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Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board

Soy News September 1998


Arkansas board elects officers

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.

USB changes funding process

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 Production.

"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 Hendrix.

An ESPS handbook summarizing the research has been developed by Mississippi State University. It is available through the Internet at

Soybean referendum request opportunity coming up in '99

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 FSA office.

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 do nothing.

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.

Soy-based diesel fuel additive hits market

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.



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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For additional information about any board-related activity contact:

Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board
ATTN: Warren Carter
P.O. Box 31
Little Rock, AR 72203-0031
Phone: 501-228-1265

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