U.S. Soy Trade Relationships Grow In September PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by United Soybean Board   
Monday, 10 September 2012 14:00
International customers meet with soy checkoff farmer-leaders to discuss U.S. soy

ST. LOUIS (September 10, 2012) – Relationships are important to building markets for U.S. soy and the farmer-leaders of the soy checkoff recognize that importance. In fact, the United Soybean Board (USB), along with its international marketing arm, the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC), will host customers from more than 20 countries in September.

“Face-to-face meetings mean a lot to businesses throughout the world,” says Marc Curtis, a soybean farmer from Leland, Miss., and a member of USB’s international marketing program. “This year, especially, it gets them out in the field to alleviate fears of not having a crop and also highlights our sustainability.”

Teams from Europe, Asia, and South and Central America will visit a wide variety of stops in multiple states. They will tour farms, export facilities, modern livestock and poultry facilities and even the Chicago Board of Trade, learning more about U.S. agriculture and, specifically, U.S. soy.

“The end goal is to increase demand for soybeans,” adds Curtis, who also serves as past chair of USB. “You increase demand by making foreign buyers more comfortable with the United States, the reliable supply we have and the quality of our product.”

By focusing on the needs of the individual teams, USB and USSEC hope to continue to grow the personal relationships needed to sell U.S. soy globally and maintain soy’s rank as one of the top U.S. agricultural exports.

The 69 farmer-directors of USB oversee the investments of the soy checkoff to maximize profit opportunities for all U.S. soybean farmers. These volunteers invest and leverage checkoff funds to increase the value of U.S. soy meal and oil, to ensure U.S. soybean farmers and their customers have the freedom and infrastructure to operate, and to meet the needs of U.S. soy’s customers. As stipulated in the federal Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soy checkoff.

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OCI Fertilizer Group Selects Iowa for its New US$ 1.4 Billion Greenfield Nitrogen Fertilizer Plant in the United States PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Samantha Kampman   
Sunday, 09 September 2012 12:35

Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) announced today that its wholly owned subsidiary Iowa Fertilizer Company (IFCo) will build a new greenfield nitrogen fertilizer production plant in southeast Iowa to supply customers in the U.S. corn belt.  The new plant will be located in Wever, within Lee County near the Mississippi River.  Iowa is the top corn producing state in the United States and has the highest use of nitrogen-based fertilizer in the nation. IFCo’s new plant will be the first world scale natural gas-based fertilizer plant built in the United States in nearly 25 years and will help reduce the country’s dependence on imported fertilizers which exceeds 15 million metric tons of ammonia, urea, and urea ammonium nitrate (UAN) annually.

IFCo’s new plant will utilize proven state-of-the-art production process technologies from world leaders. Kellogg Brown & Root LLC (KBR), Maire Tecnimont Stamicarbon (Tecnimont), and ThyssenKrupp Uhde (Uhde) have been selected to supply the process technologies for the plant which will produce between 1.5 – 2 million metric tons per year of ammonia, urea, urea ammonium nitrate (UAN) as well as diesel exhaust fluid (DEF), an environmentally-friendly fluid used to reduce emissions in diesel engines. Construction work on the plant is scheduled to begin later this year and will be completed by mid 2015.

The total investment cost is estimated to be US$ 1.4 billion and will be fundedwith a combination of equity and a tax-exempt bond issuance. The Iowa Finance Authority (IFA) has authorized IFCo to access bonding capacity under its private activity tax-exempt Midwestern Disaster Area bond program.  In addition, the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) board unanimously approved a comprehensive state financial incentive package expected to provide state tax relief in the order of US$ 100 million.  The Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT) board will also consider financial assistance for project-related public infrastructure improvements.

The state of Iowa Governor, Terry Branstad, commented “I am pleased to welcome OCI to Iowa.  Their project is the largest investment ever made in our state.  The Iowa Fertilizer Company will bring high-paying permanent jobs to Lee County and will create approximately 2,500 construction jobs over the next three years. We believe this major capital investment will help invigorate economic development in an area of the state which has previously experienced significant challenges. We look forward to working closely with OCI and itsmanagement to ensure the successful completion of their project.”

OCI Chief Executive Officer, Nassef Sawiris, commented “OCI is pleased to have selected the state of Iowa for its North American expansion and is looking forward to helping bring permanent jobs and significant economic activity to Lee County and the state.  Iowa Fertilizer Company is well-positioned to supply nitrogen-based fertilizer products to farmers in the corn belt and help reduce their substantial reliance on annual imports of fertilizer into the country. We intend to expand our presence in the United States and most recently agreed to acquire the Weitz Company, an Iowa-based construction company, which will play a major role in the construction of our new fertilizer plant.”

About Orascom Construction Industries

OCI is one of Egypt’s largest corporations employing more than 72,000 people in 35 countries around the globe.  The OCI Fertilizer Group owns and operates nitrogenfertilizer plants in Egypt, the Netherlands, the United States, and Algeria and has an international distribution platform spanning from the Americas to Asia.  The OCI Fertilizer Group ranks among the world’s top fertilizer producers with a production capacity which will exceed 7.0 million metric tons in 2012.  The OCI Construction Group provides international engineering and construction services primarily on infrastructure, industrial and high-end commercial projects in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa for public and privateclients.  The OCI Construction Group ranks among the world’s top global contractors.

Gov. Branstad signs proclamation allowing overweight loads for harvest season PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Governor Branstad's Office   
Sunday, 09 September 2012 12:06

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry E. Branstad signed a proclamation to allow the transportation of oversized and overweight loads of soybeans, corn, hay, straw, silage and stover. The proclamation took effect on Sept. 4, 2012 and expires after 60 days.

“Many Iowans’ livelihoods depend on a smooth, efficient harvest season,” said Branstad. “I am pleased to sign this proclamation, which will allow the movement of Iowa’s commodities and help Iowa farmers during harvest.”

This proclamation applies to loads transported on all highways within Iowa, excluding the interstate system, and which do not exceed a maximum of 90,000 pounds gross weight, do not exceed the maximum axle weight limit determined under the non-primary highway maximum gross weight table in Iowa Code section 321.463 paragraph “5.b”, by more than twelve and one-half percent (12.5%), do not exceed the legal maximum axle weight limit of 20,000 pounds, and comply with posted limits on roads and bridges. 

This action is intended to allow vehicles transporting soybeans, corn, hay, straw, and stover to be oversize and overweight, not exceeding 90,000 pounds gross weight, without a permit, but only for the duration of this proclamation.

The Iowa Department of Transportation is directed to monitor the operation of this proclamation to assure the public’s safety and facilitate the movement of the trucks involved.


Soy Checkoff Partners with Goodyear to Develop New Tire PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by United Soybean Board   
Friday, 07 September 2012 12:24
Soy-based tire adds another to use to soy's growing list

ST. LOUIS (August 31, 2012) - The United Soybean Board (USB) continues to drive demand for U.S. soy, thanks to a partnership with Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. Goodyear recently announced field tests for a new tire featuring U.S. soy that the company says may offer consumers increased tread life and a greener alternative to those manufactured solely with petrochemicals.

Goodyear’s announcement marked the public unveiling of a two-year, ongoing collaboration between the soy checkoff and the Akron, Ohio-based company.

“The soy checkoff welcomes the opportunity to partner with Goodyear in bringing this tire to the market,” says Russ Carpenter, a soybean farmer from Trumansburg, N.Y. and chair of the USB New Uses program. “The checkoff constantly looks for ways to improve the value of soy oil to U.S. soybean farmers and this new tire highlights soy’s versatility in the marketplace.”

The partnership began two years ago, after the 2008 spike in crude oil prices prompted Goodyear to evaluate petrochemical alternatives and propose research exploring soy oil’s potential in its products. In full production, Goodyear estimates that it could use 7 million gallons of soy oil annually.

Goodyear’s testing found that using soy not only lowered petrochemical amounts from the tire’s manufacturing process, but also increased its efficiency by reducing energy and greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, soy oil’s increased performance may yield up to 10 percent longer tread life.

“Goodyear is committed to caring for the environment and communities, and use of soy oil proves to be another way to accomplish this goal,” said Jean-Claude Kihn, Goodyear’s chief technical officer.  “Consumers benefit through improved tread life, Goodyear gains with increased efficiency and energy savings and we all win whenever there is a positive impact on the environment.”

If real-world testing runs smoothly, Goodyear expects the new soy-based tires to be available for purchase as early as 2015.

The 69 farmer-directors of USB oversee the investments of the soy checkoff to maximize profit opportunities for all U.S. soybean farmers. These volunteers invest and leverage checkoff funds to increase the value of U.S. soy meal and oil, to ensure U.S. soybean farmers and their customers have the freedom and infrastructure to operate, and to meet the needs of U.S. soy’s customers. As stipulated in the federal Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soy checkoff.

Goodyear is one of the world’s largest tire companies. It employs approximately 72,000 people and manufactures its products in 53 facilities in 22 countries around the world. Its two Innovation Centers in Akron, Ohio, and Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg, strive to develop state-of-the-art products and services that set the technology and performance standard for the industry. For more information about Goodyear and its products, go to

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For specific information on soy's new uses, visit
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News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Laurie Johns   
Friday, 07 September 2012 12:21

Iowa Farm Bureau Wraps Up Summer Policy Conference in West Des Moines

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – August 31, 2012 – Iowa Farm Bureau voting delegates shared concerns about crop quality and insurance as they gathered in West Des Moines August 30-31 to set state and national legislative policy for 2013.  The drought-stricken crops and low river levels also brought additional discussion of the importance of maintaining the condition of the Mississippi River and its important role in transporting grain.

“What a difference a year can make; last year’s conference focused on the flood conditions in the western part of the state, while this year’s delegates are keyed in to the drought and its effects on the Mississippi River’s ability to move grain on the eastern side of the state,” said Craig Hill, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) president. “Our unique grassroots policy development process truly represents the concerns of our members and where they live and farm.”

Iowa’s largest grassroots farm organization called for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to prioritize funds for cleaning the channels of the Mississippi River to navigate the current low water levels to allow large barges to continue moving through the waters. The river represents one of the nation’s largest methods of grain transportation.

IFBF delegates gather each year to discuss and set state policies which impact not just farmers, but all Iowa taxpayers.  In addition, national policies approved this week will be ratified and sent up for national debate in January at the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) annual meeting in Nashville.

Another lively discussion at the IFBF Summer Policy Conference concerned the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) closing of several Farm Service Agency offices. “We support consolidation of government service facilities to create efficiencies, but there has to be careful consideration, because if farmers have to drive 50 miles back and forth to conduct essential business, those closures quickly become inefficient, both to the government and the folks who rely on the services,” said Hill.

Farm Bureau voting delegates moved to continue support of the Renewable Fuels Standard and   increase the use and development of renewable fuels.

Iowa’s Transportation Infrastructure Funding also found consensus among IFBF farmers, who agreed that additional revenue for the state’s roads and bridges should be generated from an increase in the state fuel tax and that hybrid and electrical vehicles should contribute their fair share to the repair of the very roads they share with all Iowans.  “Since the Transportation Infrastructure Fund is likely to come up in our 2013 legislative session, we believe Iowa lawmakers will take careful consideration of that issue and appropriate funding levels,” said Hill.

The IFBF Summer Policy Conference is a step in Farm Bureau’s grassroots policy development process and is subject to national debate during American Farm Bureau Federation policy discussions in January. All state Farm Bureaus meet in January to finalize the organization’s national policies.


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