Planting, soybeans and HB 4600


Planting season continues at a robust pace as farmers across the area try to hit those optimum planting dates. As for me I failed in that regard this year.

Per the old timers, taters are to be planted on Good Friday. Since my garden was a quagmire on Good Friday, I waited 10 days and didn’t get my tubers in the ground until April 10. I have heard stories of those generations prior to mine actually planting their taters in the rain in order to make the Good Friday deadline.

Let’s just say they were more dedicated than me; yeah, I think that’s a nice way to put it! ADM recently shared information about their new "re:source" deforestation-free soybean program. The re:source program allows farmers to certify their crops' deforestation-free status under European Union (EU) guidelines in order to obtain a premium (up to 20 cents per bushel) at the elevator.

The EU has adopted a new Deforestation Regulation meant to “guarantee that the products EU citizens consume do not contribute to deforestation or forest degradation worldwide." The new regulation requires that all soybeans and soybean products imported to the EU be sourced from land that hasn’t been recently deforested.

All soybean varieties approved for export are eligible. Soybeans must be traceable to the plot of land or field with identifiable geographic/GPS coordinates and field boundaries. Delivery must take place to dedicated facilities.

ADM dedicated facilities:

Illinois locations that will ONLY be taking re:source certified soybeans: Creve Coeur, Curran, Farina, Gulfport, Havana, Hennepin, Hume, Mendota, Mound City, Mt. Auburn, Niantic, Ottawa, Ottawa South, Sauget, Spring Valley, Taylorville, and Tuscola.

IL locations that will be taking both re:source certified AND "regular" soybeans: Quincy & Decatur.

Producers interested in the program must complete enrollment via the FBN app/website by

June 1. Field boundaries must be submitted to FBN by July 15. You may then

harvest and deliver your soybeans to any of the aforementioned ADM facilities.

Compensation to producers who qualify will be 15 cents per bushel paid at time of grain settlement; with an additional five cents if you are enrolled by May 1 and your field boundary data has been submitted by June 1.

Information on eligibility, locations (including surrounding states), the enrollment process, program requirements, and important dates. More info can be found on their website and FAQ page: and

HB 4600

The Illinois General Assembly recently heard testimony on HB 4600, the bipartisan-sponsored Family Farm Preservation Act.

If HB 4600 is passed, they would reform the current state tax for farm estates only, by changing the tax exclusion to a true exemption, and raising it from $4 million to $6 million. Only dollars over $6 million will be taxed under the exemption.

In addition, the measures tie the new $6 million exemption level to inflation and will be adjusted each year according to the increase in the Consumer Price Index.

The measures would also allow portability between spouses at the state level, a benefit allowed under the federal estate tax; meaning a surviving spouse can use the unused estate tax exemption of a deceased spouse plus their own exemption when they die.

The measures are limited to agriculture, by coupling the changes to only those estates that are eligible for agricultural special use valuation under federal Internal Revenue Service rules.

The farm must make up at least 50% of the gross estate, with 25% of the estate value being the farmland. Additionally, the farm must be farmed by the deceased or family member for five of the previous eight years prior to the deceased’s death, and the surviving family must continue farming for 10 years.

The legislation is expected to be discussed during state budget negotiations prior to the May 31 adjournment of the General Assembly.

“Today’s world is filled with smart phones and stupid people.” -Anonymous

Ron Kern is the manager of the Ogle County Farm Bureau.