Soy in the City Visits Chicago’s Millennium Park

The ISA checkoff program Soy in the City initiative set up a life-sized board game in Millennium Park near Cloud Gate, aka “the bean,” in downtown Chicago April 20.  The game connected Chicago consumers with ISA farmers and partners to show consumers the impact soybeans have on their daily lives. The event focused on ways soybeans contribute to the city, such as biodiesel fueling city and school bus fleets.  To see more, check out #SoyintheCity from @ilsoybean on Instagram.

ISA Delivers Biodiesel Education to Fuel Distributors

The ISA checkoff program is working with MEG Corp this year to host fuel distributor workshops throughout the state.  During these workshops, fuel distributors learn the basics of biodiesel, including proper storage, handling and use of biodiesel, identifying common filter issues and overall best practices for tank maintenance.  The main goal is to help fuel distributors and their farmer customers prevent general fuel handling and storage problems that may be incorrectly attributed to biodiesel.  Three workshops have been held so far, reaching more than 50 fuel distributor staff members and customers.

Marshall County Sow Farm Hosting Open House April 26

The new Sandy Creek Lane sow farm near Wenona, Ill., will showcase how they use technology to provide the best comfort and care for their pigs April 26 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  The farm is at 1169 County Rd. 2800 E., north of Wenona.  The event includes a free pork sandwich, chips and drink for visitors.  This farm will contribute more than $2 million to the local economy and increase local demand for soybean meal.  For more information or directions, contact Lindsey Henson or Laura Temple.

New Guide Offers Environmental Tips for Illinois Livestock Farmers

Illinois livestock farmers have a new resource to help them better understand environmental regulations and improve environmental performance.  The free “Resource Guide to the Illinois EPA Livestock Rules” is available in swine, beef and dairy versions.  The guide helps clarify and simplify Illinois EPA Livestock Rules and identifies Best Management Practices (BMPs) for livestock farms.  They are offered through the collaborative work of the Illinois Agricultural Coalition which includes the Illinois Beef Association, Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Milk Producers’ Association and Illinois Pork Producers Association.  Farmers may contact any of these organizations to request a free copy.

Enter the 2017 Yield Challenge and Find Your Edge

Illinois soybean farmers are encouraged to “find their edge” with the 2017 Yield Challenge contest that kicked 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 for 2017.  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. Podcasts Available on SoundCloud

From agronomics to conservation and more, soybean farmers now can access 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.

Spring Nitrogen Management Webinar and MRTN Updates Available

The Nutrient Research & Education Council (NREC) hosted a webinar on spring nitrogen management featuring funded research updates from Emerson Nafziger, Ph.D., University of Illinois.  The Illinois Maximum Return to Nitrogen (MRTN) site has also been updated with the results of recent rate trials and features a new map of Illinois.

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 contain 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.  

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SCN and SDS - two soybean pests worthy of your attention.