A review of the Soybean Industry Issues in the Democratic Platform

Below is an analysis of the Democratic Party Platform, released at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. A full copy of the platform is available by clicking here.           

The election of the next president of the United States is just around the corner. The conventions for each party are long over but the ads, debates, and social media onslaught is just beginning. Many things will be said and analyzed about the policies and procedures of our next president no matter who is elected. However, as promised, in this post Profile takes a look at some of the line items related directly to the Soybean Industry in the Democratic Party Platform.

Biodiesel – The platform does not mention biodiesel specifically, but frequently points to clean energy and “clean fuels,” citing the promotion of “clean energy leadership and collaborative stewardship of our natural resources, while expanding opportunities in rural communities across America.” The platform also commits to extending tax credits for clean energy.

Conservation – The platform commits to providing assistance to producers who conserve and improve natural resources on their farms. It also notes the benefit of working cooperatively with farmers in promoting conservation.

Farm Safety Net – The platform commits to providing a “focused safety net to assist family operations that need support during challenging times.”

Hunger and Nutrition – The platform commits to protecting “proven programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) … that help struggling families put food on the table.” The platform also opposes the block-granting of the SNAP program.

Infrastructure Investment – The platform commits to job creation through investment in “rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure,” citing specifically roads, bridges, and freight rail lines and waterways. Additionally, the platform calls for the creation of a national infrastructure bank to focus on infrastructure improvements, as well as the permanent establishment of Build America Bonds to spur investment at the state and local levels.

Rural Broadband – The platform commits to bringing high-speed internet connectivity to “every household in America.”

Trade – The platform contains language on trade, referencing a desire to “review agreements negotiated years ago to update them,” and approach new agreements to ensure they do not take “shortcuts on labor policy or the environment.” The platform includes language on currency manipulation and dumping, and while it mentions the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), it neither supports nor opposes the TPP. Additionally, the platform calls for an end to both the travel ban and the trade embargo with Cuba.

Waters of the U.S. – The Clean Water Act is mentioned in the platform, but only in the context of mining discharge. There is no mention of the Waters of the U.S. rule.

Listed items courtesy of ASA.

Bayer looks to have acquired Monsanto with improved $66 billion bid

A $128-a-share deal has been struck. Bayer upped their offer from the previous  $127.50 a share and the deal  was done.

“Bayer’s competitors are merging, so not doing this deal would mean having a competitive disadvantage,” said fund manager Markus Manns of Union Investment, one of Bayer’s top 12 investors.

Farm incomes are near rock bottom as grain prices remain at record lows.

From Reuters:

But the proposed merger will likely face an intense and lengthy regulatory process in the United States, Canada, Brazil, the European Union and elsewhere. Hugh Grant, Monsanto’s chief executive, said Wednesday the companies will need to file in about 30 jurisdictions for the merger.

Competition authorities are likely to scrutinize the tie-up closely, and some of Bayer’s own shareholders have been highly critical of a takeover that they say risks overpaying and neglecting the company’s pharmaceutical business.

If the deal closes, it will create a company commanding more than a quarter of the combined world market for seeds and pesticides in the fast-consolidating farm supplies industry.

What the newly-formed company would be named is unclear.

For the latest news on this deal, visit Reuters.

ASA Meets with Trump, Clinton Campaigns

The American Soybean Association (ASA) and representatives from 10 other national agricultural organizations met Monday with officials of the Donald Trump presidential campaign in Washington. ASA and the same groups met with the Hillary Clinton campaign in Brooklyn in June. The purpose of both meetings was to establish a dialogue between the campaign, the individual and collective ag groups on key policy matters that will emerge during the 2016 campaign.

The groups highlighted several big, broad policy areas as examples of matters deserving attention during the election, including agricultural trade, food safety, Farm Bill and crop insurance programs, ag labor, infrastructure and the importance of science based regulatory policy.

None of the groups participated in either meeting with the intent of any direct political engagement commitment —though each organization have representatives that are already, or plan to eventually, engage with both the Clinton and Trump campaigns.

The issues discussion and further engagement opportunities exchange in the meetings were extremely open and constructive.

Groups in attendance also included, the American Farm Bureau Federation, American Seed Trade Association, CropLife America, National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Corn Growers Association, National Cotton Council, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, National Farmers Union and The Fertilizer Institute.

Post information courtesy of ASA.

Profile reviews the political platforms of both parties.

The political season is in full swing as the Republican National Convention wraps up from Cleveland and the Democrats are set to descend upon Philadelphia. Each party trumpeting (no pun intended) their presidential nominee before the nation with speeches, endorsements, and tributes. Lost in the discussions of national security, national debt, and national headlines are where each party stands on agriculture. Here is a brief look at what the Republicans have issued on key topics that directly impact our agricultural clients.

Trade – The platform includes language on the importance of agricultural trade, expanded agricultural exports, and science-based standards for food and agriculture. The platform also includes language opposing approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) during the lame-duck session of Congress.

Government Regulation – The platform includes language expressing concerns about overregulation and how it impacts competitiveness. Specifically, the platform notes opposition to WOTUS, opposition to policies pushed by special interests seeking to stop or make more expensive the production of meat, impacts of Endangered Species Act designations, and a proposal to convert EPA into a bipartisan commission.

Conservation – The platform acknowledges that farmers are good stewards of the land, and recognizes the benefits of voluntary conservation programs and modern farming practices in achieving conservation goals.

Ag Data – The platform includes language supporting the privacy and security of farmer-owned data.

Biofuels – The platform includes only a passing reference to private investment in biofuels, with no specific mention of RFS or biodiesel. The platform notes an “all-of-the-above” energy strategy, but also calls for the elimination of subsidies for energy sources.

GMO labeling – The platform notes the GOP’s opposition to mandatory GMO labeling.

Crop Insurance & Farm Income Safety Net – The platform includes only ambiguous language on the government’s role (or lack thereof) in helping farmers to manage risk.

Nutrition Programs – The platform includes language clearly calling for the separation of the nutrition title from the next farm bill, as well as for separating SNAP administration from USDA.

If you would like to review the entire party platform that was issued during the RNC, you can view it here.  Check back for the supporting documents for the Democratic Party. We’ll post those as soon as they are available.


Listed items courtesy of ASA.

Minnesota to Sign ASA Affiliation Agreement

As part of the American Soybean Association’s (ASA) new strategic plan, a new ASA affiliate agreement has been created to reflect the various changes in membership structure and affiliate investment in ASA that will become effective on Oct. 1, 2016. ASA is pleased to report that the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association is the first out of 26 state soybean associations to sign the new five-year affiliation agreement with ASA.

“We are excited about the new partnership that this agreement creates between the states and ASA at the national level,” said ASA President Richard Wilkins. “This agreement makes us stronger, more strategic and more streamlined. ASA appreciates Minnesota’s early adoption and looks forward to our other affiliates signing on in the coming weeks.”

The Minnesota Soybean Growers Association also has the historic distinction of having been the first state association ever to become affiliated with ASA – that was 54 years ago, in 1962.

Read More at soygrowers.com

Featured Product | Belt Grader XL

Profile’s Belt Grader XL is a great option for any seed sorting and media cleaning needs.

Belt Grader, Sorter, XL,

With our open flat belt design there is no area for cross contamination to occur during the sorting process. This prodcut separates round spices and seeds from other shaped debris and non-round seeds. It can also sort rough surface seeds from smooth surface seeds. e.g. spices, vegetable seeds, flower seeds, oil seeds.

Check out this amazing product in action. Its easy to use and offers instant results. For complete specs and more detailed information on the Belt Grader XL, visit the product page.


Pepper Market Review

During the year 2015 the pepper market was very encouraging and active as global pepper production and export increased over the previous year and prices prevailed recorded highest achieved so far. Based on the latest information received by the IPC, total export of pepper from producing countries in 2015 excluding the raw materials used for manufacturing pepper oil and oleoresin for export was around 297,600 Mt valued at around US$ 2.8 billion, as against 278,600 Mt worth USD 2.3 billion achieved in 2014. Vietnam maintained his position as the largest exporters and received major portion of US$ 1.3 billion which is around 45% in the total earnings in 2015 followed by Indonesia, Brazil and India.

For more great insight and information on the spice industry, visit our friends at ipcnet.org.

Information courtesy of ipcnet.org

2016 ASTA Vegetable & Flower Seed Conference Highlights

Thank you Disney and ASTA. This was indeed the best Vegetable and Flower Seed conference yet. With visitors attended from from Asia, Europe, South America, USA, and Canada, we certainly had an exciting couple of days in the Magic Kingdom.
A special thanks to everyone that came out to the Profile Industries booth. It was so great to see many of you again and get a chance to meet some of you for the first time.
Our new products received a lot of attention, specifically our  “Standard Design” Let Down Spirals, Belt Sorter, Oscillating Sorter &  our Seed Box/Tote.  These innovations are just a few of the ways that Profile will continue to innovate and invent the future of shape sorting technology.
We can also create a custom design for any of our Let Down spirals and Seed Boxes/Totes. Simply send a message to one of our Solution Engineers and we will design the perfect piece of equipment for your operation.
Sign Steve at Table Tables


We will be showcasing some of our newest innovations this year at the MN Ag Expo 2016!

Join us in Mankato, MN on January 28-29  at the Verizon Wireless Center. We excited to present the new products and technology Profile Industries has produced and introduce you to cleaner, more profitable 2016 for your operation.

The list of events and presenters looks better than ever this year! Be sure to visit mnagexpo.com for hotel information, speaker bios, and so much more.

 We’ll be displaying at BOOTH 305!