Diesel Mechanic Training Overcomes Biodiesel Misconceptions

Diesel mechanics are learning about the benefits of biodiesel in a series of training sessions supported by the ISA checkoff program.  Led by Steve Howell, a nationally known biodiesel expert, the sessions educate diesel mechanics on fuel standards, engine performance and OEM specifications related to biodiesel.  The purpose of the training is to overcome misconceptions so the mechanics don’t blame biodiesel for engine problems.  Two sessions have been held so far in the Chicago area with B20 Club members Village of Oak Park and Forest Preserve District of DuPage County.  Five training sessions are scheduled June 13-15 with the City of Chicago Fleet and Facility Management Group.  Other sessions are in the planning process, including one at a downstate community college and one at Universal Technical Institute in Chicago.  In total, the trainings are expected to reach more than 100 diesel mechanics this year – all designed to increase demand for biodiesel in Illinois.

ILSoyAdvisor to Host July Field Days

ISA’s ILSoyAdvisor program will host two field days in July to connect local growers with soybean experts.  Farmers can attend the July 19 field day at Moore Farms in Roseville, Ill., or the July 20 event at the Southern Illinois University (SIU) Belleville Research Center in Belleville, Ill.  Agronomy experts from Burrus Hybrids, AgriGold, Syngenta, Western Illinois University and SIU will speak about topics critical to soybean success.  Both days run from 7:45 a.m. until 1 p.m.  Registration details are here.

Winter Wheat Harvest Approaching Earlier This Year

An unusual winter leads to the potential for an unusually early wheat harvest in 2017.  With the mild, almost spring-like weather in January and February, the winter wheat crop is well ahead of its normal pace in development.  Read more from ISA Double-Crop Specialist Kelly Robertson here.

USMEF Reports Export Opportunities and Progress

During the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) Spring Conference last week, leaders noted strong exports to countries where the ISA checkoff program supports USMEF projects.  In Mexico, new product development and consumer education efforts continue to bolster per capita pork consumption.  Their pork consumption is expected to rise, but the U.S. must remain proactive.  Mexico is beginning to look elsewhere for affordable protein.  The ongoing Gochipo pork campaign in Japan has helped U.S. pork counter pressure from other countries importing pork to Japan.  Chilled U.S. pork exports set a record in 2016, and several in-store promotions generated strong U.S. pork sales this winter.  Meat exports add value to Illinois soybeans, since animal agriculture is the top customer.

NASS Seeks Farmer Participation in Upcoming Acreage Surveys

From now through mid-June, USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) enumerators will contact several thousand farmers across Illinois to respond to acreage surveys.  Most of the questions in the surveys are devoted to crop acreages, but farmers also will be asked about grains and oilseeds in storage.  Farmers may respond by mail or via the internet.  If you do not respond, NASS personnel will follow up with phone calls and personal visits.  NASS will publish results June 30.  Individual reports from producers are confidential by law, and exempt from the Freedom of Information Act.

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. 

Become Involved: Participate in ISG’s Political Action Committee

Illinois soybean farmers are invited to participate in 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 the issues that matter most to Illinois farmers:  transportation efficiency, expanding animal agriculture, worldwide market access support, biodiesel, trade, energy, taxes and ag research.  Farmers directly can support legislators who take a leadership role on soybean priorities and policies.  ISGPAC helps nurture those relationships and keeps key contacts in office where they work for the industry's best interests.  Visit ISGPAC or contact Judy Smith at 309-808-3612.

Tweet of the Week

Managing soybean cyst nematode is tough, but help may be on the way soon.  Read more from @soyman100 here: http://bit.ly/2qBXXEk.