Soybean producers gathered in Austin, Texas, last week to review and revise the policy direction of the American Soybean Association (ASA). Soybean producers from production areas across the United States participated in this annual process that guides the ASA as it pursues future initiatives to improve U.S. soybean farmer profitability.

ASA opposes any effort to reduce agriculture spending or reopen the Farm Bill. Delegates reaffirmed their opposition to limitations on or means testing for farm program payments, as well as opposition to provisions that would restrict eligibility for marketing loan gains or Loan Deficiency Payments (LDPs).

ASA supports permanent extension of the biodiesel tax incentive at the existing levels of $1.00 for agri-biodiesel and $0.50 for biodiesel. ASA supports full funding for the Commodity Credit Corporation's (CCC) Bioenergy Program and the Biodiesel Education Program as established in the 2002 Farm Bill. ASA supports Federal and state requirements of 2 percent or higher biodiesel blended fuels, and encourages labeling at the fuel pump whenever biodiesel is present at levels of 2 percent or higher. ASA also supports advancing Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) that reflects the expansion of the renewable fuels industry for biodiesel and ethanol.

ASA supports implementation and funding of a national strategy that will monitor and communicate the detection and latest information regarding domestic occurrences and treatment of Asian soybean rust disease. ASA supports that all losses due to soybean rust should be covered under a crop insurance contract if a producer buys crop insurance and follows good farming practices.

In the area of crop insurance for value-added soy production, ASA urges the RMA to develop a revenue product for growers of specialty soybeans.

ASA supports passage of legislation that would allow for an immediate start of pre-engineering design (PED) for Locks and Dams 20-25 on the Upper Mississippi and the locks located at Peoria and LaGrange on the Illinois River as stated in Senate Legislation (S.2773), from the 108th Congress, to be included in the reauthorization of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA).

Source: Association Release