Weekly Update

Soybean Weekly Update - January 27, 2012

January 27, 2012

ISA Wants Input on Roundup Ready 1 Patent Expiration

Illinois soybean farmers are another year closer to expiration of the patent covering the Roundup Ready 1 (RR1) soybean trait, and ISA is interested in your thoughts about the issue. RR1 trait patent expiration means that farmers will no longer have to pay trait royalties to Monsanto to purchase and plant RR1 seed. Beginning with the 2015 planting season, farmers may be able to buy generic soybean varieties with only the RR1 trait. ISA is working to address questions about the ability to buy such varieties and ensure a clear pathway for availability of generic versions after patent expiration. Farmers who want continued access to RR1 varieties, other varieties that contain the RR1 trait or that have additional modes of herbicide tolerance, should talk to their suppliers. Farmers should be aware that other protected intellectual property may be in some soybean seed with RR1, so even if the trait patent has expired, some seed may be protected by a variety patent on the seed's germplasm. Let ISA know if you may want to save and plant RR1 trait seed varieties after 2014. Give us your feedback at ilsoy@ilsoy.org.

ISA Leads Discussion on Transportation Issues

The second in a series of soybean checkoff-funded soy transportation meetings took place Jan. 17, 2012, in Peoria. Thirty representatives from transportation carriers (rail, truck, inland waterways and ocean), finance, government, consulting, economic development and academia offered input in an open forum. Discussions included production and distribution opportunities that exist for soy, along with regulatory challenges that could severely limit cost-effectiveness and competitiveness of moving more soybeans. The group also discussed the complexities of intermodal exchanges for containers, availability of boxes and the need for federal grain inspections for exports. ISA updated the group on its analysis of the most critical Illinois bridge infrastructure, aligning roadway weight limits with contiguous states, and moving containers to create opportunities and accommodate producers statewide. A larger, more comprehensive ag export and soy transportation conference funded by the soybean checkoff is set for Feb. 16, 2012, at Governors State University in University Park, Ill."Agriculture and Transportation: Hand in Hand" will focus on development of export opportunities and training for Illinois farmers and processors. A tour of the BNSF Railway and Centerpoint Properties will take place Feb. 15, 2012. For more information, click here.

Crumbling Inland Waterway System Puts Agriculture at Risk

The deteriorating condition of the U.S. lock and dam system puts the competiveness of U.S. soybean farmers at risk, according to a study funded by the United Soybean Board's (USB) Global opportunities (GO) program. "America's Locks & Dams: A Ticking Time Bomb for Agriculture" is an in-depth examination coordinated by the Soy Transportation Coalition (STC). The study found that U.S. farmers and consumers "will suffer severe economic distress" if catastrophic U.S. lock or dam failures take place. The U.S. inland waterways represent key infrastructure for transporting U.S. soybeans. Up to 89 percent of soybeans exported through the lower Mississippi ports, such as New Orleans, arrive at those ports in barges that must transit multiple locks for the trip downstream. The study, conducted by the Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M University, examined the condition of locks on the Upper Mississippi, Illinois and Ohio Rivers and calculated the economic impact of specific lock failures.

Inaugural Illinois Soybean Summit Focuses 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. "It's our hope that the Summit will evolve into one of the Midwest's premier events on soybean production," says ISA Director Ross Prough. 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.

ISA Wins Five Agri-Marketing Awards

ISA took top honors at the Region IV Best of National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) Awards. NAMA is the premier association for agri-marketing and agri-business professionals. The competition honors the best work in agricultural communications.
  • SoyIllinois placed first in Brochures Directed to Dealers, Distributors or Sales Representatives, submitted by Mary Auth Marketing and Public Relations.
  • Illinois Farm Families brand, the coalition effort with Illinois Corn Marketing Board, Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Beef Association and Illinois Pork Producers Association, placed first in Corporate Identity, submitted by Morgan&Myers.
  • ISA Membership Campaign took merit in Producer or Company Funded Advertising Directed to Consumers, submitted by McDaniels Marketing Communications.
  • SoyIllinois took merit in Corporate Identity, submitted by Mary Auth Marketing and Public Relations.
  • LST-325 Biodiesel YouTube Video took merit in Other Social Media, submitted by McDaniels Marketing Communications.
ISA board members Rowen Ziegler and Dan Farney accepted the awards on behalf of ISA. All first and merit winning entries will advance to national competition this spring.

ASA Issues Statement Following State of the Union Address

American Soybean Association (ASA) President Steve Wellman issued a statement following President Obama's State of the Union address. Wellman touched on several issues, stressing that America's soybean industry plays a vital role in strengthening the economy. ASA encourages the Administration and Congress to redouble its efforts to ensure the long-term success and sustainability of export markets for American agricultural products. ASA calls on Washington to continue the biodiesel success story by immediately renewing the biodiesel tax incentive and continuing the commitment to the Renewable Fuels Standard. ASA believes investment in increased dredging and updates to the locks and dams along the Mississippi River is a critical down payment on the agriculture industry's ability to move its product to market more economically and efficiently.
ASA urges the Administration to require that agencies review existing regulations to reduce the regulatory burdens on farmers. Click here for the complete comments.