ISG Applauds USDA for New Use of Checkoff Dollars in Cuba

Illinois Soybean Growers (ISG) is pleased USDA Secretary Thomas Vilsack has announced checkoff funds now can be used for research, information exchange and other efforts in Cuba.  ISG has invested valuable membership dollars to help open up this market, promote Illinois soybeans and to study the Cuban marketplace, culture and people. ISG board members and staff have visited Cuba seven times since 2012, and also lead efforts to inform Illinois legislative and business leaders about the economic value of trade with Cuba.  Checkoff funds can be used for relationship-building and market research activities and to build on existing efforts to leverage knowledge that helps farmers, agribusinesses and food companies market products in Cuba.  Although the U.S. is allowed to export ag products to Cuba, with Illinois exporting the most soybeans, credit policies and the embargo have caused the U.S. to lose market share.
 

ISA Participates in Well-Attended M-PACT Trade Show

ISA directors and biodiesel staff were in Indianapolis, educating energy professionals about the benefits of biodiesel during the Midwest Petroleum and Convenience Tradeshow (M-PACT), March 22-24.  ISA representatives engaged attendees with trivia and prizes at the Illinois soybean checkoff program's “Get Pumped Up” interactive tradeshow booth.  The annual show draws nearly 4,000 attendees including petroleum marketers, transport companies and convenience store operators.
 

Illinois Soybean Summit Videos Available

The Illinois Soybean Summit, which was held in Effingham, Peoria and Rockford, Ill., this winter, gave farmers the opportunity to learn about maximizing soybean yield.  Keynote speakers in Effingham included David Kohl from Virginia Tech University and Nick Paulsen from the University of Illinois.  Keynote speakers in Peoria were Chad Colby from Colby AgTech, Darin Newsom from DTN and Kip Pendleton from The Pendleton Group.  Recorded videos from Effingham are available here, and from Peoria here.  Videos from keynote speakers in Rockford will be posted soon.
 

ISA Encourages Soybean Farmers to Join Animal Welfare Conversations

Animal welfare is a common conversation topic with consumers.  Crop farmers should support livestock farmers – their top customers – by engaging in these conversations as they arise.  For example, buzz around animal welfare issues increased this week due to a USA Today special insert printed in New York, Washington D.C./Baltimore, Houston, Boston and Los Angeles and online March 23.  Although the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) was behind the insert, the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA), a coalition of agriculture groups that includes ISA, placed a full-page ad in the insert supporting today’s farmers.  Where it makes sense, farmers can join the conversation using the hashtag #animalcare recommended by the Animal Ag Alliance and resources on USFRA’s FoodDialogues.com Animal Welfare page or the Center for Food Integrity’s Best Food Facts to answer questions, direct conversations or highlight information via social media.
 

City Moms Tour Cattle Farm, Hear from National Chef

Illinois Farm Families (IFF) City Moms and two dietitians from the Chicago area spent last Saturday visiting Alan and JoAnn Adam’s cattle farm in Sandwich, Ill.  During the tour, moms engaged in conversation with the family about weaning, animal care, antibiotics and the beef market.  After the tour, moms were hosted at DeKalb County Farm Bureau where they watched National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) Executive Chef Dave Zino prepare recipes using beef cuts.  All walked away from the tour with great information and another farm family to use as a resource about food and farming.
 

New Webcast Tracks Weather Variation Effects on Soybean Yields

Greater temperature and precipitation variations, longer-lasting extreme conditions and long-term climate trends have shown to cause considerable soybean yield and monetary impacts.  The Plant Management Network (PMN) has released a new presentation titled “Climate-Induced Reduction in U.S.-Wide Soybean Yields Underpinned by Region- and In-Season-Specific Responses” with Shawn P. Conley, agronomy professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.  The webinar illustrates how climate variation and extreme weather events during the past 30 years have affected soybean crop productivity.  The 12-minute presentation will remain open through April 30 in the Focus on Soybean webcast resource.  To learn about PMN’s latest information, sign up for the electronic newsletter, PMN Update.
 

Last Phosphorus Management Webinar is Next Week

The Illinois soybean checkoff program, Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association and Illinois Certified Crop Advisers have been hosting this month a webinar series, “Rethinking Phosphorus Management.”  Antonio Mallarino, Ph.D., will host the last, “Rethinking Phosphorous Management: Fertilizer Management Practices to Reduce the Loss of Dissolved and Sediment-Bound P from Iowa Fields,” March 29, noon to 1:00 p.m.  Register here.  One continuing education unit (CEU) in nutrient management is available. Farmers also may view the first webinar of the series, “Don’t be a Black-Eyed P: How to Reduce P Loss from Fields,” and the second webinar of the series, “Sustainable Thinking 4R Phosphorus.”
 

Learn More about Sulfur’s Role in Soybean Production

Wesley Haun, agronomist with H.J. Baker & Bro., presented a webinar March 14 about the importance of sulfur in soybean production, describing which portions of the growing process require sulfur.  One CEU in nutrient management is available for viewing the webinar.  Click here.
 

Upcoming ILSoyAdvisor.com Webinar: Boron Nutrition for Soybeans

Nathan Slaton, Ph.D., University of Arkansas professor of soil fertility, will discuss important information for applying boron on soybeans, March 29, from 10 – 11 a.m.  One CEU in nutrient management is available for viewing this webinar.  Click here to register.
 

Stay Informed: Sign Up for Voice for Soy Text Alerts

Have you signed up for Voice for Soy (VFS) text message action alerts yet?  Each time VFS issues an alert, you receive a message on your phone that takes you directly to the alert, allowing you to respond quickly wherever you are and whenever issues arise.  Standard messaging rates may apply. Sign up now.
 

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Tweet of the Week

Managing two soybean pests to optimize yield on #ILSoyAdvisor http://ilsoy.co/1SdrJcT