Weekly Update

Weekly Update - July 8, 2016

July 08, 2016

One More Week to Register for the 2016 Yield Challenge

If you are interested in participating in the 2016 Yield Challenge, time is running out.  Farmers are welcome to enter as many plots as they like for $25 per entry.  Complete a general interest form by July 15, 2016, so ISA knows who has entries.  The official registration form is found here.

#RealPigFarming Features Illinois Farmer

Illinois pig farmer Phil Borgic, who farms near Raymond, currently stands in the National Pork Board’s #RealPigFarming social media spotlight.  He is featured in blogs, videos and tweets on the #RealPigFarming blog, Facebook page and Twitter account.  Borgic is covering a variety of topics, including food safety, stewardship and employees.  Pigs eat 74 percent of the soybean meal fed in Illinois, according to national checkoff-funded research, and Borgic’s social media features are a great way to share the story of our top customers.  Their success ensures the main local market for Illinois soybeans.

Organizations Seek Conservation Legacy Award Nominees

Farmers who want to share their successful conservation management practices are eligible to apply for the Conservation Legacy Award.  Entries are judged on soil management, water management, input management, farmstead protection and conservation and environmental management.  Three regional winners and one national winner are selected.  Award winners receive an expense paid trip for two to Commodity Classic, March 2-4, 2017, in San Antonio, a feature about the farm and conservation practices in Corn & Soybean Digest and a special online video.  The Conservation Legacy Award is sponsored by the American Soybean Association, BASF, Corn & Soybean Digest, Monsanto, United Soybean Board/soybean checkoff and Valent.  More information is available here.  Applications are due Sept. 2, 2016.

USDA-NASS Encourages Farmers to Complete Survey

USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is surveying Illinois farmers about the techniques they use in accordance with the state’s Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy (NLRS).  The survey will ask farmers about practices, including cover crops, tillage and nutrient application, as part of the NLRS’ biannual progress report.  Farmers are encouraged to complete and return surveys by Sept. 15, 2016, to help the state evaluate successful best management practices (BMPs) and demonstrate Illinois farmers’ willingness to adopt voluntary practices.  For more information about USDA-NASS in Illinois, click here.

USDA Announces Double-Crop, Other Crop Insurance Changes

The Risk Management Agency (RMA) recently reviewed current crop insurance rules to see whether greater flexibility could be added to current provisions.  The changes RMA recommends are effective immediately, including allowing farmers to receive full insurance payments on two or more crops planted for harvest in the same field and crop year if certain conditions are met.  Double-cropping requirements have been revised to recognize changes in growing farm operations or for added land.  The changes are applicable for the 2017 and succeeding crop years for crops with a contract change date on or after June 22, 2016, and for the 2018 and succeeding crop years for crops with a contract change date prior to June 22, 2016.  In addition, USDA now will provide a clear, known deadline for when replanting is considered practical.  If not replanted, coverage will not be provided for the initial crop.  However, USDA says the new definition will provide an exception for adverse weather that either prohibits replanting or impacts seed germination, emergence and healthy plant formation.  In another revision, USDA will allow allocation of comingled first and second crop production to the associated crop acreage in proportion to the liability for acreage that was and was not double-cropped.  A comment period is open through Aug. 22, 2016. 

CTIC Names New Executive Director

The Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC) has named Chad Watts its new executive director.  Watts joined CTIC in 2012 as project director, leading a range of highly successful conservation programs including the Indian Creek Watershed Project in Illinois.  CTIC, based in West Lafayette, Ind., is a national public-private partnership that champions, promotes and provides information on farming systems that conserve and enhance soil, water, air and wildlife resources.  For more than 30 years, CTIC has provided a forum for farmers, regulators, researchers, agribusiness leaders and conservation advocates to share ideas, collaborate on research and demonstration projects, and promote systems that help farmers become more economically and environmentally sustainable. 

ISA Checkoff Program Supports July 13 Indian Creek Annual Tour

CTIC will host their annual Indian Creek Watershed tour from 3-8 p.m., July 13.  The ISA checkoff program helps fund significant work throughout the watershed through direct and in-kind support.  The tour highlights local farmers who implement BMPs that help protect and improve water quality throughout the watershed and beyond.  Pre-register by calling 815-844-6127, ext. 3.  Click here to view the flyer.

Register to Attend Free ILSoyAdvisor Field Days  

Registration for ILSoyAdvisor Field Days is open.  Events include Hinckley, Aug. 2; Seymour, Aug. 3; and Benton, Aug. 4.  Various soybean experts will provide local growing tips and practical, on-farm advice for achieving high-yielding soybeans.  Each field day is free, and lunch and refreshments are included.  Certified Crop Advisers (CCAs) can earn continuing education units (CEUs) for attending.  Register here.

Soil Health Field Days Continue This Month

The Soil Health Partnership is providing Illinois farmers several field days through September at locations around the state.  Upcoming dates include July 13, Fairbury, Ill.; July 14, Decatur, Ill.; and Aug. 8 in Altamont, Ill.  Featured topics include cover crop management and machinery set-up, conservation tillage methods, advanced nutrient management, a soil pit to observe crop root growth and soil properties, and an update on water quality news.  More information, additional dates and registration details are here.

Time to Apply for Two Illinois Soybean Leadership Opportunities

Potential soybean leaders are encouraged to apply for the next class of ISA's Soy Ambassador Leadership Program, which is sponsored by the ISA checkoff and membership programs.  The program gives participants opportunities to gain leadership expertise, industry exposure and a global perspective as they prepare for future leadership roles.  During a two-year time period, Soy Ambassadors will discover the opportunities and challenges facing the soybean industry through participation in key soybean events, by traveling internationally, working with legislators to promote agriculture priorities and discuss key issues and more.  To apply for one of 10 positions, visit this website and apply online before Aug. 1, 2016.  Applicants must reside in Illinois and have a vested interest in the soybean production industry.  
In addition, the American Soybean Association (ASA) and DuPont are seeking applicants for the 2016-17 ASA DuPont Young Leader Program.  For more than 30 years, the program has identified and developed grower leaders who continue to shape the future of agriculture.  The ASA DuPont Young Leader program is a challenging and educational two-part training program.  Phase I takes place at the DuPont Pioneer headquarters in Johnston, Iowa, Nov. 29–Dec. 2, 2016.  The program continues Feb. 28–March 4, 2017, in San Antonio, Texas.  Interested applicants should click here for additional details and to apply.

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Tweet of the Week

Which pests and diseases should growers be on the lookout for early in the season?  Dan Davidson explains: http://ilsoy.co/28YyQV4 #ILSoy.