Soybean Weekly Update

March 14, 2019

Soy and Biodiesel Benefits with Steaming Hot Coffee

On Wednesday, soybean farmers and other representatives of the ISA checkoff program met with dozens of Illinois state legislators, including State Senator Bill Cunningham (D-Chicago), and other government officials at the State Capitol Building in Springfield. Flavorful soy lattes were served while Illinois soybean farmers shared with legislators and staff some of the benefits of biodiesel as a fuel option. See who visited with ISA on our Facebook page.

ISA Facilitates Pivotal Step toward Sustainable Tuna Production

Global popularity of tuna consumption has resulted in overfishing of wild tuna species, such as the Pacific bluefin tuna, which is now at just three percent of its original population. To address this challenge, a collaborative effort is developing sustainable solutions to bolster the tuna supply. A new grant from the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) augments ongoing support from the ISA checkoff program and will allow Ichthus Unlimited, LLC to establish a hatchery in the San Diego Bay area. This will be the first tuna hatchery in North America and the third bluefin hatchery in the world. For the past three years, Ichthus Unlimited has led ISA-funded research to develop sustainable soy-based diets for tuna. Feeding large quantities of wild-caught baitfish like sardines is environmentally unsustainable. Nutritionally dense soy improves feed conversion rates, reduces waste and improves meat quality.

National Biodiesel Day is March 18

National Biodiesel Day is an opportunity to recognize the state’s leadership in biodiesel production. Illinois is one of the largest biodiesel-producing states, making up to 171 million gallons of biodiesel annually. National Biodiesel Day is celebrated each year on March 18, the anniversary of Rudolf Diesel’s birthday. Diesel invented the diesel engine, which originally ran on peanut oil. Today’s biodiesel is a cleaner-burning, high performance fuel, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions and brings significant economic and environmental benefits to Illinois.

ISB Seeks Qualified Candidates for District 9 Vacancy

The Illinois Soybean Board (ISB) is seeking applications from qualified candidates to fill the District 9 board seat vacancy that includes the counties of Cass, Logan, Mason, Menard, Morgan and Sangamon. The current term for this board seat expires in July 2020 at which time the director may choose to run for two additional three-year terms. Eligibility requires candidates be Illinois residents of legal voting age that contribute to the soybean checkoff and are residents within the district. Applications can be downloaded here or requested by email from Dustin Scott or Stephen Sostaric. Completed applications are due via email to both Scott and Sostaric by noon CDT, March 29, 2019. Candidates will participate in conference call interviews with the full board starting at 7 a.m., April 3, 2019. Contact Scott or Sostaric with questions.

Take the USB Rural Broadband Survey

Reliable broadband internet access is becoming more important as farmers embrace new technologies. How well-connected is your farm? How does your accessibility impact the technology you use? The United Soybean Board wants to hear from you. Take the survey.

ISA Supported 2018 Pork Exports

Last year’s pork export volumes were just 0.5 percent below the 2017 record, accounting for more than 25 percent of production. That’s despite challenges due to retaliatory tariffs. Pork exports to Mexico, where the ISA checkoff program supports pork promotions through the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), held up fairly well despite trade policy. Pork exports to Korea, Japan, Columbia, Chile, Peru and Central America also grew. Pork production uses about 77 percent of the soybean meal fed in Illinois, and exports grow this market.

Bring Soil Back to Life

One-quarter to one-third of all arable land on Earth has been taken out of production due to soil degradation. This phenomenon has led to the erosion of civilizations throughout history, according to David Montgomery. Read about the role soil erosion has played in history and how to stop history from repeating itself in modern times in the latest blog from ILSoyAdvisor. Get the latest local, in-season actionable advice on

USDA-NASS Makes Crop Reporting Program Changes

USDA’s National Ag Statistics Service (NASS) has announced changes to its reporting, following the agency’s recent program review. For soybeans, there will be published yield and production forecasts in August. NASS will use the agricultural yield survey in August but not the objective yield survey, which includes field counts and measurements. The ag yield survey uses farmer yield projections from their farms. The objective yield survey will be used in September, October and November but with smaller sample sizes than in previous years. The agricultural yield survey will continue to be used in September, October and November, as well as August.

Dicamba Training Still Available This March

BASF and Corteva Agriscience have added more dicamba training sessions through the end of March, as well as online classes. Training is required for those planning to apply dicamba this spring. For more information and upcoming training sessions click here.

Watch for ISA District Director Information in April

ISA board seats representing districts 3, 4, 6, 8, 15 and 18 are up for election this year. John Longley (District 3), Sharon Covert, (District 4), Dale Asher (District 8) and Daryl Cates (District 15) will all term off the board during ISA’s July 2019 meeting in Champaign, Ill.  Jim Martin (District 6) and Rick Rubenacker (District 18) are eligible for re-election. 

  • District 3: Henderson, Henry, Mercer, Rock Island, Stark, Warren and Whiteside
  • District 4: Bureau, Grundy, Kendall and LaSalle counties
  • District 6: Livingston, McLean and Woodford counties
  • District 8: Adams, Brown, Hancock, McDonough and Schuyler counties
  • District 15: Clinton, Madison, Monroe and St. Clair counties
  • District 18: Alexander, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Johnson, Massac, Pope, Pulaski, Saline, Union and Williamson counties

The ISA board is comprised of 18 district directors and six at-large directors. Eligibility to serve requires candidates be Illinois residents of legal voting age that contribute to the soybean checkoff. District candidates must be residents in the district sought to represent.

Board members serve a term of three years, and are eligible for up to two terms.  The average board member devotes 30 days per year attending functions representing ISA. Official notice for district directors will be announced by the Illinois Department of Agriculture and ISA in April.

Be Informed. Stay Connected.

Did you know anyone can be an ISA informational member? It’s a free way to stay connected to all things associated with growing Illinois soybeans - from production practices to advocacy efforts. For more information, contact Andrew Larson.

Join ISG’s Political Action Committee and Make a Difference

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 way to talk with legislators about key issues. ISGPAC helps nurture those relationships and keeps key contacts in office where they work for the industry's best interests.  Visit ISGPAC.

ILSoyAdvisor Tweet of the Week

A positive step forward in SCN research as Iowa State scientists sequence the pest's genome See more tweets from @ILSoyAdvisor and follow along on Twitter.