Weekly Update

Weekly Update - April 22, 2015

April 22, 2016

ISA Checkoff Program Funds Tuna Fish Feed Research

The ISA checkoff program is funding research to feed soy protein to farm-ranched tuna.  Fish nutritionists have developed and are analyzing feed options tailored to the dietary needs and texture preferences of tuna fish.  This summer, feeding trials will be conducted with tuna in Panama.  Replacing fishmeal and fish oil with soy products improves the long-term sustainability of aquaculture and increases soybean demand from this fast-growing industry.

B20 Club Helps Promote Biodiesel Benefits

Today is Earth Day, and communities across Illinois can thank B20 Club members for their role in supporting clean air.  The 10 Illinois-based fleets that comprise the B20 Club run more than 1,000 vehicles on 2.6 million gallons of B20 each year.  Thanks in part to biodiesel's clean-burning properties, the annual reduction in CO2 emissions equates to planting more than 104,000 trees.  Biodiesel also supports Illinois farmers and the state's economy.  Learn more about B20 Club members here.

Nitrogen Rate Trial Results and Recommendations Available

A new section on the Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association (IFCA) website called "Keep it 4R Crop Tools" includes information about the Keep it 4R Crop code of practice.  It also includes N (nitrogen) Rate Trials from 2014 and 2015, links to N-Watch, N Calculator, the Maximum Return to Nitrogen (MRTN) rate recommendation system and state soil temperatures.  Farmers can see the optimum rates of nitrogen for various locations and split by fall application, fall/spring split applications and spring-only application.  The goal is to increase awareness of strategic N applications to reduce environmental impact.

Interactive Map Highlights Farmers' Sustainability Efforts

As farmers throughout Illinois continue to implement conservation practices, some of those efforts are available here in a new interactive map.  The learning tool is an opportunity for farmers to learn more about other sustainability efforts they can incorporate into their farms.  Illinois Corn Growers Association, Illinois Soybean Association checkoff program, Illinois Farm Bureau, American Farmland Trust, Soil Health Partnership, Zea Mays Foundation and Illinois Council on Best Management Practices funded the project.

Container-on-Barge Gets Vote of Confidence

Container-on-barge received a vote of confidence from U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx last week.  Foxx gave a Marine Highway Project designation to a containerization effort that will shift approximately 5,500 containers from interstate transport to the Mississippi River, or Marine Highway 55, between Chicago and New Orleans.  The Illinois Intrastate Shuttle project was sponsored by America’s Central Port in Granite City, Ill., and supported by the ISA checkoff program.  A Marine Highway Project is a planned or expanded service on a designated Marine Highway Route that provides new modal choices to shippers, reduces transportation costs and provides public benefits, such as reduced emissions and highway congestion.  The designation means it is eligible for federal support.  ISA invests checkoff funds in such projects to ensure reliable, efficient modes of soybean transportation.

Petitions Available for District Director Elections

Petitions are available for farmers 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 ISA office.  Petitions must be filed by May 15, 2016.  Six Illinois districts will hold director elections this year:
  • District 3:        Henderson, Henry, Mercer, Rock Island, Stark, Warren, Whiteside
  • District 4:        Bureau, Grundy, Kendall, LaSalle     
  • District 6:        Livingston, McLean, Woodford
  • District 8:        Adams, Brown, Hancock, McDonough, Schuyler
  • District 15:      Clinton, Madison, Monroe, St. Clair
  • District 18:      Alexander, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Johnson, Massac, Pope, Pulaski, Saline, Union, Williamson
Due to the tenure provision, as specified in the soybean checkoff program, the directors in District 6 and District 18 are not eligible for re-election.  The directors serving in District 3, District 4, District 8 and District 15 are each eligible to serve another three-year term.  To be eligible to serve, a candidate must be an Illinois resident and resident grower of the district he or she seeks to represent, of legal voting age and a contributor to the soybean checkoff.  Petitions filed with the Illinois Director of Agriculture must contain signatures of at least five percent of the soybean growers from the district. The number of signatures required is: District 3, 174; District 4, 142; District 6, 154; District 8, 144; District 15, 91; and District 18, 105 signatures.  Elections will be held July 7 at county Extension offices in open districts.

Should Manure Be Part of Your Crop Production?

Kevin Erb, CCA from University of Wisconsin Extension, and Morgan Hayes, University of Illinois nutrient management specialist, will discuss benefits of adding manure to fields, along with strategies to maximize use during a webinar April 27, 10-11 a.m.  They also will review regulations required when applying manure.  One continuing education unit (CEU) in nutrient management is available.  Register here.

Webinar Recording Available: Soybean Profitability

Gary Schnitkey, University of Illinois farm management specialist, discussed how to stay profitable under low commodity prices during a webinar April 12.  One CEU in crop management is available for viewing the webinar.  Visit the Certified Crop Adviser website to self-report the credit after viewing.

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ISA News: Registration open now for the 2016 Yield Challenge contest with more than $5,000 in prize money ilsoy.co/1RKxjF0.