Videos Explain Benefits of Livestock Diversification

A series of five short videos created through the ISA checkoff program highlight the benefits and first steps for diversifying a farm with livestock.  Segments from the full video feature barn location, financial considerations, contracts, nutrient management and animal care and will be posted on ISA’s Facebook page and Twitter feed.  New livestock and poultry barns become new markets for Illinois soybean meal.
 

NBB Lodges Complaint Against Biodiesel Imports

The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) is encouraging the U.S. government to impose anti-dumping duties on imports of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia.  Last year, 90 percent of Argentine biodiesel exports went to the United States.  Peru, another buyer of Argentine biodiesel, has already placed tariffs based on dumping complaints.  A hearing will be held next month to evaluate NBB’s request.
 

ISA Profitable Habits Project Wins Risk Management Grant

Profitable Habits, a 2016 ISA checkoff program-funded research project looking at habits of highly successful farmers, has been awarded a $50,000 grant from the North Central Extension Risk Management Education Center.  The grant will be used for a series of local meetings about profitable farming habits, as well as a related website and brochures.
 

Meet the 2017 CCA Soy Envoys

The ISA checkoff program is once again partnering with the Illinois Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) program to provide local recommendations throughout the season through the ISA Soy Envoy program.  The Envoys will contribute regular content through ILSoyAdvisor.com, with the goal of increasing yields and profits, while minimizing environmental impact.  Learn more here.
 

ISA Set to Kick Off 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.
 

Influencers Confident about Biotechnology After Monsanto Tour

Illinois Farm Families recently took more than 20 dietitians, food company representatives, bloggers and alumnae City Moms to Monsanto’s research facility in Chesterfield, Missouri.  During the tour, guests had a guided experience with staff members and a Q&A panel discussion with Monsanto’s biotech experts and farmers, including ISA director Roberta Simpson-Dolbeare.  The effort effectively answered questions and addressed concerns about biotechnology.  Following the tour, 81 percent of guests were “not very or not at all concerned” about GMOs and biotechnology, and 91 percent were “somewhat or very confident” Monsanto acts in the public’s best interest regarding new technology use in agriculture.
 
ISA Shares Biotech and Sustainability Consumer Outreach Success
ISA checkoff program representatives attended the Center for Food Integrity (CFI) North American Leaders Session on Agricultural Technology and Innovation this week.  Attendees focused on improving biotechnology and sustainability outreach to consumers.  ISA shared recent successes in these areas, including the Illinois Farm Families Monsanto tour and ISA's outreach to state non-governmental organizations (NGOs) like Growing Power and Chicago Wilderness.
 

Spring Nitrogen Management Update Available

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

ILSoyAdvisor May Webinar Talks 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.
 

Petitions Available 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-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

Wondering how to understand a soil test report? @ChadwithBecks shares how here:  http://bit.ly/Soiltestreport