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Soy Briefs

Article cover photo
Results from the ISU Land Value Survey issued this week showed a 2.3% boost over 2018. (Photo: Joseph L. Murphy/Iowa Soybean Association)

JUMP-START 2020 GROWING SEASON AT FEBRUARY ISA RESEARCH & RESULTS FORUMS
Goal setting is a hallmark of successful farming operations and often accompanies the start of a new year. Farmers can add greater productivity, profitability and sustainability to their list and devise plans to accomplish them by attending one of four “Research & Results Forums” in February hosted by the Iowa Soybean Association.

“The ISA research team and the farmers we work with learned a lot during the challenging 2019 growing season,” says Ed Anderson, the association’s director of research. “Now, we have the opportunity to present the results and information to farmers seeking to improve their operations. We can’t wait to have those conversations while inviting them to work with us on future projects, trials and programs.”

Forums will be held Feb. 4 (Buena Vista College, Storm Lake), Feb. 11 (AgriVision Equipment, Red Oak), Feb. 18 (Hills Bank, Washington) and Feb. 25 (FFA Enrichment Center in Ankeny). Each forum will run 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.

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IOWA LAND VALUES UP 2.3%
Favorable interest rates, strong yields and limited land supply provided support to lift land values in Iowa. Results from the Iowa State University (ISU) Land Value Survey, issued this week, propped the state’s average land value 2.3% over 2018 to $7,432 per acre. The $168-per-acre increase over 2018 represents the second time in six years Iowa farmland value increased since the peak at $8,716 per acre in 2013.

“This recent rise is largely attributable to lower interest rates, limited land supply, strong yields, and to some extent the trade aid payments to farmers,” said Wendong Zhang, Iowa State University assistant professor of economics and ISU Extension Economist. “On the other hand, the magnitude of this increase only slightly outpaced inflation, and we are still faced with low commodity prices and trade uncertainty.”

CHINA BUYS U.S. SOYBEANS AFTER FRESH ROUND OF TARIFF WAIVERS
Chinese importers bought at least two cargoes of U.S. soybeans after receiving another round of tariff-free quota for U.S. shipments on Tuesday, traders in both countries said.

The sales, the first since Washington announced an interim trade deal with Beijing last week, may also be China's last large U.S. purchases before newly harvested soybeans from top supplier Brazil begin hitting the market next month, traders said.

A U.S. trader confirmed that two cargoes, or about 120,000 tonnes, were sold on Tuesday. A second U.S. trader said four cargoes were sold, and a trader in China said at least six vessels, or more than 400,000 tonnes, were booked.

MARKET FACILITATION PROGRAM SIGN-UP EXTENDED
The deadline for Market Facilitation Program (MFP) applications is tomorrow, Friday, Dec. 20. This was a two-week extension from the original Dec. 6 deadline. Bill Northey, farm production and conservation undersecretary at USDA, said the dates were extended because of prolonged and extensive weather impacts this year.

USDA PREPARES FOR MORE DISASTER AID
The Senate today is expected to give congressional approval to the two massive spending packages that will fund the government for fiscal 2020 and avoid a shutdown on Friday, reports Agri-Pulse. Bill Northey, USDA’s undersecretary for farm and conservation programs, says he’s studying provisions in the FY20 domestic spending bill that authorize $1.5 billion in new disaster funding for 2018 and 2019.

“There’s some additional authorities … for excess moisture and drought included in this bill,” Northey said.

The disaster provisions allow payments for quality losses and also for farmers who faced shorter periods of drought than required under the existing disaster program. The original $3.05 billion in disaster funding passed in June has proven inadequate.

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.

Gov. Reynolds said, “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.”

THREE MUST-HAVES TO GIFT YOUR FARMER THIS HOLIDAY SEASON
Still looking for the perfect Christmas gift for the farmer near you? Look no further than these three useful, convenient gifts recommended by southwest Iowa farmer and gift-giving extraordinaire, Aimee Bissell. Have gift ideas you think a farmer would love? Contact Katie James at kjames@iasoybeans.com.

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