Weekly Update

Soybean Weekly Update - February 17, 2012

February 17, 2012

Time to Nominate Soybean Varieties for 2012 VIPS

Did you grow a high-yielding, high-quality soybean variety last year, or are you interested in learning more about available varieties? Nominate varieties onlineby February 28, 2012, to be included in the 2012 Variety Information Program for Soybeans (VIPS). Researchers from the University of Illinois and Southern Illinois University Carbondale will test varieties nominated in 13 plots throughout the state, measuring yield, evaluating disease resistance and adaption to local weather patterns, and analyzing protein and oil levels. Data are compiled online into an unbiased resource to help farmers choose varieties with the most potential for the next season. Farmers may nominate six varieties -- up to three from two different maturity groups common to their areas. VIPS is funded by the Illinois soybean checkoff.

Register Now for Weed Resistance Meetings

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 this 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 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.

Illinois Lt. Governor Urges Rural Citizens to Complete Broadband Survey

Illinois Lt. Governor Sheila Simon is urging rural residents to participate in a new online survey about high-speed internet use that she says will help create jobs, improve medical care and enhance educational opportunities. The statewide poll will reach out to households, farmers, businesses and anchor institutions, such as community colleges and hospitals, to learn how they put broadband to use and their needs moving forward. The 20-minute survey includes questions about preferred internet devices and frequent web activities. Simon says it is crucial for rural Illinoisans to complete the survey, as they represent communities that can benefit most from high-speed internet. Nearly one-fifth of the land area in Illinois lacks any broadband access, and eight of 10 counties with the least access to broadband in the state are in southern Illinois. Many users suffer from slow speeds. The online survey is open to the public.

ISA/ISPOB Adds to Accounting Personnel

The ISA and Illinois Soybean Program Operating Board (ISPOB) have added two new accounting staff members. Julie Day has filled the new accounts receivable specialist position. Julie worked the past seven years at the Illinois Corn Marketing Board with membership, remittances and accounts payable. She will oversee ISA/ISPOB's new document management system as it comes online. Erin Bradshaw will fill the new staff accountant position. Erin has more than 10 years of experience in public accounting, including non-profit and agricultural organizations. Her duties will include financial statement preparation, account reconciliation and expense allocations. Erin joins the staff on Monday February 27.

Illlinois FFA Chapters Compete for Incentives to Build Programs

FFA members in 12 states, including Illinois, are competing in the 2012 FFA Chapter Challenge. Sponsored by Monsanto, the premise of the program is simple: chapter FFA members visit and build relationships with local farmers in a bid to learn about the farmer's way of life and to find local support for their chapter's agriculture education endeavors. FFA members ask farmers to vote for their chapters to increase their chance to win part of $300,000 in incentives. The top 200 FFA chapters that make the most connections and receive the most farmer votes by February 29 will be awarded a line of credit ranging from $1,000 to $2,500 from the National FFA Organization. Awards will go to the top 10 chapters in each of the 12 states, plus 80 at-large winning chapters. The chapter that makes the most connections and receives the most farmer votes of any participating FFA chapter will win the grand prize ֠an all-expense paid trip for six students and advisor to attend the 85th National FFA Convention in Indianapolis in October 2012, plus a $2,500 FFA certificate of credit. View the state-by-state leaderboard here.

ASA Responds to President's Budget Proposal

President Obama unveiled his budget for fiscal year 2013 this week; a proposal that includes a $32 billion reduction in agricultural spending. American Soybean Association (ASA) President Steve Wellman, says, "ASA has advocated, throughout the entire conversation, a shared responsibility for deficit reduction across all mandatory and discretionary spending programs, up to and including the elimination of Direct and Counter-Cyclical Payments as well as the Average Crop Revenue Election program as part of ASA's 2011 Risk Management for America's Farmers proposal...However, with the enormous amount of risk farmers are about to undertake by planting a new soybean crop, now is exactly the wrong time to reduce support for the federal crop insurance program. The proposal put forth in the president's budget would reduce support to farmers who purchase the highest levels of coverageء backwards approach that discourages producers from purchasing enough coverage to meet their substantial risk management needs..."

Biotech Working Group Wants Streamlined Approval Process

Members of ASA's Biotech Working Group met in Washington, D.C. last week to discuss a new effort by USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to streamline the approval process of new biotech traits. Michael Gregoire, deputy administrator for APHIS' Biotechnology Regulatory Services Program, spoke about the agency's initiative to increase efficiencies in the regulatory review process for new traits. Additional presentations included an update on the biotech approvals process within the Chinese marketplace, as well as a review of the biotech landscape in the European Union. The meeting also included consultations with individual technology companies on their biotech pipelines, the status of regulatory clearances in foreign markets, and stewardship plans for new biotech traits.