Nebraska Soybean Board Blog RSS
December 6, 2013
The world is full of people. More than 7 billion to be more clear. And that number is expected to stretch to more than 9 billion by 2050. Now, there are several challenges to address between now and 2050. And there is no doubt new, unknown challenges will rise to the surface as well. But one challenge is glaring at us right now. The line has been drawn in the sand and the starter’s gun has sounded in this race against time – Exactly how are we going to feed 2 billion more hungry people?
Luckily, U.S. farmers and ranchers are working hard to solve that problem by incorporating new technologies and best management practices to grow more using fewer resources. U.S. farmers and ranchers are also working hard to strengthen relationships with their end users in an effort to educate them on the quality of U.S. agricultural products.
As a part of the annual AGP Trade Mission, thirteen soybean farmers and state soybean staff traveled to the Philippines in an effort to strengthen the relationships between some of the world’s largest soybean meal customers. According to the USDA, the Philippines is the second-largest importer of U.S. soybean meal. In 2012, they imported nearly $600 billion worth of U.S. soybean meal.
The trade mission includes farmers from five different states including Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. Since arriving on Sunday, the group has met with several large buyers of U.S. soybean meal, including Gerald Uygongco, a trader for La Filipina – the largest importer and distributor of U.S. soybean meal in the Philippines.
La Filipina was created in 1901, but was largely destroyed during WWII. After some rebuilding, the company was incorporated in 1971 and has since diversified into several areas including food products, livestock and feed, production agriculture, utilities, logistics, real estates, investments and their own non-profit organization. To help picture the breadth of their reach, La Filipina features services in commodities and business sectors such as fertilizers, wheat and sugar milling, animal feeds, livestock production, cargo shipping, hotels, housing, a shopping mall and banking.
Gerald, who received his education at Iowa State University, said he sees the value of purchasing his soybean meal from the U.S. and will continue to do so whenever possible.
“We have experimented with feeds from other sources before, and the U.S. meal can give a better productivity,” Uygongco said. “In fact, specifically, we can get 3-5 kilos (6.6-11 lbs.) more per pigs of the same age using the same ration. Because of that, even if the price of U.S. meal is a bit more expensive, the higher price is overshadowed by the ability to sell more. We earn a lot more using U.S. meal; therefore we are able to convince buyers to purchase U.S. soybean meal.”
Ron Pavelka, a soybean farmers and livestock producer from Glenvil said he’s sees opportunities like this to meet with foreign buyers as an integral part of relationship building. “These buyers mention that they prefer the quality and consistency of U.S. soy,” Pavelka said, “but that doesn’t guarantee that they will ultimately purchase from the U.S. These trade missions, as well as buyers’ reciprocal visits to our farms in the U.S., allow us to show off the quality of U.S. soy, as well as build relationships that go a long way in sustaining and growing their business.”
With more beans coming online from South American sources, buyers from all over the world are looking at lower price points as a way to drive down costs. However, Uygongco has remained steadfast in his commitment to purchase soybean meal from the U.S. Last year, the company purchased 278,000 metric tons and is looking to drive that up to 320,000 next year.
Although we will face many challenges in the months, years and decades to come, one thing seems to be clear – If the world, and with it the demand for more protein, is going to grow, U.S. soy is going to play a major role in that growth. Trade missions like these continue to demonstrate the value of building relationships for the future. That’s progress powered by U.S. farmers.
February 20, 2013
Below are the linked presentations from all of the researchers at Soybean Management Field Days in August of 2012.
Managing Land Leases by Allan Vyhnalek, Ph.D.
The Quest for the Holy Grail of Soybean Production by Charlie Shapiro, Ph.D.
Growing 100 Bushel Soybeans by Greg Kruger
Herbicide Resistant Weeds by Greg Kruger, Ph.D.
Making Pesticide Applications Efficient and Effective by Greg Kruger, Ph.D.
Marketing and Risk Management by Jeff Peterson
Soywater: A Decision-Aid Web-Based Tool by James Specht, Ph.D. and Jessica Torrion, Ph.D.
Soybean Seed Treatments and Foliar Fungicides by Loren Geisler, Ph.D.
Soybeans, BioStimulants and Innoculants by Michael Rethwisch, Ph.D.
To obtain a copy of the harvested and calculated research results, please contact Andy at email@example.com
November 27, 2012
During the month of November, many people take this time to think about what they are thankful for. Whether you participated in the “Countdown to Thanksgiving” on Facebook, remembered “Thank A Farmer Day®” on November 20, or just shared your thoughts and blessings with a friend, we all have so much to be thankful for this holiday season.
Amongst my never-ending list of things I am thankful for, one very important item is agriculture. Agriculture finds its way into A LOT of other things I am thankful for as well! Without it, where would the food I eat, the clothes I wear, and house I live in come from? Sometimes, the simplest things are taken for granted. Growing up on a farm in rural, southeast Nebraska, I’ve always had first-hand access to information answering questions like “Where does my food come from?” or “Why are animals raised indoors?” With 98% of the U.S. population living in cities, there are so many people that don’t know the answers to these questions or understand why we do the things we do. This is why we need to share the story of agriculture—so others know, appreciate, and are thankful for it as well.
(Just a few everyday things that come from agriculture.)
Speaking of growing up on the farm, I have a huge appreciation for the farmers and ranchers that care for poultry and livestock, as well as the land that grows crops. However, there are a few farmers that specifically top my list, my family. The farmers in my family date back to my great, great, great grandparents (and probably before that). My father, in particular, has taught me more than you can know about agriculture. Growing up, we raised cattle, pigs, and even chickens on our farm—which eventually became 4-H and FFA projects. We also grew corn, soybeans, and wheat; so I guess you could say my mom and dad were VERY busy people, especially with 3 young kids! Besides full-time farming and parenting, they even had side jobs—nurse and trucker, respectively. This is where I learned what hard work truly is, and I am forever thankful for that.
(Riding in the combine with my dad was my favorite part of harvest.)
Last, but definitely not least (as I could go on forever on this topic), I have agriculture to thank for where I am today. The memories I have growing up on the farm, showing livestock at the fairs, and attending events for 4-H and FFA are some of the best I will never forget because they have made me who I am! Agriculture has even impacted my career choice as I work for the Nebraska Soybean Board. I feel so blessed and thankful to be a part of this industry!
(I would never have been able to obtain my American FFA Degree without the best teachers--my parents.)
So the next time you hear someone question agriculture, point out all the things it has provided for you and me. Whether it be the buildings in the cities, the food we eat, the clothes we wear, or the fuel in our vehicles, agriculture has a part in it all!
Thank you to all farmers, ag educators, grocers, chefs, ag engineers, food scientists and researchers, and everyone apart of this amazing industry for providing the things we enjoy every day!
October 31, 2012
By: Andy Chvatal
This month has flown by about as fast the next rain will flow down the ravines that have established themselves in my front yard. When looking back on past Octobers, there are a lot of similarities between past and present but also lots of differences. Some offered freezing temperatures throughout with a good shot of snow here and there. Others were either rainy or dry but also cold enough that I had to wear a coat.
This year was a mixture of everything. There was a seven day span at the start of the month where I ran the heater for two days, then shut it off for two days. The air conditioner ran for the day after and then we shut everything off again for another two days. Granted, I have a wife who is nearly 8 months along in her pregnancy and enjoys a comfortable temperature in the house, but temps that week ranged from 32 to 82 degrees.
This past year has been quite the wild ride. May, in particular, was about as exciting and event-filled as any month I’ve ever experienced. My wife (Ashley) graduated from UNMC’s nursing school on the first Friday, which happened to be the same day that we got to break the news to her family that we were expecting our first child in early December.
Both of my younger brothers had graduations of their own – one from high school and one from college. About four days after the college graduation, Ashley and I closed on our first home! Luckily, we were done planting our soybeans before the graduations and the house closing; otherwise, I would have had quite the upset father.
Now if we fast forward to Labor Day – because all that really happened this summer anyways was the fact that the sun came up, it was hot and then the sun went down again. Day after day, week after week. I guess on the farm we take a more literal translation to the term “Labor Day”, which nearly always means that it’s a day of labor. (Now that I have in-laws, it’s understandable to sneak away to the lake and do some camping every now and then). But this year’s Labor Day marked the first day of harvest for us. And the only reason we didn’t combine anything the week prior is because “We’ve never combined in August before and I’m not about to start right now,” per dad.
Harvest flew by pretty quickly. It seemed like we bounced back and forth from corn to beans and then back to corn nearly every week - only having to stop for a couple days because we didn’t have any corn dry enough to pick. The soybeans were dry enough all throughout September. The stems might have been green and there still may have been leaves on the plants, but the pods were dry and breaking open in many areas. This was due to the fact that we didn’t have enough moisture to create strong enough pods that held the beans inside of them.
We have lots of time to look back and talk about the 2012 harvest, which finished for us on October 8th and could have been the 6th, but dad and grandpa took that Sunday off to work at our church bazaar. Harvest wasn’t good this year when you take a look at the production we’ve had over the last five years, but it was better than we were expecting, given the fact that we almost went an entire crop year without a drop of rain. It takes a year like this to really appreciate the fruits of your labor. Do we want another year like this next year to REALLY appreciate the fruits of our labor? No, we’ve definitely appreciated enough this year!
To my family, especially my parents, harvest means happiness. It means food, clothing and gasoline. Farming is our life, it makes the money but it also makes the memories. Some of the memories good and some not so good, but with each memory comes multiple stories. And stories are what make us function. They make us laugh, smile and shake our heads. Sometimes it’s difficult to remember each harvest by the year, but it’s much easier when you paraphrase it with “Do you remember that harvest when Andy ran a tree branch into the bean head and spent a few hours trying to get it out with a hatchet and pliers?” Not my finest moment in the driver’s seat, but still an easier way to notch memories on your mental calendar.
Speaking of calendar, back to my beautiful and very pregnant wife. Like I mentioned earlier, this has been the year of excitement and unknowns. Adding to that theme, we have decided to be surprised at birth by the gender of our child. Waiting to find out the gender of your child is a lot like farming and waiting for harvest. I go into both situations excited, but yet very nervous because I don’t know what each situation is going to yield (pun intended). Although it might be the end of life for the bean stalk, it’s actually only the beginning of life for the beans. They’ll go on to feed livestock and people for a long time ahead. Granted, the anxiety and excitement for our child’s arrival is at a considerably higher level, but you can see how the two situations cross paths. Both situations have their fair share of highs, lows, bumps and bruises, but both also help celebrate the never ending cycle of life.
An early end to harvest this year couldn’t have been more perfect for our situation. I’ve grown up well aware of the fact that you don’t have kids and weddings during planting or harvesting – especially on Husker football Saturdays. Now that harvest has given me nearly two months between its end and our delivery in December, besides being a great husband, I’m learning how to be a carpenter, plumber, drywall hanger and amateur electrician. Menard’s loves me. I can only hope that the respect that I have for my family’s farming history and legacy gets passed down to my son or daughter like it was passed down to me. I, like my parents before me and my grandparents before them, take on the role of steward, not only to the land, but to the next generation.
I hope everyone has a healthy and happy remainder of the year, full of stories that make you laugh, smile and shake your head!
October 11, 2012
Make sure to click the photo below to watch a video of this recipe being prepared on our YouTube channel.
Soy Orange Pork Chops
- ¾ cup of fresh orange juice
- 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
- ¼ teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
- 8 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 8 lean (½ inch thick) pork chops
Combine orange juice with the soy sauce, sugar, garlic, pepper and thyme sprigs; set aside.
With a very sharp knife, score the pork chops 1/8 inch deep in a crisscross pattern on each side. Place in a glass or stainless steel dish in a single layer. Pour the marinade over the chops and let sit at least 30 minutes. Drain and reserve the marinade.
Reduce the remaining marinade separately in a saucepan and pour over the chops after removing from the grill.
Heat indoor or outdoor grill. Place soaked pork chops on the grill. Close the lid and grill for approximately 3 minutes. Open grill and flip the pork chops, brush the reduced marinade on the pork chops and continue to grill for another 3 minutes.
When pork chops are done, remove from grill, pour over the cooked pork chops and serve immediately.
March 19, 2012
By: Diane Becker
Who likes to go grocery shopping? Not me. A few years ago I found a website that I could order groceries online with free shipping. That was heavenly, while it lasted. Click on a few items and nonperishable goods show up at your door a couple days later. It sure beats hitting the grocery story on a Friday afternoon.
I don’t like the hour of time grocery shopping takes that I could be home with the kids or reading a good book. It’s a pain to haul a bunch of hefty bags of groceries into the house and put them all away. And it bites to spend up to $200 every time I’m at the grocery checkout counter. Our four kids at home and two more that visit like to eat…a lot.
God made us so we need to eat not just once a week or once a month (wouldn’t that be handy?) but multiple times a day. That’s a lot of energy and that’s a lot of money. I probably need to change my attitude about buying food because there’s a lot of meal making in my future.
In 1943, President Roosevelt was being pressured to appoint a Food Czar- some one who would look into the price of food and make sure the consumer was not paying more than they should. At the time, people were angry because over 30% of their income was spent at the grocery store.
A USDA chart shows that in 1920 the average American spent 23.4 percent of their income on food. In 2010 that dropped to 9.4 percent. (http://www.ers.usda.gov/Briefing/CPIFoodAndExpenditures/Data/Expenditures_tables/table7.htm)
Crazy, isn’t it? We think we are going to the grocery store and getting gouged when we’ve got it made here in the U.S. when it comes to our grocery bill.
With just a little grocery Googling, I found that the Azerbaijanis spend 50 percent of their income on food. Indonesians spend 40 percent of their income to feed their families. Libya imports 90 percent of their grain. Imagine that.
My kids spend $8 to get in a movie and have enough clothes to outfit an army. Food doesn’t gaze at us from the refrigerator for very long so it seems like a waste. It’s not like a car or a great pair of boots we can enjoy for years. In a week it’s gone. That’s just the cost of being alive.
We’re farmers so we appreciate the time and energy it takes to make sure there is enough relatively inexpensive food available. We just celebrated National Ag Week, so it’s a good time to recognize the efforts of people who work to get the food on those grocery shelves.
We, everybody else, have to eat and I’ve gotta get groceries so the family can complain to me that I bought the wrong ranch dressing. I’m just thankful it’s not costing $500 and more every time I bring home a load of those grocery bags. Thank a farmer for that.
March 14, 2012
Seventeen Nebraska soybean producers and six South Dakota producers got together this week to attend a See For Yourself International Marketing mission out to Grays Harbor, Washington. After a long day of traveling the group got down to business and started learning exports.
The mission kicked off with an afternoon in Tacoma, visiting the Port of Tacoma and the TEMCO facility. The port is the fastest loading and discharge yard in the country which the group witnessed first-hand as containers were being transported across the yard. The port contains 100 miles of rail and shipped out 1.5 million barrels last year. The group learned quickly how important their products are, not only for other countries, but for maintaining business in the U.S. As noted by our port tour guide, "Washington is one of the sole states that does not have a deficit. There are three main reasons for that and one of them is the ag business."
From the rail yard, the group headed over to MacMillan Piper, the largest Container Freight Station in the Pacific Northwest. Gary Geiser, vice president of marketing, took us over to the transloading facility where we witnessed soybean flakes being transported from hopper car to container. Most of this will go to Japan for baby formula.
From there we headed to TEMCO (Tacoma Export Marketing Company), which is a joint venture between Cargill and CHS. The only products that ship through their facility are corn (25%) and beans (75%). They fill ten ships a month, 220-230 million bushels per year. The facility is capable of loading 2,000 metric tons per hour and unloading 1,800 metric tons per hour, which makes it a fast in and out operation.
While ships are being loaded with corn or beans, samples are taken every 15 seconds in order to ensure a high-quality product. The facility just recently installed "the roof" which allows for loading during rain and supports more productivity in a city where rain is common. The Port of Tacoma is growing in popularity as filling here saves ships between two and three days of fuel compared to leaving out of New Orleans.
Terry Johnson, TEMCO plant manager, took the group into the control room to see where all the loading and ship coordination takes place. While we were at the facility, a ship that was half full of corn was preparing to be filled.
Throughout the day the group saw rail cars, transloading, shipment containers, vessels and various operation systems which are enabling their soybean products to be exported to other countries, mostly China.
February 13, 2012
Immediately after arriving in Washington D.C., participants started digging into the current issues, and by the end of the day, had a deeper understanding for how issues are shaped and how regulations, such as the Farm Bill, come about.
From the get-go, the participants realized just how important their trip out to Washington D.C. was, and how education is the first step to understanding farm regulations. “It is critical for us to hear messages and concerns from our nation’s farmers and local people. Reach out to your congressional staff when you are back home and invite them to your farms,” said Beau Greenwood, executive vice president of Government Relations and Public Affairs, CropLife America.
Participants heard from various organizations and speakers including, Krysta Harden, Chief of Staff, USDA; Doug O’Brien, Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development; Beau Greenwood, Executive Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs, CropLife America; and William Murphy, Administrator for the Risk Management Agency.
“I now have a deeper understanding of the current issues affecting agriculture, and with the education I received through this mission, I can stay abreast of all the issues directly affecting Nebraska farmers,” said Nathan Dorn, farmer from Adams, NE. “We heard over and over again how important it is for us to reach out to our local government officials when we are back at home and I now realize the impact we could have with a simple visit.”
February 10, 2012
On Thursday, eight producers from around Nebraska gathered in Omaha to partake in the Nebraska Soybean Board’s first See For Yourself Regulatory mission. The program is designed to give farmers an opportunity to see firsthand how their soybean checkoff dollars are being invested and to share the information they learn with other farmers.
With all the issues facing farmers today, plus the upcoming 2012 Farm Bill and pending regulations regarding containment of fuel and fertilizer storage; it’s more important than ever to know the facts and learn how to communicate better with lawmakers and those who influence policy. As Jordan Dux, Nebraska Farm Bureau, stated, “If you want your message to be heard; educate yourself, be courteous and tell your story. You are the best advocates for your industry.”
The program kicked off with a half-day program in Omaha including presentations from Nebraska Department of Agriculture, AGP, Nebraska Farm Bureau and Nebraska Soybean Association. As participants started diving into the issues affecting Nebraska producers, the most common themes discussed were water issues, animal agriculture and manure management. It is quite obvious that these topics are top of mind for Nebraska producers and they were all excited to learn more about the regulations that will be and are affecting their practices.
As the conversation kept going and thoughts got rolling – the group was prepared to take on Washington D.C. and learn more about the top issues facing the agriculture industry.
January 3, 2012
By: Diane Becker
The website offers a unique gift. It’s “the last calendar you’ll ever need.” If you haven’t heard yet, you will. December 12, 2012 is when it’s all supposed to come to a screeching halt. It’s all made plain in the ancient Mayan calendars, which come to an abrupt end on December 12 of this year.
Some Mayan experts say that people are reading too much into this. The people who wrote the calendar were just starting a new cycle but there’s no fun in that and there isn’t advertising dollars either. There’s at least three ads sponsored by some major corporations continually rotating on the December122012.com website.
You can also buy all sorts of t-shirts on the site. It seems that the people who think the world will end in less than a year want to accumulate some money in the meantime.
I have a feeling we’re going to get really tired of hearing about 12-12-12. There’s supposedly a countdown clock in the state of Chiapas, Mexico, where Mayan priests officially performed an end of the world ceremony.
This all vaguely reminds me of the turn of the millennium but those predictions were more believable. It seemed much more likely that the computers, which run much of our daily lives, weren’t going to be able to handle going to 2000. But they did. I do remember not being able to use our credit card in a grocery store on January 1, 2000 because they had to do a little more reconfiguring. Quite the apocalypse.
There is a long list of “believers” on the December 12 site, hundreds of them actually, as you can enter your name if you think the world will end next near. There is a funny thing I noticed. They listed all the states that are represented and Nebraska is missing from the list. Maybe most people here just haven’t seen the site, or maybe we’re just too busy doing the whole living life thing.
Not sure how all the true 12-12-12 believers will be adjusting their lives this year—I hope they don’t do anything too drastic, like quit their jobs and selling their homes to live on some mountain until next December.
Not in Nebraska. This year we’ll be doing things like planting our crops and the researchers in Nebraska will be thinking of important things like better crop traits so we can feed the expected 38 percent increase in world population in the next 40 years. 2050, not 2012, is a year people ought to be thinking about. It’s expected that we’ll have an estimated 9.5 billion people on earth by then. Those extra people won’t all be farmers and they won’t be making their own food in their backyards. They’re going to depend on someone else for that— like the United States farmers and ranchers, who supply most of that food.
So the Smashing Pumpkins Band believes 12-12-12 is the end. Hope they don’t waste a lot of time and energy on it. We’ve got more important things to work on.