Highlights from Iowa Soybean Association conference

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Directors and delegates from Iowa's nine crop districts met in Ankeny on Thursday, Dec. 15, for the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) Annual Meeting and Policy Conference. Close to 70 people attended the session that featured presentations from legislative and congressional experts, including Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds.

Branstad remarked on the recent record increase in farmland prices, China's continued importance as Iowa's largest importer of soybeans, along with a growing relationship with South Korea, and the post-flood situation along the Missouri River Basin and the measures needed to make sure such flooding does not happen again by holding the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers responsible.

Branstad and other governors in the Missouri River Basin, excluding Montana, have formed a task force to make flood control a top priority.

"The goal is to make sure there is not a repeat, and if there is excessive snowfall in the Rockies again, to make sure the water is released from the reservoirs earlier," Branstad said.

Tina May with the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee and Stephen Frerichs with AgVantage LLC, both based in Washington, D.C., spoke on the changes and challenges facing the 2012 farm bill, including budget resolution.

The delegates then assembled to discuss policy proposals for 2012. Major changes included strong policy opposing EPA regulations on pesticides, new policy on sustainability of soybean production, policy opposing acquisition of band width by any company that would compromise GPS technology for farmers and policy to support private sector conservation planners access to the same tools and resources the public sector uses.

Anyone with questions about the ISA policy process or document should contact Carol Balvanz at 515-251-8640.

The ISA Policy Conference was sponsored by AGP.

To learn more about ISA, visit its website at www.iasoybeans.com.

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