Better Beans Series Wraps Up in Southern Illinois Next Week

The Better Beans series will be in Fairview Heights, Feb. 22, for the last stop on its winter tour. If you are looking for focused, in-depth solutions for issues on southern Illinois ground, plan to attend. Growers and influencers can discuss local soybean management issues. Save your spot here.

Final Resilient Farmer Roadshow Events in Southern Illinois

Through price swings, weather concerns and everything else farmers face, some farmers achieve better profits than average. Join ISA, University of Illinois professor Gary Schnitkey, FBFM and other financial experts for a “Resilient Farmer Roadshow—Building Habits to Be a Successful Risk Manager,” Feb. 20 in Effingham and Feb. 21 in Mt. Vernon. Click here for more information and registration details.

Feb. 23 is Deadline for USB Nomination Applications

The Illinois Soybean Board (ISB) is looking for farmers interested in filling one of Illinois' four director positions with the United Soybean Board (USB). Lynn Rohrscheib, soybean farmer from Fairmount, Ill., is eligible for another term. Any soybean farmer affected by the soybean checkoff is eligible to serve. To be considered, farmers must complete the required application and "Agreement to Serve" statement and return them to ISA office by Feb. 23, 2018. The ISB Board of Directors will submit to USDA a "first preferred choice nominee" and "second preferred choice alternate" for the open position. The Secretary of Agriculture will make final appointments, and the chosen individual will begin serving a three-year term in December 2018. Each individual appointed is eligible to serve a total of three terms. Download the documents here or contact the ISA office for information at 309-663-7692.

Help Lead Soybean Industry with the ISA Board

ISA will have five director positions open when the current fiscal year ends Aug. 31, 2018. The process for district director elections officially begins in April 2018. Districts with openings are District 10, representing Christian, Dewitt, Macon, Moultrie and Shelby counties; District 16, representing Clay, Edwards, Lawrence, Richland, Wabash, Wayne and White counties; and District 17, representing Jackson, Jefferson, Perry, Randolph and Washington counties. The process for at-large director elections is officially underway. Two nominees from the application pool will be elected by a majority of soybean farmers in attendance at the annual meeting, Aug. 1, 2018, in Champaign, Ill. No write-in provision exists for at-large directors. For more information, contact Angel Terrell.

Winter Webinars Offer Valuable Soybean Management Tips

ILSoyAdvisor is offering a series of virtual learning experiences. Coming next week is What We’ve Learned from Nitrogen-on-Beans Research, Feb. 21, at 10:30 a.m. Tim Smith from Cropsmith and Fred Below, Ph.D., from the University of Illinois, will discuss their research on applying nitrogen on soybeans, when it makes sense to use it, the optimal timing and application rates and what role soil plays in providing additional nitrogen. One CEU in nutrient management is available. Register here. Soil Health, Soil Respiration and Nutrient Cycling will take place Mar. 7 at 10 a.m. Will Brinton of Wood End Laboratories will explain the importance of various soil tests and how they relate to overall soil health and productivity. One CEU in soil and water management is available. Register here. The Role Cover Crops Play in Soil Health session is slated for Mar. 21 at 10 a.m. Learn about the benefits of cover crops from Scott Wohltman of La Crosse Seeds. Wohltman also will discuss how growers can integrate cover crops into their operation. One CEU in soil and water management is available. Register here.

Foodie Partnerships Connect Food to Farmers

Illinois Farm Families and Momma Cuisine, a Chicago-area cooking personality, partnered to create three cooking videos representing a variety of commodities – pork belly tacos, edamame corn salsa and slow cooker chili. She posted the recipe videos on her site, The videos had “pop-outs” of several facts about farmers and the food they grow that contributed to each recipe. The videos have been viewed more than 12,000 times.

Consider the Membership Options for Illinois Soybean Growers

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 the ISG office at 888-826-4011 for more details and to join or renew. 

Join ISG’s Political Action Committee Today   

Illinois soybean farmers are invited to join 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 issues that matter most to them. ISGPAC helps nurture those relationships and keeps key contacts in office where they work for the industry's best interests. Visit ISGPAC.

ASA Hires Ryan Findlay as New CEO

The American Soybean Association (ASA) has hired Ryan Findlay as its new chief executive officer. Findlay replaces Stephen Censky, who left ASA in October 2017 after his confirmation as Deputy Secretary of Agriculture. Findlay is a native of Caro, Mich., where his family still farms row crops. He earned a degree in political science from Western Michigan University and an MBA from Northwood University in Midland, Mich. The last four years Ryan has worked for Syngenta, focusing on freedom-to-operate issues affecting farmers. A seven-year tenure with the Michigan Farm Bureau prior to that included work on two farm bills, international trade, climate change and regulatory issues.

Learn to Use Data to Benchmark Your Farming Operation

In a series of webinars sponsored by the United Soybean Board (USB) and ASA, soybean farmers can understand how new technology and effective data management can help improve farm sustainability. The first webinar is Feb. 19 at 1 p.m. with speaker Joe Luck, associate professor of biological systems engineering and precision ag engineer at the University of Nebraska. Reserve a spot by registering here. The entire series will be recorded to allow farmers access for future reference and information.

Students Interested in Biodiesel Research Can Earn $2,000 Grant

The National Biodiesel Foundation has established a new grant to help deserving full-time students interested in science, research and biodiesel sustainability. The award will help future scientists explore the possibilities with America’s advanced biofuel. If awarded the grant, students commit to participate in the Biodiesel Sustainability Workshop and related activities, scheduled Sept. 26-27 in St. Louis. Full eligibility requirements and criteria are available on the grant home page. Interested students can apply here by March 31. The grant winner will be announced April 30.

Women Farmland Owners Invited to Learning Events

American Farmland Trust will sponsor three learning circle events for Illinois women farmland owners. Topics include soil health, watershed care and conservation practices. Full details and registration is available here. Events will be held March 1 in Chicago, March 7 in Saunemin and March 8 in Springfield.  

Add Your Input on Soil Health Practices

Farmers are invited to add their voices to soil health research by participating in a quick survey to measure perceptions and habits about soil fertility. Questions on the Northern Illinois University Department of Geographic and Atmospheric Sciences survey center around farming practices, tillage habits, use of cover crops and perceptions of soil health. Find out more and add your input here.

All Dicamba Applicators Need to Attend Training

Based on an October ruling by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all private and commercial applicators of dicamba must be trained on proper application. Several training sessions are available throughout the state over the next several weeks. Each class will last approximately 90 minutes and participants will receive a certificate for recordkeeping purposes. By the end of this week, Illinois will have over 7,000 applicators trained to apply dicamba to soybeans in 2018. We've completed over 80 classes and have about 55 more on the calendar. Sign up to attend near you.

U.S. Sets Pork Export Volume Record in 2017

The U.S. exported 2.45 million metric tons of pork in 2017, breaking the 2016 record by six percent, according to data compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Those exports accounted for 26.6 percent of U.S. pork production. Much of this growth was driven by Mexico, where the ISA checkoff program supports a USMEF pork promotion campaign. Pork exports to South America increased 57 percent in volume from 2016, another region where the ISA checkoff program contributes to pork promotion. Illinois ranks fourth in the U.S. in pork production, consuming 74 percent of the soybean meal fed in the state and translating these exports into local soybean meal demand.

ILSoyAdvisor Tweet of the Week

The seven habits of successful farmers: Here’s how it started. Check out the tweet here. Follow @ILSoyAdvisor for daily updates.