the American Soybean Association (from left): Wayne Fredericks, Osage; Dave Walton, Wilton; Steph Essick, Dickens; Morey Hill, Boone; John Heisdorffer (chairman), Keota; and Brian Kemp, Sibley. Heisdorffer completed his year of service as chairman of the ASA board at the meeting’s conclusion Thursday.

TIME IS RUNNING OUT ON THE RFS, AND WE NEED YOUR HELP TODAY
America’s Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is critical to revitalizing struggling farm economies, reducing our dependence on foreign oil, and protecting the climate. But Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) exemptions to oil companies have destroyed demand for billions of gallons of U.S. biofuels. President Trump vowed to restore lost gallons, but the current EPA proposal only accounts for a fraction of the demand destroyed by the agency’s unprecedented use of oil refinery waivers. We MUST demand action NOW before it’s too late.

Click here NOW to add your voice to this important issue. The deadline for signatures is Monday, Dec. 16.

Join us TODAY in calling on President Trump to take action now to reopen biofuel plants and revitalize markets for America’s farmers.

U.S. REACHES IN-PRINCIPLE CHINA DEAL, AWAITS TRUMP SIGNOFF
U.S. negotiators have reached the terms of a phase-one trade deal with China that now awaits President Donald Trump’s approval, reports Bloomberg.

Trade advisers were set to meet with the president this afternonn to discuss the agreement. An announcement could come by day’s end. A White House spokesperson declined to comment.

The terms have been agreed but the legal text has not yet been finalized, according to news reports. The administration has reached out to allies on Capitol Hill and in the business community to issue statements of support once the announcement is made, they said.

U.S. stocks rose and Treasury yields spiked on the news. Earlier Thursday, Trump tweeted that the United States and China are “VERY close” to signing a “BIG” trade deal, also sending equities higher.

USDA TO MAKE $550 MILLION IN FUNDING AVAILABLE IN 2020 TO DEPLOY HIGH-SPEED BROADBAND INTERNET INFRASTRUCTURE IN RURAL AMERICA
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced the availability of a second round of $550 million in United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Reconnect Pilot Program funding appropriated by Congress. The application window for this round of funding is set to open Jan. 31, 2020. Secretary Perdue made the announcement alongside Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds while congratulating the Farmers Mutual Telephone Company of Stanton, Iowa, for receiving $6.4 million in first-round Reconnect Pilot Program funding to connect 477 households, 35 farms and 21 businesses in Montgomery and Page counties.

“This second round of ReConnect funding will help USDA be an even stronger partner in closing the digital divide in America’s rural communities,” Secretary Perdue said. “Our core mission at USDA is to increase rural prosperity through boosting economic opportunity in rural America. We know that rural communities need robust, modern infrastructure to thrive, and that includes having access to broadband e-Connectivity. Under the leadership of President Trump and in cooperation with Congressional appropriators, USDA is proud to partner with rural communities to deploy this critical infrastructure, because we know when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”

Gov. Reynolds added, “Iowa is home to creative entrepreneurs who are driving technological innovation across the heartland. By leveraging local, state and federal resources, we are investing like never before in broadband connectivity and sparking revitalization across rural Iowa. I appreciate Secretary Perdue for being here today to represent the Trump Administration’s unwavering commitment to growing all aspects of rural America.”

USDA LEAVES SOYBEAN NUMBERS UNTOUCHED
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) left soybean and corn stocks largely unchanged from the November estimate in its December World Agriculture and Supply Demand Estimates (WASDE).

U.S. soybean ending stocks are pegged at 475 million bushels, unchanged from the November estimate.

USDA forecast 1.91 billion bushels of corn at the end of the marketing year (August 2020). This is down slightly from the November estimate of 1.90 billion bushels.

U.S. soybean production is forecast at 3.55 billion bushels, also unchanged from the USDA’s November estimate. U.S. corn yield was also left unchanged from the November report at 13.661 billion bushels. The final crop production report for the 2019 crop will be released on Friday, Jan. 10.

MARKET FACILITATION PROGRAM (MFP) SIGN-UP EXTENDED
The USDA will continue to accept Market Facilitation Program applications until Dec. 20,a two-week extension from the original Dec. 6 deadline, Agri-Pulse reports. Bill Northey, farm production and conservation undersecretary at USDA, said the dates were extended because of prolonged and extensive weather impacts this year.

“Because some of our producers are still in the field, time to conduct business at the local USDA office is at a premium,” Northey said. “We hope this deadline extension will allow producers the opportunity to participate in these important programs.”

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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