Weekly Update

Soybean Weekly Update - February 24, 2017

February 23, 2017

ISA Names First CCA Soybean Master Adviser

Kristofer Ehler, Thomasboro, Ill., is the first honoree in a new Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) checkoff program to recognize Certified Crop Advisers (CCAs) who excel in helping farmers improve soybean production.  Ehler received the CCA Soybean Master Adviser award in Peoria, Feb. 16, as part of the ILSoyAdvisor.com Soybean Summit.  Ehler advises farmers as part of his sales and agronomy role at Ehler Brothers Seed, a 50-year-old family business in east central Illinois.

Illinois Soybean Board to Meet in San Antonio Monday

The Illinois Soybean Board (ISB) will hold a meeting prior to Commodity Classic in San Antonio, Feb. 27.  Grower-leaders will discuss strategic direction for the organization and current programs affecting Illinois soybean farmers.  If you plan to attend Commodity Classic, stop by booth 112 in the trade show to learn more about Illinois Soybean Association checkoff and membership programs.

New Illinois Barns Increase Potential Soybean Meal Market

In 2016, Illinois farmers and integrators filed plans to build or expand 127 livestock barns, including more than 80 pig barns.  ISA checkoff program support for animal agriculture directly impacts local markets.  The additional livestock and poultry in those barns have the potential to increase soybean meal demand about 53,000 tons per year beyond the 875,000 tons currently consumed per year.

ILSoyAdvisor Webinars Slated for March 8 and 22

ILSoyAdvisor will host two webinars next month, funded by the ISA checkoff program.  On March 8 from 10-11 a.m., Mark Apelt, regional product specialist at Beck’s Hybrids, and Mike Hannewald, precision farming field advisor at Beck’s Hybrids, will explore how to select appropriate planting populations and varieties for different zones across a field.  One CEU in crop management is available. Sign up here.  On March 22 from 10-11 a.m., Warren Dick from The Ohio State University will discuss what gypsum is, its benefits to soil, sources of gypsum, how it can be applied and how often, and how it helps traps phosphate in the field.  One CEU in soil and water management is available. Sign up here.

Celebrate Weights and Measures Week Next Week

Weights and Measures Week is celebrated each year from March 1 to 7 to commemorate the first U.S. weights and measures law signed March 2, 1799.  This year’s theme is “Tradition and Technology Drive U.S. Standards for Trade.”  The commemoration, led by the National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM), calls attention to the importance of equity in the marketplace to achieve a strong economy.  NCWM benefits the biodiesel industry by regulating and standardizing fuel sold in the United States.  Farmers benefit from NCWM’s work to regulate fuel quality and monitor weigh scale accuracy. NCWM checks every elevator scale and truck scale to make sure farmers are paid accurately for the crops they deliver.  Learn more about the 2017 Weights and Measures Week here.

New Research Shows Nematodes Are Adapting to Take Over Their Hosts

An international team of researchers led by the University of Missouri recently found cyst nematodes invade and drain nutrients from soybean plants by secreting “mimicked” peptides they create.  The peptides act like the soybean plant’s signaling systems.  This new discovery shows that nematodes have adapted and evolved to take over their hosts and could unlock clues as to how farmers and food producers can create more pest-resilient plants.  Learn more here or at the blog “Decoding Science.”

Drones May Speed Up Crop Breeder Evaluations

Crop breeders traditionally make observations of key traits in the field.  But in a new study conducted at the University of Illinois, drones were used successfully to remotely evaluate and predict soybean maturity timing in tests of potential varieties.  This use of drones substantially could reduce the man-hours needed to evaluate new crops.  The study is one of the first to use drones to optimize breeding practices, which could be particularly useful to large breeding companies that test hundreds of thousands of potential varieties annually.  If breeders can save time and effort using this technology, researchers say new varieties may be developed and made available to farmers more quickly.

Nominate Farmers for Field to Market Recognition

The Farmer Spotlight program recognizes farmers who are committed to a journey of continuous improvement and are helping deliver sustainable outcomes for agriculture.  Know a farmer who is an exceptional grower, uses the Fieldprint Calculator and is worthy of recognition by the Field to Market organization?  Nominate them for the program here.  Entries are due Feb. 28. 

Complete the Cover Crop Economics Survey

Incorporating cover crops into a commercial farming operation has become a recommended practice. However, the return on investment (ROI) of cover crops is unknown.  This survey is part of a North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture & Research Education project developed by Iowa State University and Practical Farmers of Iowa (PFI) to measure the ROI for cover crops in Midwest row crop farms.  Results will be made publicly available by all three groups.  Facts about your farm will be kept confidential and used only for statistical purposes in combination with data from other respondents.  Please complete this survey by March 1, using your farm records to provide best estimates.

 Illinois NREC and SIUC Host Nutrient Management Forum

The Illinois Nutrient Research & Education Council and Southern Illinois University Carbondale will host a nutrient management forum March 15 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.  Farmers may listen and talk with Randy Dunn, SIU president; Brad Colwell, interim chancellor; Mickey Latour, dean of the College of Ag Science; Illinois NREC staff and others as they discuss nutrient management concerns and project updates from SIUC and University of Illinois researchers.  The $15 fee includes lunch.  Register here.

ISB Solicits Soybean Farmers for At-Large Director Positions

The Illinois Soybean Board (ISB) is making notice that applications are available for farmers interested in becoming candidates for at-large director positions.  Two of the six at-large terms expire July 31, 2017.  Interested farmers must notify ISB of their desire to become a candidate by sending a letter of interest via certified mail with return receipt requested to ISA at 1605 Commerce Parkway, Bloomington, IL 61704.  The letter must be deposited in the U.S. mail with postage fully prepaid and postmarked no later than March 8.  Letters of interest may also be sent via email to terrella@ilsoy.org.  Same deadlines apply.  An application form will be mailed to all interested individuals upon receipt of a letter of interest. Completed applications must be returned to the same address above, and be postmarked no later than March 15.  Applications may also be sent via email to terrella@ilsoy.org.  Same deadlines apply.  Individuals will be nominated by a majority of the ISB sitting in a quorum at a board meeting held after the March application deadline.  Two of the nominated individuals will be elected by a majority of soybean farmers in attendance at the ISB meeting, July 27, in Champaign, Ill.  No write-in provision exists.  To be eligible to become a candidate, each person must be an affected soybean farmer residing in Illinois and of legal voting age.

Consider Membership Program Options

To bring farmers the most value possible, ISG now 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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