Illinois Ag Responds to the Price of Pork

This week, the Chicago Tribune released an animal welfare series focused on pork production in Illinois. Months ago, the Illinois Pork Producers Association (IPPA) chose to work with the investigative reporters to provide balance to their coverage.  Unfortunately, their voice didn’t come through clearly in the article series.  The Illinois agriculture industry is working together to monitor reactions and respond to the article.  ISA continues to share content from Illinois pig farmer Phil Borgic on the #RealPigFarming blog, Facebook page and Twitter account, covering food safety, stewardship and employees from a different perspective than the Tribune series, as well as blogs from Illinois Farm Families like The Cruelest Thing I Saw On a Hog Farm.  ISA has been working closely with IPPA, Illinois Farm Families and other state and national partners to support the Illinois pig industry, which consumes 74 percent of the soybean meal fed here.  Contact Amy Roady or Jayne Godfrey for additional details about the ag industry response or for resources to help you answer questions or direct conversations.
 

Provide Input on Illinois’ Long-Term Transportation Plans

ISA serves as a leading member of the Department of Transportation Illinois State Freight Advisory Council (ISFAC), and has been asked to help generate input on the state’s long-term transportation plans to forecast future needs.  The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) would like feedback on the goals of the Long Range Transportation Plan for Illinois.  Please take a couple of minutes to offer input within the short survey.  Each response will help IDOT invest resources wisely.  Take the survey here.
 

Cover Crop Survey Reflects Enthusiasm for the Soil-Saving Practice

A recently released industry-supported cover crop survey includes insight from 2,020 farmers from across the country and reflects enthusiasm for cover crops.  The average acres of cover crop planted per farm is growing from 298 acres in 2015 to 339 acres in 2016.  For the fourth year in a row, farmers have found a yield boost in corn and soybeans following cover crops.  Download the full survey report here.
 

NRCS Authorities Add Gypsum to List of Conservation Practices

Crop farmers in a growing number of states may be eligible for financial assistance from the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to amend soils with gypsum.  The benefits of using gypsum include improving soil health and surface water quality.  Specific guidelines for Illinois can be found in NRCS’ Field Office Technical Guide by looking within Section IV.  In most cases, financial assistance for applying gypsum is available through conservation programs such as Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) or other water quality grant initiatives in at-risk watersheds and locations.
 

Illinois Water Resources Center (IWRC) Constructed Wetlands Video

The Illinois Water Resources Center (IWRC) has completed a video on constructed wetlands to support Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy (NLRS) implementation.  This is a sister video to the bioreactor video completed earlier this year.  View and download the video here.
 

NCSRP Elects New Leadership

Earlier this week, the North Central Soybean Research Program (NCSRP) Board received project and state staff updates, and held its annual elections.  NCSRP is a farmer-led organization that invests soybean checkoff dollars in research with regional implications. Twelve state soybean associations actively participate and fund NCSRP including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. The NCSRP board meets three times annually to review, fund and track regional soybean research in collaboration with the United Soybean Board (USB) and member state soybean associations.  ISA District 10 director Jered Hooker from Clinton represents ISA on the NCSRP Board, and Linda Kull, ISA research director also attended.
 

Becks Hybrids Hosts Field Shows

Becks is showcasing its Practical Farm Research (PFR) work being conducted at six different farms in the Midwest by hosting thousands of farmers this month at Becknology Days.  Upcoming locations and dates are Colfax, Iowa, 11250 Federal Ave., Aug. 9; Downs, Ill., 22797 US Hwy 150, Aug. 11; and Atlanta, Ind., 6767 E. 276th Street; Aug. 25-27.  Show hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. local time and include lunch.   
 

Upcoming Webinar: Strategies for Finishing out the Soybean Season

Mike Wilson, Soy CCA Envoy and specialty products marketing coordinator with Wabash Valley Service Company, will lead a webinar Aug. 10 from 10-11 a.m.  He will explain why managing soybeans through Labor Day can help increase yields, as well as profitability.  Register here.
 

Attend a Soil Health Field Day in August

The Soil Health Partnership is providing Illinois farmers several field days through September at locations around the state.  Upcoming dates include Aug. 8 in Altamont, Ill.; Aug. 15 in Hudson, Ill.; and Aug. 19 in Assumption, Ill.  Featured topics include cover crop management and machinery set-up, conservation tillage methods, advanced nutrient management, a soil pit to observe crop root growth and soil properties, and an update on water quality.  More information, dates and registration details are here.
 

Organizations Seek Conservation Legacy Award Nominees

Farmers who want to share their successful conservation management practices are eligible to apply for the Conservation Legacy Award.  Entries are judged on soil management, water management, input management, farmstead protection and conservation and environmental management.  Three regional winners and one national winner are selected.  Award winners receive an expense paid trip for two to Commodity Classic, March 2-4, 2017, in San Antonio, a feature about the farm and conservation practices in Corn & Soybean Digest and a special online video.  The Conservation Legacy Award is sponsored by the American Soybean Association, BASF, Corn & Soybean Digest, Monsanto, United Soybean Board/soybean checkoff and Valent.  More information is available here.  Applications are due Sept. 2, 2016.
 

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Tweet of the Week

"The middle of the plant is where 2/3 of your yield comes from. Fertilizing in front gets you more pods here."  - Willoughby  #FieldDay #ILSoy