Feed Research Shows Promise for Sustainable Tuna Farming

The possibility of truly sustainable tuna aquaculture is closer to reality due to a recent breakthrough in feed formulation research.  Results were presented at the Offshore Mariculture Conference in Ensenada, Mexico, last month by Alejandro Buentello of Ichthus Unlimited, LLC.  The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) checkoff program funded the feed research to test various soy-based diets for use in tuna farming and ranching.  The new diet is significantly better for the environment, as the floating feed can be better monitored and uneaten feed can be retrieved.  It’s nutritionally dense, requiring less volume, and is projected to be almost twice as economical as baitfish.  The soy diet also is avidly consumed by the tuna.  A video, “Feeding Bluefin,” summarizing the research project and its potential impact on protecting endangered wild tuna stocks, can be viewed on YouTube.
 

Sandy Creek Lane to Host Open House April 26

The new Sandy Creek Lane will showcase their 5,600-head sow farm near Wenona, Ill., April 26 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  The open house will highlight farrowing, breeding and gestation to help the community understand the farm.  This barn increases local demand for soybean meal, as does animal ag expansion throughout the state.  For more information or directions, contact Lindsey Henson or Laura Temple.
 

Farmer Input Needed for Cover Crop Survey

USDA’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Agency (SARE), the Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC) and the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) are conducting a 2017 Cover Crop Survey.  All Illinois soybean farmers are asked to take the survey, whether cover crops are used on the farm or not.  The survey can be found at this link.
 

Find Your Edge with 2017 Yield Challenge

Soybean farmers will once again be encouraged to “find their edge” with the 2017 ILSoyAdvisor.com Yield Challenge contest kicking off this month.  Farmers can enter the 100-Bushel Challenge, Crop District Contest or Side-by-Side Contest.  New this year is a Double-Crop Yield Contest.  There is no early entry form nor entry fee.  Details can be found here.
 

May Webinar to Address Crop Nutrition and Tissue Testing

Jason Haegele from WinField United will explain the basics of tissue testing, including nutrient uptake and interaction, sampling methods, sufficiency levels and how to interpret results, in an ILSoyAdvisor webinar, May 3 from 10-11 a.m.  One CEU in crop management is available. Sign up here.
 

ILSoyAdvisor.com Podcasts Available on SoundCloud

From agronomics to conservation and more, soybean farmers now can access ILSoyAdvisor.com podcasts, including Profitability Radio segments.  The podcasts are posted on SoundCloud—a free, easy-to-use online platform with no downloads or installation required.  Listen to podcasts here.
 

Farmers may Access Free Sites to Test Field Tile Water

Water testing sites are open across the state, offering free, confidential nitrate testing for anyone who brings in a sample.  The results represent nitrogen concentration in the water.  With an estimate of water volume flow, the data can be interpreted to indicate total nitrogen loss from the drained acreage.  Find upcoming water testing events here
 

Promote Biodiesel on Earth Day

April 22 is Earth Day, providing a great opportunity to promote biodiesel.  When compared with petroleum diesel, biodiesel reduces greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50 percent.  B20 Club member Village of Oak Park will hold Earth Fest that day, to educate residents about the municipality’s green initiatives, including B20 use.  The B20 Club, which is funded by the ISA checkoff program, is among the event’s sponsors.  The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) has created an Earth Day Social Media Toolkit to help farmers promote biodiesel in their social media networks.  The kit is found here.  NBB is funded in part by the United Soybean Board and state checkoff programs, including ISA’s.
 

Become Involved: Participate in ISG’s Political Action Committee

Illinois soybean farmers are invited to participate in the Illinois Soybean Growers Political Action Committee (ISGPAC).  ISGPAC provides farmers with strong involvement in political races, and a direct pipeline to tell legislators about the issues that matter most to Illinois farmers:  transportation efficiency, expanding animal agriculture, worldwide market access support, biodiesel, trade, energy, taxes and ag research.  Farmers directly can support legislators who take a leadership role on soybean priorities and policies.  ISGPAC helps nurture those relationships and keeps key contacts in office where they work for the industry's best interests.  Visit ISGPAC or contact Judy Smith at 309-808-3612.
 

Request Petitions Now for District Director Elections

Petitions are available for growers interested in running for open director positions with the Illinois Soybean Board (ISB).  Petitions can be obtained from the Illinois Department of Agriculture, local University of Illinois Extension offices and the ISB office.  Petitions must be filed by May 15, 2017.
 
Six Illinois districts will hold director elections this year:
District 1:      Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, Winnebago
District 5:      Fulton, Knox, Marshall, Peoria, Putnam, Tazewell
District 7:      Ford, Iroquois, Vermilion
District 9:      Cass, Logan, Mason, Menard, Morgan, Sangamon
District 12:    Calhoun, Greene, Jersey, Macoupin, Pike, Scott
District 13:    Bond, Fayette, Marion, Montgomery
 
Due to the tenure provision, as specified in the soybean checkoff program, the director in District 13 (Gary Berg, St. Elmo, Ill.), is not eligible for re-election.  The directors presently serving in District 1 (Paul Rasmussen, Genoa, Ill.), District 5 (Stan Born, Dunlap, Ill.), District 7 (Tom Kentner, Danville, Ill.), District 9 (Carrie Winkelmann, Tallula, Ill.) and District 12 (Roberta Simpson-Dolbeare, Nebo, Ill.) are each eligible to serve another three-year term. To be eligible to serve as a director, a candidate must be an Illinois resident and a resident grower of the district he or she seeks to represent, of legal voting age and be a contributor to the soybean checkoff. Petitions filed with the Illinois Director of Agriculture must contrain signatures of at least 250 or five percent, whichever is less, of the qualified producers from the same given district in which the candidate is seeking office.
 
Any person deciding to run as a write-in candidate must also meet eligibility requirements, and submit a Declaration of Intent form to the Illinois Director of Agriculture no later than 5 p.m., June 30, 2017. Elections will be held at county extension offices in the districts where vacancies exist on July 6, 2017.
 
 

Consider Membership Program Options

To bring farmers the most value possible, Illinois Soybean Growers has two membership options: policy membership and informational membership.  Membership in ASA is included with both options.  Contact Judy Smith at 309-808-3612 or 888-826-4011 for more details and to join or renew.  
 

Tweet of the Week

The 2016 crop didn't just break records, it also jumped in quality. Read more here: http://bit.ly/2ozT40T.