Soy News September 1998
The Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board elected officers for the 1998-99 fiscal years at
an August meeting in Fayetteville.
Dr. Art Simpson of Marked Tree is chair; David Walt of Dumas is vice
chair; and Mrs. Mary Ratcliffe of Sweet Home is secretary/treasurer.
Also during the meeting the Board welcomed Thad Freeland of Tillar as a new
member, replacing Bryan Moery, whose term expired at the end of June.
The Board reviewed the ongoing soybean research program and toured research test plots
and facilities on the UofA campus.
At its July meeting in St. Louis, the USB Board of Directors approved funding for the
1999 fiscal year through the establishment of a new action plan process that brings a more
focused and centralized approach to investing checkoff, funds.
Rather than approving a list of checkoff-funded projects, the new process allows the
Board to provide funding in key strategic areas outlined by each of the Board's
committees, including International Marketing, Domestic Marketing, New Uses and
"Each of the committees created an action plan designed to position U.S. soybean
farmers for increased profit opportunities, and to better position the U. S. soybean
industry in the world marketplace," says USB Chair Byron Lemoine, a soybean
farmer from Hamburg, LA.
The International Marketing action plan includes strategies to boost U. S. soy exports
and meet the demands of the global soybean market. The Domestic Marketing action plan
seeks to create a soy information clearinghouse, continue health research and expand
domes-tic soy consumption.
The New Uses plan outlines efforts to bring eight new soybean uses from the
developmental stage to commercialization in an effort to increase soybean utilization.
The Production action plan includes continued production research and a commitment to
technology information transfer to soybean farmers. The plan also establishes a
coordinated effort with the Domestic Marketing Committee in the development of a
"better soybean' with improved oil and protein characteristics.
The Board allocated more than $45.5 million in checkoff funds for the 1999 fiscal year,
which begins Oct. 1, 1998. The remaining 50 percent of checkoffs collected will be
invested at the state level by state soybean checkoff boards.
Early production system raising
yields, cutting costs
Recent checkoff-funded production research indicates early soybean production systems
(ESPS) are working for mid-South soybean farmers. For the last four years, researchers in
Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas have been evaluating the performance of ESPS.
The ESPS process involves planting soybeans earlier, allowing the plants to set and fill
pods before typical late summer droughts severely hurt yields.
"Early soybean production systems provide mid-South soybean farmers with a tool to
increase yields, lower costs and minimize risk," says USB Production Chair Earl
Hendrix, a soybean farmer from Raeford, N.C.
"Nearly 20 percent of the soybean acres in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and
Texas are planted in ESPS."
Through conventional soybean production systems (CSPS) for the mid-South, farmers plant
varieties from maturity group V, VI or VII in May or June.
In the mid-South, crop water deficits begin in June and continue through September. In
CSPS, cultivars begin flowering and setting pods at the same time when there is little or
no soil moisture.
Using ESPS, farmers can plant early-maturing varieties (from maturity group IV or V)
from late March to late April. Since soil temperature is not a problem in the mid-South
during this time frame, critical reproductive development coincides with periods of
adequate soil moisture when rainfall appears to be beneficial to the plant. By
implementing ESPS, soybean farmers, in effect, reduce the length of the drought period.
"Farmers are able to harvest their soybeans earlier and improve profit potential
with ESPS by avoiding some of the fall rains that hinder harvest and add cost," says
An ESPS handbook summarizing the research has been developed by Mississippi State
University. It is available through the Internet at www.agfax.com/early.htm
As established in the Soybean Checkoff Act and Order, which was part of the 1990 Farm
Bill, U.S. soybean farmers, and others who directly receive income from the sale of
soybeans, have the automatic opportunity every five years to request the USDA conduct a
referendum on the soybean check-off.
The next opportunity for this "request referendum" is in 1999. Farmers who
wish to do so will be able to request a soybean checkoff referendum through their local
While the official procedures have not yet been issued by the USDA, it is anticipated
the date for farmers to request a referendum at their local FSA office will be some time
between Jan. 1 and March 31, 1999.
Once official procedures have been issued by the USDA, the United Soybean Board is
required to notify soybean farmers of these procedures.
The process is not a "yes" or 'no' vote. It is conducted much like a
petition. Farmers who want to have a referendum in 2000 will "request a
referendum" by signing a certified form. Farmers who do not want a referendum in 2000
If the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture determines that 10 percent or more of U.S. soybean
farmers and other eligible persons have requested a referendum in 1999, then one will be
conducted within 12 months of that determination, most likely in early 2000.
This referendum would be a "yes" or "no" vote. Farmers voting
"yes" would favor continuing the checkoff program. Farmers voting 'no"
would oppose continuing the checkoff program. The vote is determined by a simple majority.
The rules of the referendum will be determined by USDA.
The soybean checkoff has helped bring a new premium diesel fuel additive made from
soybean oil to market throughout the United States.
The product, known as SoyShield, upgrades regular diesel fuel to a premium grade,
improves engine performance and extends the life of equipment powered by diesel engines.
A study conducted by the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute claims an
additional 34 million gallons of demand for soy-bean oil could be generated by the use of
SoyShield and other biodiesel products and could increase average soybean prices by five
to nine cents per bushel.
The St. Louis-based Schaeffer Manufacturing Company produces and markets the new
soybean derivative. The company, which has been in business since 1839, has a sales
network of more than 300 people throughout the U.S. It is one of the nation's largest
makers of gas and diesel fuel additive packages for jobbers, refiners, terminal operators
and truck stops. Last year, Schaeffer had sales of more than $39 million.
The Clean Air Act of 1990 mandated the removal of sulfur from diesel, which acted as an
engine lubricant. Methyl esters from soybean oil add back lubricity. Unlike some other
diesel fuel additives, SoyShield provides corrosion protection, mileage improvement,
horsepower improvement, emissions reduction and cold weather protection.
Adding SoyShield to regular #2 diesel fuel upgrades it to premium. SoyShield comes in
55- and 30- gallon drums as well as five- and one gallon-containers. When blended, it adds
about three cents a gallon to the cost of diesel fuel. For more information about
SoyShield, contact Jay Shields, Schaeffer Manufacturing at (800) 325-9962.
The soybean checkoff-funded National Biodiesel Board developed the chemistry for
SoyShield and a similar product, SoyGuard.
SoyGuard has just been introduced to the market and will be available nationwide later
this year through Archer Company of Omaha, Nebraska. The National Bodiless Board also
launched the market introduction of the additive SoyGold, made by Ag Environmental
Products of Lenexa, Kansas.
1997-98 ARKANSAS SOYBEAN PROMOTION BOARD:
Art Simpson, Marked Tree, Chair
David Walt, Dumas, Vice Chair
Mary Ratcliffe, Sweet Home, Secretary/Treasurer
Jerry Ford, Lake Village*
Thad Freeland, Tillar
Donna Horton, Forrest City
Richard "Dick' Howard, Clarkedale
Paul McCutchen, Parkin*
Roger Pohlner, Fisher
*Designates representatives on the United Soybean Board
Staffing provided by Warren Carter, Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation. For
questions about any information in this newsletter or for more information on board-funded
programs, please contact any of the above board members, call 501-228-1238, or write
Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board, P.O. Box 31, Little Rock, AR 72203.
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