Are You Ready for Weed Resistance?

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 Farmer Elected Livestock Group President

An Illinois soybean and livestock producer and secretary of ISA/Illinois Soybean Program Operating Board last week was elected president of the Illinois Livestock Development Group (ILDG). Rob Shaffer, El Paso, Ill., believes the position will help soybean farmers strengthen ties with their number one customer; animal agriculture. Shaffer hopes to raise the awareness level of and encourage support for animal agriculture in Illinois. More livestock mean more jobs and taxes and a better basis for corn and soybean prices. He says that ISA's number one priority for the current fiscal year is the animal agriculture industry, which includes hogs, poultry, dairy and beef cattle and aquaculture. ILDG says the Illinois livestock industry has been shrinking, while the industry grows nationwide, noting in the past 10 years that Illinois livestock receipts fell from $2.3 to $1.7 billion. ILDG, as a coalition of commodity representatives, understands the economic and social impact that the decline has on the entire state. ILDG's mission is to, "promote, develop and facilitate strategies to increase livestock production in Illinois."
 

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.
 

ISA/ISPOB Seeks Farmers Interested in At-Large Director Positions

ISA is making notice that applications are available for farmers interested in becoming candidates for at-large director positions representing the Illinois Soybean Program Operating Board (ISPOB) and ISA. Two of the six at-large director terms will expire on July 31, 2012. To be eligible to become a candidate, each person must be an affected soybean farmer residing in Illinois and of legal voting age. More information can be obtained by calling 888-826-4011. ISA will provide more details and seek candidates for open ISA district elections at a later date.
 

Application Deadline Near for Illinois Ag Leadership Program

Applications are now being accepted for the Illinois Agricultural Leadership Program (IALP) Class of 2014. The 16th class will begin the leadership education and training in September 2012. Applicants should be men and women ages 25-49 as of the date of application; work full-time in production agriculture or ag-related occupations; be U.S. citizens or permanent residents and Illinois residents; have demonstrated leadership qualities and potential; and commitment to attend all seminars, including travel. The class is limited to a maximum of 30. Individuals will be selected based on leadership potential, commitment to leadership and diversity in representing agriculture. Applications are available at the IALP website.
 

Apply to See the Checkoff in Action for Yourself

Illinois soybean farmers can apply for the United Soybean Board's (USB) See for Yourself (SFY) program. The free program will enable 10 U.S. soybean farmers to witness for themselves how soybeans are used in animal feed at home and abroad, in biodiesel, in fish farming, and even as a mainstay in a school-lunch program. Interested Illinois soybean farmers may complete the application now through March 30 on theUSB website. The weeklong program, to be held July 29-Aug. 4, 2012, also will enable farmers to meet industry representatives using soy and those helping lead the checkoff.
 

Checkoff Encourages Fairs to Use Soybeans to "Go Green"

USB wants more fairgoers to see the wide variety of soy-based products put to good use this year. The national soybean checkoff plans to deliver that message though its Green Ribbon Fairs reimbursement program, aimed at encouraging fairs across the country to promote and use soy-based products. Through the annual program, now in its second year, town, county, state and regional fairs compete to be reimbursed for using and promoting soy-based products on their fairgrounds year-round, as well as during fairs. Soy-based products that could be used include paints, insulation, ink, biodiesel, hand sanitizers, cleaning and maintenance products, dust suppressants and more.Applications for the Green Ribbon Fairs reimbursement program will be accepted until Monday, Feb. 6. Participants in the 2012 program will be notified in mid-March. Interested fairs can contact USB for more information.
 

New Agro-Terrorism Brochure Now Available

According to a 2011 Associated Press article, Kansas Senator Pat Roberts believes that the threat of agro-terrorism is real and "the effects of such an attack would be devastating." Defined by Oxford Dictionaries as "terrorist acts intended to disrupt or damage a country's agriculture, especially the use of a biological agent against crops or livestock," agro-terrorism poses a real danger to the U.S. food supply. To help raise awareness of the issue among agricultural industry stakeholders, the Illinois Agro-Security Working Group developed a new educational brochureon the topic. The brochure features information such as indicators, signs and symptoms of illnesses, and how to report suspicious activities.