Time to Nominate Soybean Varieties for 2012 VIPS

Did you grow a high-yielding, high-quality soybean variety last year, or are you interested in learning more about available varieties? Nominate varieties onlineby February 28, 2012, to be included in the 2012 Variety Information Program for Soybeans (VIPS). Researchers from the University of Illinois and Southern Illinois University Carbondale will test varieties nominated in 13 plots throughout the state, measuring yield, evaluating disease resistance and adaption to local weather patterns, and analyzing protein and oil levels. Data are compiled online into an unbiased resource to help farmers choose varieties with the most potential for the next season. Farmers may nominate six varieties -- up to three from two different maturity groups common to their areas. VIPS is funded by the Illinois soybean checkoff.
 

Register Now for Weed Resistance Meetings

Weed resistance is a growing threat to soybean yields. ISA, along with industry partners Monsanto,Dow AgroSciences and BASF, will host three Illinois Weed Resistance Preparedness Training meetings next month to help soybean farmers prepare, defend and defeat the growing threat. The Weed Resistance Preparedness Training meetings will feature university researchers discussing weed resistance history and management techniques specific to Illinois. Other agenda items include a panel of farmers who will share their first-hand experience with resistant weeds, and an industry tech panel who will focus on the latest tools and technologies to help growers build their own strategic defense plan. Meetings will be held Feb. 21 at the Holiday Inn in Mt. Vernon, Feb. 22 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Bloomington, and Feb. 28 at the Clock Tower Resort in Rockford. All attendees must pre-register, as space is limited. For more information on the meetings call 309-808-3603.
 

Illinois Soybean Summit to Focus on Increasing Yields, Profitability

ISA is hosting the first-ever Illinois Soybean Summit, "Reaching Beyond Yield Obstacles," at Illinois State University's Bone Student Center on March 9, 2012. The conference, which is funded in part by the Illinois soybean checkoff, will encourage participants to examine and explore various soybean management techniques that can lead to higher yields and greater profitability. Packed with valuable learning and networking opportunities, the agenda includes three renowned keynote speakers ֠John Baize, Kip Cullers and John McGillicuddy ֠six breakout sessions, a farmer panel and an on-site trade show. All attendees are eligible to win door prizes, including the grand prize drawing of a 27" LCD TV. Registration is limited to the first 350 growers, agronomists, farm managers and crop consultants who sign up by the February 23 deadline. Additional details are available online.
 

Pork Producers Recognize 2012 Award Winners

The Illinois Pork Producers Association (IPPA) recently recognized several individuals who have contributed time and effort toward improving the pork industry in Illinois. Very Important Pork Promoters (VIPP) winners were nominated by county organizations and other pork producers and selected by a committee of producers. The 2012 IPPA award winners are Distinguished Service Award, Dr. Bob Easter, former dean of the University of Illinois College of ACES and interim chancellor; Illinois Pork Producer Family of the Year, Scholl Family Farms, Polo, Ill.; and Pork Promoter of the Year, Bill Fisher, Pesotum, Ill.
 

Conservation Groups Honor Indian Creek Watershed Project

The Livingston County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) board honored the Indian Creek Watershed Project Steering Committee members and sponsors at its annual meeting in January for the project's innovative approach to addressing water quality concerns. Led by Livingston County SWCD and the Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC), the Indian Creek Watershed Project will show the effectiveness of conservation practices implemented on Indian Creek farms and how they affect water quality. Organizers aim to determine water quality changes over six years, as producers continue to adopt comprehensive agriculture conservation systems. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other partners will monitor water quality in the watershed to document and determine if conservation practices are making a difference. The Illinois soybean checkoff is one of the sponsors of the project.
 

ASA Addresses Proposed Transportation Legislation

American Soybean Association (ASA) President Steve Wellman last week issued a statement regarding the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee moves to mark up the American Energy & Infrastructure Jobs Act of 2012. Wellman noted, "...ASA applauds the proposal, which included multiple soybean farmer priorities, including the renewal of an agricultural harvest time exemption from the hours-of-service rules that limit the number of hours truck drivers may operate, as well as the chairman's proposed inclusion of provisions enabling states to allow increased truck weight limits if an additional axle is used. ASA is disappointed with efforts to block provisions to allow increased truck weight limits. ASA also is encouraged the proposal includes stated support for the Realize America's Maritime Promise Act, which will ensure sufficient funding for dredging of inland waterways and port maintenance activities...Our industry and agriculture as a whole need reliable and modern roads and highways, rail infrastructure, inland waterways and ports to ensure that American farmers can move their products to market as quickly and efficiently as possible...Steps taken are productive ones toward this ultimate goal."
 

ASA Pleased Regulators will Revisit Child Labor Rules

In response to the U.S. Department of Labor's recent decision to re-examine draft rules that relate to youth working on farms, ASA President Steve Wellman noted, "ASA is pleased the Department of Labor has agreed to re-write onerous draft rules that would have negatively affected the ability of youth to work on family farms and gain agricultural experience...ASA supports efforts to ensure that children are kept out of potentially hazardous situations in the farm workplace. We also know on-farm experience is a great teacher and part of the rural tradition that has made our country and farm
families strong."