Soybean at harvest

ANKENY, Iowa — Trade dominated the discussion during last week’s annual policy conference for the Iowa Soybean Association, but there was also recognition of a number of award winners.

Soybeans have been the tip of the spear when it comes to trade, members said, and that has meant lower prices and lower exports, as well as concern export markets may disappear.

“The bottom line is we’re going to have to produce less soybeans as long as this goes on,” said Dermott Hayes, an economics professor at Iowa State University.

Hayes was joined on a panel by several other trade experts who said if the United States and China come to some kind of trade agreement in the coming months, it is possible U.S. exports of soybeans to China could return to former levels. And they added that while the trade dispute with China continues, industry leaders are working to increase exports to other nations.

Meanwhile, ISA delegates approved policy for the next year and presented awards.

Longtime ISA leader and Solon area farmer Ed Ulch was given the Legacy of Leadership Award. Another longtime leader, Radcliffe area farmer Denny Friest, was given the Innovator of Production Research Award.

The New Leader Award went to Klint and Aimie Bissell, who farm near Bedford. The Environmental Leader Award was awarded to Brent Larson. The Rising Star Award went to Erin Chalupa, a Keota native who is a student at Iowa State University. The Advocate for Agriculture Award went to Kevin and Julie Van Manen. And the Friend of the Soybean Farmer Award went to Extension agronomist Joel DeJong.

Gene Lucht is public affairs editor for Iowa Farmer Today, Missouri Farmer Today and Illinois Farmer Today.