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IOWA

SOYBEANreview

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November 2019

HARVESTING UNCERTAINTY: CONSIDERATIONS FOR THE NEXT SEASON


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President Tim Bardole, Rippey | At Large President Elect Jeff Jorgenson, Sidney | D7 Treasurer Dave Walton, Wilton | D6

November 2019 | Vol. 32, No. 2

Secretary Robb Ewoldt, Blue Grass | D6 Executive Committee Randy Miller, Lacona | D8 Board of Directors Brent Swart, Spencer | D1 Chuck White, Spencer | D1 April Hemmes, Hampton | D2 Casey Schlichting, Clear Lake | D2 Rick Juchems, Plainfield | D3 Suzanne Shirbroun, Farmersburg | D3 Marty Danzer, Carroll | D4 Jeff Frank, Auburn | D4 Tom Vincent, Perry | D5 Morey Hill, Madrid | D5 Bill Shipley, Nodaway | D7 Warren Bachman, Osceola | D8 Pat Swanson, Ottumwa | D9 Tom Adam, Harper | D9 Brent Renner, Klemme | At Large Steph Essick, Dickens | At Large Lindsay Greiner, Keota | At Large American Soybean Association Board of Directors Morey Hill, Madrid Wayne Fredericks, Osage Brian Kemp, Sibley John Heisdorffer, Keota Steph Essick, Dickens Dave Walton, Wilton United Soybean Board of Directors Delbert Christensen, Audubon Larry Marek, Riverside Tom Oswald, Cleghorn April Hemmes, Hampton Staff Credits Editor | Ann Clinton Communications Director | Aaron Putze, APR Senior Creative Manager | Ashton Boles Photographer | Joseph L. Murphy Staff Writer | Bethany Baratta Staff Writer | Carol Brown Staff Writer | Lauren Houska Staff Writer | Katie Johnson Sales Director | David Larson

Iowa Soybean Review is published eight times a year by: Iowa Soybean Association 1255 SW Prairie Trail Parkway, Ankeny, Iowa 50023 (515) 251-8640 | iasoybeans.com E-mail: aclinton@iasoybeans.com For advertising information in the Iowa Soybean Review, please contact Larson Ent. LLC (515) 440-2810 or Dave@LarsonentLLC.com. Comments and statewide news articles should be sent to the above address. Advertising space reservations must be made by the first day of the month preceding publication. In consideration of the acceptance of the advertisement, the agency and the advertiser must, in respect of the contents of the advertisement, indemnify and save the publisher harmless against any expense arising from claims or actions against the publisher because of the publication of the content of the advertisement.

12 Investment Pays

Soy's investment in Grays Harbor pays despite trade disruptions.

16 Let's Make a Deal U.S. soy shines at global trade event.

18 Lingering Floods

Missouri River farmers try to stay optimistic about the 2020 crop year.

22 Pod to Pavement

Checkoff investments further biopolymer research and testing treatment options.

On the Cover: Rick Kimberley cuts soybeans on a farm near Farrar. With dust flying across the state, a tough, uncertain growing season has given way to a difficult fall harvest. Lingering uncertainty about trade issues, flooding and bio-fuels have left folks with more questions than answers.

NOVEMBER 2019 | IASOYBEANS.COM | 3


Kirk Leeds Chief Executive Officer, Iowa Soybean Association kleeds@iasoybeans.com, Twitter @kirkleeds

Digging Deeper

I

n last month’s column, I shared that the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) is going to have to work even harder to get rid of the “pile of soybeans” we have in projected carry-over going into the new marketing year. When answering the question about how to “dig out of this mess,” I answered, “One shovel at a time and one bushel at a time. It’s hard work, but it’s the only way.” Well, soybean farmers and their soybean checkoff continue to get out the shovels and dig. In this case, the “shovels” are being used to help support a significant project to deepen the 256-mile portion of the Mississippi River from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to the Gulf of Mexico. It's a stretch of river that handles 60% of all U.S. soybean exports. With a $2 million investment, soybean farmers are hoping to speed up the work to deepen the draft of the lower Mississippi from its current 45-feet depth to 50. According to a recent study by the

4 | NOVEMBER 2019 | IASOYBEANS.COM

Soy Transportation Coalition (a checkoff funded organization housed at ISA), the deepening would allow a load increase from 66,000 metric tons to 78,000 metric tons per vessel (an increase of 500,000 bushels of soybeans), saving upward of $20 per metric ton. When complete, the savings are expected to translate to a margin of 13 cents per bushel for barge river elevators exporting soybeans and increasing annual revenue for farmers by $461 million. For Iowa farmers, the annual increased revenue is estimated at $71.5 million. Keep in mind that even if you don’t farm near the Mississippi River, this project to deepen the river will still have a positive impact. The study shows that areas of the state of Iowa enjoying a positive or slightly negative basis will expand, and the areas with the more pronounced negative basis will be crowded out by more favorable basis territory. Also, whenever barge transportation becomes more viable for more of the soybeans we export, there is a

greater degree of overlap between areas served by railroads and barges. Soybean farmers gain when there is more competition. The overall project to deepen the 256-mile stretch is estimated to cost $245 million and will occur in three stages. Two of the stages will be cost-shared between state (25%) and federal sources (75%), with the other stage cost-shared between the State of Louisiana and several pipeline companies that will have to relocate pipelines buried under the shipping channel. Louisiana has agreed to provide the non-federal funding to begin the project, but we still have work to do to get the federal government on board. Getting our soybeans to customers around the world with lower shipping costs is critically important as we work to sell more soybeans. When you think about our competitive advantages over South America, better transportation infrastructure resulting in lower costs have been and will continue to be our biggest advantage.


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Michael Dolch Director of Public Affairs, Iowa Soybean Association MDolch@iasoybeans.com

Push the Fight

W

ith dust finally flying across the state, a tough, uncertain growing season has given way to a difficult fall harvest. The lingering uncertainty has left folks with more questions than answers. How will my crop yield? When will the weather turn? How will the market react? The answers, to a degree, rest on the outcome of issues in the hands of lawmakers and trade negotiators. In last month’s “Sprint to the Finish” column, I ran through a laundry list of critical issues requiring congressional action before year’s end. Since then, both the legislative and political landscapes have shifted. By now, you’ve read a headline (and likely a tweet, too) regarding the EPA’s supplemental RFS rule released mid-October. The announcement came after President Trump directed EPA to expand biofuel use in 2020 and account for future small refinery exemptions (SRE). Unfortunately, the supplemental rule differed significantly from what industry and congressional champions discussed with the White House and EPA during negotiations in late September. On October 15th, EPA proposed to estimate 2020 SRE using a three-year average of exemptions recommended by the Department of Energy (DOE) — an approach never before discussed or considered. Why is this problematic? Well, EPA has sole authority to grant exemptions and has consistently waived higher volumes (gallons)

6 | NOVEMBER 2019 | IASOYBEANS.COM

than recommended by DOE since 2016. The rule makes clear that the average of DOE’s recommendations is only about half — maybe 60% — what EPA actually granted from 2016 to 2018. Further, the DOE recommendations are not made public. These recommendations are protected under confidential business information leaving no way to verify them. A colleague recently summed it up best. “I now get how Charlie Brown must feel when Lucy swipes the football before he can kick it.” No matter how reassured we are that EPA won’t drain the RFS, the agency goes back on its word. This never-ending “bait and switch” by EPA hasn’t fooled us or other biofuel supporters. While promising at first, the outlook for a meaningful U.S.-China trade deal before the 2020 election continues to deteriorate. Uncertainty is now building around China’s commitment to purchase U.S. farm products. According to U.S. officials, the recent “Phase 1” deal reached between the two countries would lead to China buying $40 to $50 billion worth of ag goods. While the terms and timeframe are unknown and not finalized, we can all agree any progress is good. For historical context, U.S. exports of soybeans, pork and other agricultural products peaked in 2013 at around $29 billion, falling to $24 billion in 2017 before trade soured with China. Those same exports plunged to $9.2 billion over the past 12 months, according to Commerce

Department data. We remain hopeful the “Phase 1” agreement does indeed signal a de-escalation to the ongoing U.S.-China trade war. With several thorny issues left unresolved, there’s reason to fear the damage done will extend long after a deal is reached. More specifically, if Chinese customers begin to question the United States as a reliable source of agricultural products, importers may completely unwind complex relationships with U.S. suppliers over time. Meanwhile, other nations fill the gap, further eroding U.S. competitive advantages that took decades to develop. Even if current trade conflicts are resolved to the U.S. government’s satisfaction, the market share we are losing to foreign competitors will be hard, if not impossible, to win back. We must stand firm and continue to “push the fight” — a mantra ingrained into my head by a former boss. Let’s not lose sight of what we already know, too. A soybean is comprised of protein-rich meal and versatile oil. Managing the future is more important than ever. As ISA CEO Kirk Leeds wrote last month, we must find markets to replace the loss of sales to China, redouble efforts to identify new uses for soybeans, and never lose focus on the most important market for Iowa soybeans — the domestic livestock market. Until next time, be safe and push the fight.


Full-Circle Return

HERE’S HOW THE SOY CHECKOFF WORKS. The national soy checkoff was created as part of the 1990 Farm Bill. The Act & Order that created the soy checkoff requires that all soybean farmers pay into the soy checkoff at the first point of purchase. These funds are then used for promotion, research and education at both the state and national level.

S TO ELEVATORS, PROCESS N A E ORS B ELL &D S EA RS E LER M R S A F 1/2 of 1% of the total selling price collected per the national soybean act & order

0.5%

Half goes to the state checkoff for investment in areas that are a priority for that state.

PROMOTION

RESEARCH

EDUCATION

ROI TO THE FA RMER by 73 volunteer soybean farmers, the United Soybean Board * Led (USB) invests and leverages soy checkoff dollars to MAXIMIZE PROFIT OPPORTUNITIES for all U.S. soybean farmers.

unitedsoybean.org

Half goes to the national checkoff for investment in USB’s* long-range strategic plan.


Study Reveals Ramifications to Limited Broadband Service

A

new study commissioned by the United Soybean Board (USB) reveals the lack of access to broadband in rural areas takes a significant toll on American farmers and the economy. According to “Rural Broadband and the American Farmer: Connectivity Challenges Limit Agriculture’s Economic Impact and Sustainability,” an alarming 60% of U.S. farmers say they do not have enough connectivity to run their businesses. USB initiated the rural broadband study to better understand how and why farmers currently access the internet, and the implications that access has for farm business decisions, economic viability and overall sustainability. Data from the United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service indicates farming contributes to nearly $133 billion of our country’s gross domestic product. Based on USB’s rural broadband survey, the lack of connectivity negatively impacts farmers responsible for $80 billion of gross domestic product. “End users ask farmers to deliver a consistent and high-quality crop without adequate internet access and reliable broadband speeds,

which undoubtedly impacts their efficiency and sustainability,” says Tim Venverloh, vice president of sustainability strategy for USB. “There’s a clear disparity between connectivity in rural versus nonrural areas,” says Venverloh. “The lack of connectivity, however, extends to farmers past the farm gate. When farmers can’t maximize the functionality of their equipment, particularly in the middle of the field, it has repercussions beyond the farm. More and more of the future is about data and data transfer. The timely dissemination and use of data is becoming more important in a precision ag and decision ag world.” The results of the qualitative and quantitative research highlight the critical need to improve rural broadband access, which has implications far beyond quality of life (information, communication and entertainment) in addition to the livelihood for rural communities. USB will share survey data with internet service providers, as well as influencer organizations working to tackle policy and technical challenges involved in delivering high-speed broadband access to rural communities.

A majority of farmers say their internet access is insufficient to run their business — United Soybean Board study indicates the lack of connectivity negatively impacts farmers responsible for $80 billion in GDP.

8 | NOVEMBER 2019 | IASOYBEANS.COM

78%

OF FARMERS DO NOT HAVE A CHOICE IN INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS.

60%

OF FARMERS SAY THE INTERNET SERVICE THEY DO HAVE IS SLOW, WITH MOST RELYING ON CELL SIGNALS OR HOTSPOTS TO CONNECT TO THE INTERNET.

40%

OF FARMERS HAVE A FIXED INTERNET CONNECTION, WHILE OTHERS RELY ON SATELLITE CONNECTIONS.

Chad Hafkey of Grinnell


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NOVEMBER 2019 | IASOYBEANS.COM | 9


I N T R O D U C I N G I S A’ S N E W P R E S I D E N T:

TIM BARDOLE “ IT IS A PRIVILEGE TO SERVE THE SOYBEAN FARMERS OF IOWA.”

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Tim's father, Roy Bardole

It is an honor to be addressing you as president of the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA). It is a privilege to serve the soybean farmers of Iowa. I have been farming for 29 years. Along with my father, brother and son, I operate a no-till/strip-till soybean and corn operation and also raise hogs near Rippey. My wife, Lori, and I have been married for 31 years and have three kids. Cassie is a 6th-grade teacher and Gabe works for a tech support company. Schyler, his wife Lauren, and their son (and soon-to-be big brother) Adam, farm with us. I am proud to have the sixth generation working with us on the three century farms our families operate. I have served on the ISA Board of Directors since 2015. I have also served as ISA Executive Committee Secretary, Demand Committee Vice Chair, Public Affairs Vice Chair and have been involved in the ISA Policy Advisory Council and ISA District Advisory Council as well as the American Soybean Association World Initiative for Soy in Human Health committee. I graduated from Iowa State University with a major in ag studiesfarm operations. I deeply value our community. I have served 16 years on the local school board and coached high school football for 20 years. As your new president, I will continue to work on behalf of Iowa’s soybean farmers alongside my fellow board members. These are challenging times in agriculture, with many things happening beyond our control. We’re facing tight financial times, but we’ll continue to work with ISA members and staff to keep the organization running smoothly. I can also assure you that ISA is working very hard to make sure our government leaders know and understand our concerns about the trade war with China, the need for certainty in the biodiesel industry, the importance of passing the United States-MexicoCanada Agreement (USMCA) and more. I wish all of you a safe and productive harvest as you wrap up the season. Sincerely,

Tim Bardole, ISA President NOVEMBER 2019 | IASOYBEANS.COM | 11


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INVESTMENT PAYS S OY ’ S I N V E ST M E N T I N G RAYS H A R B O R PAYS AS U. S . - C H I N A T RA D E WA R D E E P E N S BY AARON PUTZE, APR

T

he distance from Des Moines, Iowa, to Washington State’s Port of Grays Harbor is roughly 1,800 miles, or 26 hours by car, give-or-take. But significant investments made in the strategic export hub over the past 20 years by the soybean industry have bridged the space between the two, benefiting Iowa farmers. “We hit the nail on the head with our investments in the harbor, and those aren’t easy to come by,” says Iowa Soybean Association President-elect Jeff Jorgenson while touring the facility in September. “The challenge is to score on more of these opportunities and more often.” The farmer from Sidney joined fellow ISA board members on the fact-finding mission to the Pacific Northwest (PNW). It included conversations with Grays Harbor authorities and guided tours of Ag Processing, Inc.’s (AGP) export facility and Renewable Energy Group’s largest biodiesel production facility. “There’s no question about our

12 | NOVEMBER 2019 | IASOYBEANS.COM

capacity to produce and export products, including protein and energy,” Jorgenson adds. “All we need is access to destinations and markets that need what we produce.”

Oldest maritime port Port of Grays Harbor was chartered in 1911 and is the second-oldest port district in Washington State. Located just 12 nautical miles from the Pacific Ocean, it’s the nation’s closest maritime port to the Pacific Rim. Vessels leaving the harbor filled with soybean meal, soybeans and dried distillers grain can dock in the Philippines, Thailand or Vietnam in just 23 days. The location is ideal for Omahabased, farmer-owned AGP. Created in 1983 and representing more than 250,000 farmers, the company specializes in soybean processing, vegetable oil refining, renewable fuels, international trade and grain procurement. Of tremendous interest is serving growing

populations and appetites for soy and protein in the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and China. Nearly 20 years ago, AGP began conversing with Grays Harbor officials. The port was struggling as timber exports from the Pacific Northwest, a longtime linchpin of its economic vitality, continued to decline. To survive, port officials looked to the east at companies like AGP. A long-term relationship quickly flourished. The soybean industry recognized the Pacific Rim’s growing appetite for soy and strategic benefits of exporting products via the Pacific Northwest. The port and surrounding area calculated the economic benefits to the region by diversifying its tenants. If ever there was a win-win partnership, this was it. “We are so aligned with AGP and REG and our friends in the Midwest and always will be,” says Leonard Barnes, the port’s deputy executive director, during


INVESTING CHECKOFF DOLLARS

ABOUT PORT OF GRAYS HARBOR • Chartered in 1911 • Second-old port district in Washington State • Led by three-person commission • 125 tenants, including Overstock.com and Hesco • Moves soybeans, soybean meal, dried distillers grain, vehicles, timber and pulp products In 2018… • Handled 3 million metric tons of cargo (90% for export trade) • Guided 125 vessels in and out of the port • Landed 150 million pounds of seafood, the 11th most of any U.S. port (with five upland seafood processors serving U.S. and 70 countries)

a free-wheeling question-answer session with ISA directors. “We’re a deep-water port connected by rail to the Midwest. AGP, REG and the tax base they create cannot be overstated. It’s an ideal fit.” Barnes, an outspoken and enthusiastic champion of the harbor and its workforce, has forged strong partnerships with farmers from the heartland. He mingled effortlessly with his guests, shaking hands with purpose and welcoming an embrace or slap on the back. “AGP and the investments made by soybean farmers put us on the map,” he says matter-of-factly. Barnes recited a lengthy list of benefits stimulated by his soy-based tenants: employment generated by offloading unit trains, loading vessels and export-related service, numerous support jobs and growing tax base created by their presence and facility upgrades and expansions that continually renew the local economy.

“We’re connected with the Midwest soybean grower,” he says. “What matters to you are things we’re paying attention to. “People here keep track of what’s going on in agriculture because they know how much we depend on farmers from the Midwest and the business they sustain here in the Pacific Northwest,” Barnes says.

runs smoothly, Schaffer didn’t hesitate. “The main bottleneck was simply getting enough product out here to export,” he says. “It takes time to accumulate 45,000 metric tons to load a boat.” That concern was addressed when AGP’s newest processing facility in Aberdeen, South Dakota, came online in July. The facility is the company’s 10th Time is money tenth soybean processing location On the flip-side, and can process farmers also benefit more than 50 from having a major million bushels presence adjacent to of soybeans a deep-water port. annually. Train After all, time is cars loaded with money. soybean meal “One advantage are on the tracks Leonard Barnes we have as a and headed west company is moving from Aberdeen product from the to Grays Harbor Midwest to Asia in a shorter time,” every three to four days. says Chris Schaffer, AGP’s Sr. Vice Despite its nearly two-decades-old President of Ag Products. success story, the future vitality of the “Vessels freight is expensive. port cannot be assumed. Shipping from the PNW compared to For harbor officials, loading vessels South American export terminals saves properly and efficiently in all kinds well in excess of a week in voyage of weather remains a challenge. costs. It’s worked out well for AGP and Obtaining timely permitting from our farmer-owners,” says the native of federal and state agencies for upgrades Lake City, Iowa. to the harbor and surrounding area is When asked if business in the port increasingly problematic.

Iowa Soybean Association directors, staff and guests get a first-hand look at the efficiency and strategic importance of Port of Grays Harbor as discussed by Ag Processing Inc.'s Chris Schaffer (Photo by Aaron Putze). NOVEMBER 2019 | IASOYBEANS.COM | 13


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Canada, a worthy competitor to the north, has a shot clock on permit approvals, say port authorities. Washington State and U.S. federal agencies don’t. “Time kills deals,” says Barnes. With 80% of the port’s revenue derived from trade, the current U.S.-China trade war is closely monitored. To date, the direct impact has been minimal. Barnes says very few whole soybeans are shipped to China via the port. Most soybean meal exported via the harbor is destined for Thailand, Philippines and Malaysia. But he was quick to add that any downturn in trade is likely to create business disruptions elsewhere. “Other ports are feeling the bite,” he says. “And that can cause additional competition for us as they look for ways to diversify their business.”

Strategic partner ISA CEO Kirk Leeds says the association has many partners but few more strategic and important than AGP. “It’s difficult to think of another partner with deeper connections to ISA and Iowa’s farmers than AGP,” he says. “As a soybean processor owned by farmers through their local co-op, partnering with AGP to fully explore

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the opportunities to export soybeans and soybean products out of Grays Harbor in the state of Washington continues to make perfect sense.” Leeds says the ISA feels a sense of pride knowing its leaders were there for the first groundbreaking ceremony held at Grays Harbor almost 20 years ago. “And we’ve been there for additional groundbreaking ceremonies over the years as the port continues to expand. We need to sell more soybeans to markets all over Southeast Asia and the AGP facility is helping us do that.” Moving forward, AGP’s Schaffer agrees the port holds tremendous opportunity for the company and Iowa’s soybean farmers. “We see expansion in Southeast Asia, Thailand, Vietnam and continued growth in the Philippines,” he says. “India will soon be a net importer of soybean meal, which won’t necessarily be a direct market for the U.S. but will pull supplies from other locations.” That is welcomed news to soybean farmer and ISA President Tim Bardole of Rippey. “Facilities like Grays Harbor and the transportation routes that connect it with the Midwest are vital,” he says. “It’s also a call to action for ISA and our partners to create new

opportunities and remove barriers for growth, regulatory and otherwise.” “The macro trends are all heading in the right direction as the numbers show the world is going to need more protein and more soybeans,” Jorgenson adds. “That says, you hate to think of how dire the near-term is. The fuse is lit on correcting these current challenges and time is running out.” Contact Aaron Putze at aputze@iasoybeans.com.

SOYBEANS FROM IOWA TO SOUTHEAST ASIA IN 33 DAYS • Load 10,000 metric ton train in Iowa: 4 days • Travel time by rail to Port of Grays Harbor: 5 days • Load vessel: 3 days • Travel time from Port of Grays Harbor to Southeast Asia: 21 days


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LET'S MAKE A DEAL U.S. Soy Shines at Global Trade Event BY BETHANY BARATTA

G

lobal soybean customers trust the consistent quality of U.S. soybeans. That’s why they traveled to Chicago this summer to the U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange and Specialty Grains Conference. It was hosted by the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) and the Specialty Soya and Grains Alliance (SSGA). The Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) was a sponsor of the event. Buyers and end-users from more than 50 countries explored the opportunities for sourcing U.S. soybeans for food or feed. “I came into this with open eyes and an open mind,” says ISA Board Treasurer Dave Walton, a first-time attendee. “I’ve been pleased to see the

broad base of buyers and countries represented here. That’s encouraging. They are still looking to do business with us.”

Sales pitch Soy sellers met with potential customers during trade team invitational meetings. Divided into regions, U.S. grain company representatives had 30 minutes to make their sales pitch. “The best way to describe it is speed dating,” says Sibley farmer Brian Kemp. As a USSEC director representing the American Soybean Association, Kemp was a moderator with customers from the Middle EastNorth Africa (MENA) region. USSEC has identified MENA as a

growing opportunity for U.S. soybean exports. “We are working diligently to foster new relationships and broaden the portfolio of U.S. soybean buyers and this is one way to do that — to expose buyers from all over the world to U.S. soybean products,” Kemp says.

Top quality, consistency Diaa Ghaly, managing director at Trans Globe LLC, a feed, grains and forage company based in Woodstock, Georgia, reiterated the attributes of U.S. soy to potential buyers. “There is a great opportunity in the market because of our prices and consistent quality. The U.S. product has consistent quality. You can depend on it,” Ghaly says. NOVEMBER 2019 | IASOYBEANS.COM | 15


INVESTING CHECKOFF DOLLARS

That’s attractive to buyers like Mahmoud Al Anani of Cairo, Egypt. He’s the chairman of Dakahalia Group, which operates one of the largest fully integrated chicken production systems in the region. The company-owned feed mill processes nearly 4,500 tons of feed per day. The protein content of U.S. soybeans (at 35-38%) is one of the biggest reasons he buys from the U.S. “For me, the two biggest factors are quality and price. Often, the (U.S.) soybean quality is better than the rest of the world, but sometimes the price is higher,” Al Anani says. “Sometimes, I sacrifice a few dollars to get U.S. products.”

THE TRADE IMPASSE WITH CHINA REITERATES THE VALUE OF EXPANDING THE SOYBEAN SALES PORTFOLIO.

Together, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Israel import more than 150,000 metric tons of U.S. soy. The region represents 4% of total U.S. soy exports. Increased poultry and aquaculture production in the region and three new soybean crushing facilities in Algeria will ramp up demand for U.S. soybeans, says Mousa Wakileh, USSEC regional consultant for the MENA region. “The facilities will have huge capacities, so they will want bigger vessels of soybeans from reliable sources,” Wakileh says. “They will look to the United States to fulfill that need.”

China focuses on relationships Though tariffs between the U.S. and China have slowed soy sales, that didn’t stop soy discussions between the two countries at the exchange. “We want to maintain and expand these relationships to build the

Lindsay Greiner and other ISA officials tour an Intensive Pond Raceway technology site in Egypt. The country is an important producer of Tilapia and is increasing its imports of U.S. soy. 16 | NOVEMBER 2019 | IASOYBEANS.COM

customer’s preference for U.S. soy,” says Xiaoping Zhang, USSEC director of the Greater China Region. “We think the trade issue is temporary and it’s something that, sooner or later, will be solved.” The trade impasse with China reiterates the value of expanding the soybean sales portfolio, Kemp says. “We’ve been working on expanding markets for a long time with USSEC, but it’s more important now in light of the China trade situation.” China is mainly buying soybeans from Brazil, displacing other Brazilian soybean buyers to source their supplies from the U.S. and elsewhere. Shawn Hulm, oilseed product line manager for Gavilon, says China is an important market for the company, and he hopes to restore soybean shipments to the country soon. “We want to get back to normal trade flows, normal marketing,


INVESTING CHECKOFF DOLLARS

normal distributions,” Hulm says. “I would love to start selling soybeans to China again.”

The bigger picture ISA District 3 Director Suzanne Shirbroun from Farmersburg says the event helped make the connection between her farm and customers around the world. “As a farmer raising soybeans and corn, I know it goes on a barge and down the river, but I don’t understand the whole system as to how it gets there,” she says. “Touring the trade show and talking to importers and shipping companies, I realized there are a lot of people involved. I appreciate what it takes to get my product across the ocean.” An abundance of soybeans and an uncertain trade outlook with China means extra efforts to increase opportunities for U.S. soybeans in other parts of the world. “USSEC representatives are our salesmen; they are my representatives in the other countries,” Shirbroun says. “They are educating and motivating end-users to utilize my product. I see that as a win for my checkoff dollars.” Contact Bethany Baratta at bbaratta@iasoybeans.com.

Innovation Sparks Growth in Soy Products Worldwide BY BETHANY BARATTA

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oy and soy products are staples in the Asia market. One in five new Asian products launched from 2014 to 2018 contained soy or soy ingredients. And soyfood innovation is growing, according to an Innova Market Insights study. To keep its rank above other plant protein options, soyfood companies must branch out, says Linda Funk, executive director of The Soyfoods Council. “Innovation is key; we have to continue to look at new opportunities and new products. I think there’s also an opportunity for new forms and flavors,” she says. The soyfood market goes beyond tofu, says Tom Vierhile, vice president of strategic insights for the North America region for Innova Market Insights. April Hemmes Around the world, soy protein is used in everything from baby food to ice cream and hot drinks to sauces and seasonings. It makes sense, says April Hemmes, Iowa Soybean Association District 2 director, and United Soybean Board member. “We often think of soybean meal as a great source of protein for animals, but it’s a great source of protein for humans as well,” says Hemmes, who farms near Hampton. “And for people who choose to have a plant-based diet, you can’t get a better source of protein than soybeans.” Sagamiya Food, a 60-yearold company known for its tofu, understands opportunity. It launched a vegan cheese-like

product, called Beyond Tofu Miracle Protein, using low-fat soy milk. Offered in block type and cubes, the product tastes like cheese and has similar properties so it can be melted or grated. Soy-derived proteins are leading plant protein innovation in Asia, Vierhile says. Soy protein was found in more than half of new product launches tracked with plant proteins between 2014 and 2018, according to Innova research. In China, 42% of the new food and beverage products launched there between 2014 and 2018 contained soy protein. But India and Southeast Asia are also expanding their offerings of products containing soy protein. An Innova survey of Asian consumers found that health and nutrition aspects of the food and beverages they purchase and consume were the top considerations. The survey showed the importance of the healthfulness aspects of food and beverages grows as consumers age. Novel and ethnic flavors, plus new soyfood formats, are shaking things up in the global market, attracting and building consumer bases globally, Vierhile says. And that’s good for farmers, Hemmes says. “It’s another outlet for our product. As we see in the disruption in the normal trade that we have, any market we can get is very welcome for producers.” Contact Bethany Baratta at bbaratta@iasoybeans.com.

NOVEMBER 2019 | IASOYBEANS.COM | 17


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LINGERING FLOODS M I SS O U R I R I V E R FA R M E R S T RY TO STAY O P T I M I ST I C A B O U T 2 0 2 0 C R O P Y E A R BY JOSEPH L. MURPHY

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he clock is ticking for farmers wanting to plant crops along the Missouri River in 2020. As winter approaches, farmers are still picking up the pieces after river flooding destroyed levees and covered farm fields. The problem they face today is much as it was in April – they are still underwater. “Six months and seven days,” Leo Ettleman, a sixth-generation farmer from Sidney, utters with disdain as he looks at an area of farmland that could easily be confused as a lake. The valuable soybean and corn fields near

the unincorporated town of McPaul have been under 5 to 6 feet of water since mid-March. On March 19, the rapidly rising waters of the Missouri River blew out flood levees and swept across Ettleman's fields. All told, he and his son have had 1,700 acres impacted by the floods. Of that, 350 acres are still underwater and have not been dry since. Ettleman is not alone. Officials say there were 600 miles of damaged levees and 110 breaches caused by the flood. About 49,000 acres of

farm ground in Fremont County were impacted, most of which were declared as preventive plant acres during the 2019 growing season. An estimated $34 million worth of stored soybeans and corn were lost as a result of the flooding. To make matters worse, persistent rains in the Dakotas, northeast Nebraska and northwest Iowa have prolonged the flooding. “What civilized, progressive nation goes through an eight-month flood over such a huge area?” Ettleman asks. “It is absurd.”

Leo Ettleman, an Iowa Soybean Association member from Sidney, walks along a county road in an area that has been flooded since March.

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Leo Ettleman inspects damage to his bin site near Percival. Ettleman was able to save a majority of the grain after the initial flood waters receded.

Ettleman is a member of Gov. Kim Reynolds' Flood Recovery Advisory Board and a member of Responsible River Management. He blames the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for poor river and reservoir management and elevating environmental issues above all other priorities as reasons for the flooding. “I don't know where to point fingers because there are so many places you can point them,” Ettleman says. In June, President Donald Trump signed a $19.1 billion disaster relief bill to help those impacted by storms and flooding that occurred across the U.S. In the bill, $4.5 billion was earmarked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to repair farmlands and infrastructure. Another $3 billion was given to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to repair waterway infrastructure and $1.6 billion for the Department of Transportation's highway emergency relief efforts to repair roads and bridges. Despite the ongoing flood conditions, Ettleman hopes to farm his ground next year. “We anticipate to farm it all,” he says. “That might be a stretch, but if there is a chance to get it planted, we will.” Jeff Jorgenson is presidentelect of the Iowa Soybean Association and farms near

Sidney. He says that for every week water remains on his fields, it is more unlikely that he will plant crops in 2020. “You can't do anything,” Jorgenson says while looking at a field littered with rock from a nearby railroad bed and scared with deep ruts caused by floodwaters. “It is crazy to think, but all we are is “hopeful” that we get to plant a crop next year.” His farm fields were wet the entire growing season because of untimely rains and a high water table. Wet field conditions prevented him from finishing fieldwork in preparation for 2020 spring planting. “At the end of September we were essentially in the same boat as we were in April,” Jorgenson says. “I haven't had time to work on the damage, and the levees haven't been fixed. You just want to be able to farm but time is not on our side. Especially with winter coming.” Jorgenson estimates that half of the farm ground along the Missouri River valley in Fremont and Mills counties hasn't been touched since the start of the flooding in March. “The recurring flooding has taken a heavy toll, not just on the residents here, but the entire county and the state as a whole,” Ettleman says. Contact Joseph L. Murphy at jmurphy@iasoybeans.com.

A destroyed grain bin with rotten grain waits to be cleaned up in Hamburg.

“YOU JUST WANT TO BE ABLE TO FARM BUT TIME IS NOT ON OUR SIDE, ESPECIALLY WITH WINTER COMING.” — JEFF JORGENSON, ISA PRESIDENT-ELECT

Flood barriers line Highway 275 in the city of Hamburg six months after the initial flooding. NOVEMBER NOVEMBER 2019 2019 || IASOYBEANS.COM IASOYBEANS.COM | 19


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ON THE RIGHT ROAD

Ambassador Kenneth Quinn

R E F L E C T I N G O N 2 0 Y E A R S L E A D I N G T H E WO R L D F O O D P R I Z E F O U N DAT I O N BY LAUREN HOUSKA

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enneth M. Quinn assumed leadership of the World Food Prize Foundation nearly 20 years ago. The Dubuque transplant had previously spent 32 years in the U.S. Foreign Service, serving in many roles, including as the U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia. Now set to retire, Quinn sat down with the Iowa Soybean Association to reflect on his career and share his hopes for the future.

What connected you with Norman Borlaug? The paths we took in life have many similarities. We both left Iowa to work 20 | NOVEMBER 2019 | IASOYBEANS.COM

in remote villages across the world. Though educated in different disciplines — Borlaug a scientist while I was a diplomat — we both had an incredible passion for rural development and lifting people out of poverty. In the mid-60s, Borlaug was working on revolutionizing wheat production amid political turmoil in India and Pakistan. At the same time, I was a brand-new U.S. State Department Foreign Service Officer. I was working in villages in Sa Dec province of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War and the beginnings of the Green Revolution in rice.

What is the biggest lesson you have learned in your career? I like to say I was a footsoldier in the Green Revolution. I saw it all from the very beginning. While working in these South Vietnam villages, we were improving an old, nearly unnavigable farm-to-market road the French built in colonial times. I learned the lesson of my life during this time: The combination of improved roads and agricultural technology has the power to be economically, socially and politically transformative.


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“ ONE OF THE GREAT ACHIEVEMENTS OF OUR COUNTRY IS THE AMAZING AGRICULTURAL FOOD PRODUCTION. ”

It was only where the road had been improved that farmers used the new seed technology. And when they had those seeds, everything changed, almost within a year. We observed improved homes and better clothing, nutrition and education for children, a decreased child mortality rate and more. When I finally met Borlaug and told him this story about roads, he exclaimed, “You’re absolutely right! You can grow all the food you want, but if you don’t have a road to get it to market, it’s all wasted.” This is what bonded us together — the understanding of the importance of roads.

agricultural research in the U.S. holds steady, that means it’s decreasing. We have been the leaders of global food production for at least a century. We have created the best agricultural research system human beings have ever put in place. But if we don’t invest in agricultural research, the real question is: In 2046, when Iowa celebrates its bicentennial of statehood, will another country have replaced America as the global leader in agriculture?

How does that lesson relate to Iowa and American agriculture?

The centerpiece is the ceremony presenting the World Food Prize each October at the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines. Our Borlaug Dialogue Conference can become the Davos (World Economic Forum) of global agriculture. We have grown our youth program tremendously, having hosted more than 200 students from 30 U.S. states and 10 foreign countries this year. So, with these three pillars in place, we can elevate the World Food Prize into an enormous element highlighting Des Moines and Iowa as the center of global agriculture. My dream, my vision, is that leaders of farm commodity organizations, agriculture businesses and the Greater Des Moines Partnership along with state legislators, the governor and other leaders in agriculture come together and say, “Ambassador Quinn has given us this moment, this opportunity. What are we going to do as a community and a state to carry this forward?” We have an opportunity here. If we embrace and continue to build it, it can become the annual event that inspires the next generation to do more, do better.

There I was, 12,000 miles from Iowa, when I perceived what had transformed Iowa and the Midwest. It was the combination of building all our farm-to-market roads, the extension workers from Iowa State University, the agricultural businesses and researchers. These things transformed our state and nation into the agricultural powerhouse it is today. Unfortunately, this is also the lesson most of America has forgotten. One of the great achievements of our country is the amazing agricultural food production. When I started this job, I was stunned that almost no one knew who Borlaug was or his incredible legacy. I thought, 'if I don’t do anything else in this role, it will be my goal to make Norman Borlaug into the hero he deserves to be in Iowa, in America and around the world.'

Can we produce enough food to feed 9 billion people? No, not without innovation. Breakthroughs in science will come from investment in research. If investment in

How do you hope to see the World Food Prize Foundation continue to evolve?

Contact Lauren Houska at lhouska@iasoybeans.com.

FAT H E R O F T H E G R E E N R E VO LU T I O N A Cresco native, Dr. Norman E. Borlaug was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for his work in developing varieties of cereal grains that would produce high yields in developing countries. He is credited with saving more than 1 billion lives. Borlaug envisioned a prize that would honor those

Ambassador Kenneth Quinn’s years of service were recently honored with a bust.

who have made significant and measurable contributions to improving the world's food supply. His vision came to life when he founded the World Food Prize in 1986. This year marks 10 years since Borlaug’s death. NOVEMBER 2019 | IASOYBEANS.COM | 21


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POD TO PAVEMENT C H E C KO F F I N V E ST M E N TS F U R T H E R S OY- B AS E D P O LY M E R R E S E A R C H A N D T E ST I N G BY BETHANY BARATTA

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esearchers at Iowa State University (ISU) spent about eight years researching how soybean oil could replace petroleum as a binding agent in creating asphalt. Now, thanks to years of research and investments from the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) and the United Soybean Board (USB), the product is a part of highways and parking lots in Iowa and in other states. With additional demonstration projects in queue, the pod-to-pavement project could be spread even wider. “A two-lane highway would use about 70 bushels of soybeans per mile if it all works out,” says ISA District 2 Director Casey Schlichting of Clear Lake. The product is part of demonstration projects after years

of research at ISU’s Bio-Polymer Processing Facility at the BioCentury Research Farm. To go from very small quantities in tiny, half-liter bottles to 12, 50-gallon drums and eventually tanker trucks that deliver the product to be used in highway projects, is a good feeling, say Austin Hohmann and Paul Ledtje. They oversee the bio-based polymer processing facility and asphalt lab. Their team helped formulate the right mix of polymers to make the product just right — not too thin, not too thick.

Investments pay off Rolland Schnell was serving on the ISA board of directors when ISA and USB each pledged $125,000 for bio-

based polymer research at ISU. Now, more than $13 million in private, state and federal funds have been leveraged to bring bio-based polymers to market. The investments seem to be paying off, says Schnell, who farms near Newton. “It has the potential of using a significant amount of soybean oil. If we can further utilize soybean oil here at home, it’s not only good for us as farmers, but also for livestock farmers as it lessens the price of soybean meal,” Schnell says. Bio-based polymer is a good alternative to petroleum-based products, says Chris Williams, director of the Asphalt Materials and Pavements Program at ISU.

Workers pave a Polk County road with a soybean-based asphalt.

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Pulling a sample of the soy-based polymer before blending it with other polymers at Bituminous Materials and Supply in Tama.

“When you’re dealing with the can run it through this way (liquid), supply chain, people like to have some that saves us time and money.” pricing stability. Soy has a lot lower Another demonstration project price volatility than crude petroleum,” used the polymer blend as part of a Williams says. resurfacing project at ISU’s BioCentury Petroleum-based polymers cost Research Farm. between $2 and $4 per pound and More projects are slated for Missouri contain butadiene, which is largely and Alabama yet this year, as weather imported from Asia. Soy-based will allow. Other projects are on track alternatives cost around $1 per for Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, pound and are grown and sourced South Dakota and Texas in 2020. domestically. Williams says Scaling up demonstration production as other projects are another states adopt the step toward product lessens the commercializing the cost and makes the product. soy-based polymer “We would an attractive choice like to start seeing to companies some commercial Casey Schlichting like Bituminous sales next year,” he Materials and says. “But demo Supply. projects are important for getting the The company’s plant in Tama knowledge out there on the projects and was one of the first to include the soy de-risking the technologies to go to the polymer in a recent blending project for commercialization phase.” Grimes Asphalt. After polymers were It’s another step forward for ISU mixed at the plant in Tama, the binding researchers who have dedicated product was trucked to Grimes Paving years to the project, like Hohmann, and offloaded into an asphalt tank. The whose work on the chemistry side asphalt was then used in a demo project of the project propelled it to the on a highway near the Southeast Polk demonstration phase. High School. “The first time this went into The polymer product was sufficient asphalt I had tears running down my for Rod Boldt, the plant manager at face,” Hohmann says. Bituminous Materials and Supply in Farmers are equally excited about Tama who oversaw the mixing of the the project and its future to create polymers. demand for their soybeans. Boldt says typically polymers are “It’s good to see a product come to pelletized and require a high heat fruition, which first comes out of your treatment before the product can be fields,” Schlichting says. added to asphalt. In this case, 12, ISA Communications Specialist 50-gallon barrels were transferred into a Lauren Houska contributed to this story. tanker truck to mix with other polymers. Contact Bethany Baratta “If this will work for a polymer, it would be a good deal,” he says. “If we at bbaratta@iasoybeans.com.

Soy-based binding products are mixed at Grimes Asphalt.

NOW, THANKS TO YEARS OF RESEARCH AND INVESTMENTS FROM ISA AND USB, THE PRODUCT IS A PART OF HIGHWAYS AND PARKING LOTS IN IOWA AND OTHER STATES.

Don Horneff pumps soy-based polymer into a tanker at Bituminous Materials and Supply in Tama. NOVEMBER 2019 | IASOYBEANS.COM | 23


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Nick Meier

NATIONAL ACCOLADES C E DA R RA P I DS R E C E I V E S U. S . WAT E R P R I Z E BY CAROL BROWN

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he U.S. Water Alliance presented dedication to the project. the 2019 U.S. Water Prize to the “Steve likes soil health, which can’t City of Cedar Rapids for its leadership be said of many utility directors,” says in water quality improvement. Radhika Fox, CEO of the U.S. Water It was one Alliance, while of six recipients presenting the award. recognized at the The Middle annual One Water Cedar Summit held in Partnership Austin, Texas, in Project September. The Middle Cedar “I believe there Partnership Project Roger Wolf & Steve Hershner is no higher honor connects the City than the U.S. of Cedar Rapids Water Prize,” says and the water utility with upstream Steve Hershner, Cedar Rapids Utilities farmers and landowners. The goal is to Director, during his acceptance speech. increase farming conservation practices “One Water ties our community’s that reduce nitrogen and phosphorus industry and agriculture together. This loss to the Cedar River. With more is truly an Iowa award.” conservation practices in place The city has been the leader upstream, water quality will improve for the Middle Cedar Partnership downstream as it reaches the residents Project (MCPP) and Hershner was acknowledged at the ceremony for his of Cedar Rapids.

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The MCPP helps incentivize the use of cover crops, installations of bioreactors and saturated buffers as well as targeted nutrient management, all of which reduce nutrients entering rivers and streams. As part of the MCPP, the city helps guide watershed improvement plans and informs farmers and other stakeholders on the need for holistic water management. “Cedar Rapids is being very proactive about helping farmers upstream,” says Nick Meier, who farms near LaPorte City. “The city has been very supportive of us farmers. We need more cities like Cedar Rapids to work together with us for cleaner water.” Meier is on the advisory board for the Miller Creek Watershed Quality Improvement Project, a sub-watershed in the Middle Cedar. He’s been able to add cover crops to all his acres because of the funding incentives of the project.


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With help from other research projects, he has installed a saturated buffer and a bioreactor on his farmland. At least a dozen partners are working on the MCPP, including the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA), which has been part of the project since its beginning in 2015. It involves farmers and landowners, soil and water conservation districts, government and non-government organizations, and others, all collaborating to improve water quality by using conservation practices on farmland upstream from the community. “This national recognition of Cedar Rapids and the MCPP highlight the importance of

collaboration,” says Roger Wolf, ISA director of Environmental Programs and Services. “The project provides value to both farmers upstream and Cedar Rapids residents downstream, which is one reason it has been successful.” The U.S. Water Prize was given in six categories to honorees who inspire others to create a more sustainable water future for all. For more information on the U.S. Water Prize and the honorees, visit the U.S. Water Alliance website at http://uswateralliance.org/onewater/us-water-prize-2019. Contact Carol Brown at cbrown@iasoybeans.com.

The One Water Summit brings together a cross-section of people who work for public utilities, wastewater and flood management, agriculture, the arts and more. It serves as a venue to work on solutions for improved water equity, safe drinking water and innovative water plans sustainable for urban and rural usage across the country.

Nick Meier has installed edge-of-field conservation measures like bioreactors to improve water quality leaving his farm.

IOWA PLAYS PROMINENT ROLE AT ONE WATER SUMMIT

They say distance makes the heart grow fonder. This popular saying applies to Iowa and it's actions to improve water quality. Some in Iowa grumble that the state isn't moving quickly enough regarding water quality improvement. Elsewhere, the sentiment quickly changes. “Iowa is busy cleaning up water,” says Preston Cole, Secretary for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. “That’s the kind of attitude we all have to have. It’s good to know our neighbor is so passionate about this goal.” Cole’s comment was one of many heard at the One Water Summit held recently in Austin, Texas. Speakers from across the country referenced Iowa and the positive work being done in the state to improve water quality. Roger Wolf, director of Environmental Programs and Services at the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA), was mentioned numerous times as a leader for soil health. “Roger was promoting soil health before soil health was cool,” says Mark Muller, director of the Mississippi River program at the McKnight Foundation. Muller moderated a breakout session that included Steve Hershner, Cedar Rapids Utilities Director, as a panelist along with speakers from California, Washington, D.C., and Oregon. The Iowa delegation — one of 44 at the summit — included 26 people representing government and non-government organizations, educational institutions, utilities and watersheds. “I believe the Iowa delegation can advance the One Water movement by working to get water on everyone’s agenda regardless of who they are,” says Hanna Bates, Iowa delegate and program coordinator at the Iowa Water Center. “In the end, it is all one water moving from Iowa down the Mississippi River. It is important that we are inclusive to those who need a seat at the table.”

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Iowa Soybean Association Seeks Nominations for Agricultural Leadership Awards

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he Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) seeks to recognize outstanding leadership from farmers and industry professionals actively advancing Iowa agriculture and the Iowa soybean industry. Nominations for ISA’s annual awards are open until Nov. 17. Winners will be recognized at the ISA annual conference in January. “The annual awards ceremony is a valuable way to thank those who work tirelessly for our industry,” says ISA President Tim Bardole. ISA will present the following awards:

Rising Star: A high school senior or college student who takes an active role promoting Iowa agriculture and has plans to remain involved in agriculture through future personal or professional activities. Includes a $1,000 education stipend.

Legacy of Leadership: An ISA member who is advancing the goals of

your

the association and demonstrating a Friend of the Iowa Soybean passion and commitment for growing the Farmer: An elected leader or soybean industry. ISA partner who has shown a deep understanding of issues facing Iowa New Leader: An ISA member who soybean farmers and has supported has actively grown in their involvement them through their actions and efforts. in ISA programming and has shown outstanding involvement in their Advocate for Iowa community. Agriculture: An ISA member, individual, organization or company Environmental Leader: who effectively and accurately tells An ISA member who is improving the story of modern agriculture and on-farm environmental performance actively builds bridges between Iowa and leadership in the use of precision farmers and consumers. agriculture tools and technology. To nominate a deserving leader, Must have worked with the ISA download the form at the ISA website Environmental Programs and Services under the programs tab and explain or the On-Farm Network. why the nominee deserves recognition in 150 words or less. Include the Innovator in Production nominee’s name, hometown, phone Research: An individual, number and e-mail. Submit all organization or company that has shown nominations to Lauren Houska at outstanding leadership in the use of lhouska@iasoybeans.com. Learn precision agriculture and has worked to more about the awards and view past validate and effectively manage practices recipients at www.iasoybeans.com. to improve profitability.

cooperative

soybean processor

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The Last Word Editor’s Notes by Ann Clinton aclinton@iasoybeans.com

Back in the Day

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started my journalism career in a newsroom at the Creston News Advertiser. I’d just completed my freshman year of college, and I was thrilled when I landed the internship. The position was paid, and I was able to commute from the parents’ home in Massena. Could it get any better than that? I had no idea what I was doing when I started that job. None. But I was motivated to learn and hungry to see my name in print. I soon fell in love with the action and fast-paced flow of news. Topics ranging from politics to high school sports were cussed and discussed, then objectively reported on by the writing team. I attended city council meetings and covered the crime beat. I once parked in the Sheriff’s spot by mistake and the entire town knew about it because it was broadcast over the police scanner. Good times. A newsroom isn’t the kindest of

places for a newbie, so I had to learn how to hold my own quickly. I also learned to listen more than I talked and observe more than I questioned. I credit that experience for so many of the skills I have today, but most importantly, I learned how to write that summer. There are days here at the Iowa Soybean Association that remind me of the newsroom back in southwest Iowa. I’m a part of an editorial team that hashes out the issues, and I’m stationed among the writers who are chasing down the stories. Since the trade war started, it seems like something is always on “fire” and needs to be vetted out. What is most impressive, however, is the team of professionals who report the stories, in written, visual and audio form. We are all passionately dedicated to you, the farmer. Not a day goes by that we aren’t working diligently, interpreting

data and delivering the information that will help you on your farm. In the spirit of the Thanksgiving season, I want to tell you how grateful I am for your readership of the Iowa Soybean Review. I don’t take for granted the time you invest in reading the publication and, more specifically, this column. It is truly a blessing to work and write on behalf of Iowa’s soybean farmers. Thank you for considering us a trusted source of information for your farming operation. Back in the day, I learned the importance of serving the greater community and the immense responsibility of doing it well. And after all these years, I can confidently say that it did get better than that first real-world experience. Happy Thanksgiving, my friends. May there be so many blessings in your life that you’re overwhelmed with gratitude.

NOVEMBER 2019 | IASOYBEANS.COM | 27


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