Grower Opportunities Aired At Kansas Soybean Expo

Kansas soybean growers have the attorney general’s office on their side, while looking toward an increasingly enhancive industry.

As luncheon speaker during the Kansas Soybean Expo in Topeka, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said the main priority is to protect farming as the state’s most important industry from criminal injustice.

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt promised soybean growers personal efforts and all from his office working for the benefit of the agriculture industry when he spoke at the Kansas Soybean Expo in Topeka.
Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt promised soybean growers personal efforts and all from his office working for the benefit of the agriculture industry when he spoke at the Kansas Soybean Expo in Topeka. (Photo from Kansas Soybean Commission.)

However, Schmidt pointed out a “good day is when there is no news” from his office.

WOTUS, “Waters of the U.S.,” regulation grossly exceeds the authority granted to federal agencies by the Clean Water Act, authority that rightfully belongs to the states and that is limited by private property rights protected by the Constitution, Schmidt said.

“Congress never intended for the federal government to regulate ditches or farm ponds,” he emphasized.

“This rule would have significant consequences for homeowners, farmers and other entities by forcing them to navigate a complex federal bureaucracy and obtain costly permits in order to perform everyday tasks such as digging ditches, building fences or spraying fertilizers,” Schmidt continued.

Standing up against overreach by the federal government, Schmidt continues to work providing quality legal services for the state.

While recovering record-setting amounts of money for Kansas consumers and taxpayers, Schmidt focuses on protecting senior citizens, toughening penalties for defrauding senior citizens and for stealing from the Kansas Medicaid program.

Matthew Atkinson of Columbus was recognized as the American Soybean Association DuPont Young Leader as he’s technically the sixth Atkinson generation to take up a farming career

“When I finished college, I knew I wanted to come back to the farm. I’m working with my grandfather, Marion, who has farmed here all his life,” Atkinson said.

They now raise wheat, milo and soybeans and have integrated cover crops into their rotation. Reduced labor and input costs associated with their no-till system help maintain the farm’s sustainability, Atkinson emphasized.

Kickoff speaker for the daylong soybean program was Bridget Owen, executive director of the Soy Aquaculture Alliance (SAA). “Our goal is to increase the amount of soy utilization in aquaculture feeds and also increase awareness of domestic aquaculture,” she said.

“There is a growing global demand for protein, and growing demand for seafood, because it is nutritious and healthy, Soy is the most efficient protein feed source to produce seafood,” Owen said.

“Kansas beef gets invited to the best places, around the world, and more than 80 million bushels of U.S. soybeans are exported through U.S. Beef and pork exports,” according to John Inners of the U.S. Meat Export Federation.

Likewise, nearly 500 million bushels of corn are indirectly exported through red meat exports, he added.

Japan is a target audience for red meat, because the consumers prefer high quality products, and are willing to pay more for high quality products, Inners said.

“Sustainability matters in the market place,” emphasized Don Scott, director of sustainability for the National Biodiesel Board.

“Biodiesel is the most sustainable fuel in the market, and biodiesel enhances the sustainability of the soybean industry,” Scott insisted.

“Soybeans are highly sustainable in our food system,” Scott stated.

“It takes more bushels of soybeans to buy fertilizer than in previous years, but not much more, relative to the full value of today’s high yielding crops,” said Dorivar Diaz, K-State soil fertilizer professor.

While it might sound old hat, soil testing is essential before spending fertilizer dollars on soybean fields, Diaz said. “The goal is to maximize soybean returns to the fertilizer inputs,” Diaz insisted.

There are a lot of moving parts in planting cover crops; considering planting date, moisture, mineralization and biomass, said Doug Shoup southeast Kansas area agronomist.

Soybean growers need to know their goals with cover crops, be it soil erosion control, residue cover, nitrogen credits, and if the crops can be utilized for livestock feed, he added.

“Managing water use by cover crops can be tricky and may or may not impact crop performance,” Shoup summarized.

“Farmers have free streamline access to science-based management resources with their mobile-device using the new ‘myFields’ multi-commodity site,” explained Brian McCormack, K-State entomology professor.

The application is being developed to facilitate economical and effective for soybeans and all crops including diagnostics tools for diseases and weeds, McCormack said.