ASA President Ron Moore from Illinois Provides Farm Policy Testimony

In testimony before the House Agriculture Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management this week, American Soybean Association (ASA) President and Illinois soybean farmer Ron Moore spoke on the need for strong programs within the risk management framework of the nation’s farm legislation.  Moore contrasted the successful farm economic landscape in which the 2014 Farm Bill was written with the more troubling financial situation many farmers find themselves in today.  He called on the committee to make the necessary investments in farm bill programs—including increases where appropriate—so that each can work to its full potential.  Moore’s specific asks included a robust federal crop insurance program and improved Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs that maintain choice for producers and reflect differences between crops and regions.
 

Petitions Available for District Director Elections

Petitions are available for growers interested in running for open director positions with the Illinois Soybean Board (ISB).  Petitions can be obtained from the Illinois Department of Agriculture, local University of Illinois Extension offices and the ISB office.  Petitions must be filed by May 15, 2017.
 
Six Illinois districts will hold director elections this year:
District 1:      Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, Winnebago
District 5:      Fulton, Knox, Marshall, Peoria, Putnam, Tazewell
District 7:      Ford, Iroquois, Vermilion
District 9:      Cass, Logan, Mason, Menard, Morgan, Sangamon
District 12:    Calhoun, Greene, Jersey, Macoupin, Pike, Scott
District 13:    Bond, Fayette, Marion, Montgomery
 
Due to the tenure provision, as specified in the soybean checkoff program, the director in District 13 (Gary Berg, St. Elmo, Ill.), is not eligible for re-election.  The directors presently serving in District 1 (Paul Rasmussen, Genoa, Ill.), District 5 (Stan Born, Dunlap, Ill.), District 7 (Tom Kentner, Danville, Ill.), District 9 (Carrie Winkelmann, Tallula, Ill.) and District 12 (Roberta Simpson-Dolbeare, Nebo, Ill.) are each eligible to serve another three-year term. To be eligible to serve as a director, a candidate must be an Illinois resident and a resident grower of the district he or she seeks to represent, of legal voting age and be a contributor to the soybean checkoff. Petitions filed with the Illinois Director of Agriculture must contain signatures of at least 250 or five percent, whichever is less, of the qualified producers from the same given district in which the candidate is seeking office. 
 

Any person deciding to run as a write-in candidate must also meet eligibility requirements, and submit a Declaration of Intent form to the Illinois Director of Agriculture no later than 5 p.m., June 30, 2017. Elections will be held at county extension offices in the districts where vacancies exist on July 6, 2017.

New Vermilion County Pig Barns Open to Public April 6

An open house will be held for two 4,100-head wean-to-finish pig barns built by Carl and Jody Clark west of Rossville, Ill., on April 6 from 4:30-7:30 p.m.  The farm is at 5586 E. 3550 N. Road.  Visitors will see technology for animal care and environmental stewardship and enjoy a free pork chop sandwich.  As third-generation farmers, the Clarks are diversifying their farm with contract pig production to spread risk and supply manure for crop nutrients.  Carl’s sister, Denise, will help manage the barns. The open house will allow neighbors to better understand raising pigs in Illinois, which consume 74 percent of the soybean meal fed in the state.  For information or directions, contact Lindsey Henson or Laura Temple.
 

Local Processing Plant Expands Poultry Opportunities in Illinois

Petersburg Poultry Processing, a USDA-certified plant, opened late last fall in Menard County, offering custom processing for chickens, turkeys and game birds.  The business, owned by brothers Cavan and Steele Sullivan, includes a certified hatchery for broilers and turkeys.  With the hatchery, processing and niche marketing expertise, they are providing opportunities for more Illinois farmers to raise poultry, which would grow the local market for soybean meal.  Visit www.pppoultry.com for more information.
 

April Webinar to Evaluate Strategies to Increase Yields

AJ Woodyard, technical crop production specialist at BASF, will discuss management strategies for the 2017 soybean season during an ILSoyAdvisor webinar, April 4 from 10-11 a.m.  The presentation is based on research collected at the BASF Midwest Research Farm.  Woodyard will cover planting date, soybean population, maturity group, seed treatment, foliar fungicides and soybean fertility needs.  One continuing education unit (CEU) in crop management is available.  Sign up here.
 

ILSoyAdvisor May Webinar Talks Crop Nutrition and Tissue Testing

Jason Haegele from WinField United will explain the basics of tissue testing, including nutrient uptake and interaction, sampling methods, sufficiency levels and how to interpret results, in an ILSoyAdvisor webinar, May 3 from 10-11 a.m.  One CEU in crop management is available. Sign up here.
 

Illinois Soybean Farmers Support Biodiesel for 25 Years

ISA joined with soybean groups from three other states 25 years ago to create the National SoyBiodiesel Development Board, now the National Biodiesel Board (NBB).  Starting with seven members in 1992, NBB now counts more than 300 companies as its members.  These companies vary from Fortune 100 companies to small, family-owned biodiesel production companies.  The diverse membership base provides strong support for the industry.  Click here for a complete history of NBB.
 

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.  
 

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