ASA strongly urges USDA's Animal and Plant Inspection Service (APHIS) to take all appropriate precautions to protect domestic soybean production from the introduction of Asian soybean rust disease. Importation of whole soybeans, soybean meal, and soybean seed from countries with soybean rust infestation must be subject to science-based regulations to prevent the introduction of rust. All seed from rust-infected areas should be treated with fungicide or fumigated before being imported to the U.S.
ASA strongly urges increased Federal funding for soybean rust research, including mapping the soybean genome and identifying rust resistance and tolerance traits that can be introduced in soybean varieties. Additional funding should be provided for expanded facilities and for the rust research programs already underway.
ASA strongly urges the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to complete its review and approve Section 18 emergency requests for fungicides that are effective in treating soybean rust. ASA encourages crop protection companies and the federal government to facilitate the availability of products in the event of need.
ASA strongly urges the administration to develop and implement a national strategy to prevent and mitigate the impact of infestation of domestic soybean production by soybean rust, including consideration of the establishment of a government-entity task force on containing contagious plant disease and pests. ASA also supports Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD-9) of January 30, 2004, that establishes a national policy to defend U.S. agriculture and food system against terrorist attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies. ASA also recommends that the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture become a member of the president's National Security Council.
ASA encourages strong support for Alternative No. 6 of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Navigation Study of the Upper Mississippi River Basin in a phased approach as part of a "program authority" that allows construction as quickly as funds can be made available by congress. Nearly 75 percent of U.S. soybean exports are shipped down the Mississippi River.
ASA delegates also expressed support for further development of West Coast shipping of Midwest soybeans and soy products.
ASA supports establishment of a national energy policy that promotes renewable domestic fuel resources to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil. ASA supports the development of state and federal legislation, including a tax incentive, that promotes biodiesel, biodiesel blends, and biodiesel infrastructure, and now strongly recommends that all diesel-powered vehicles use a biodiesel fuel or biodiesel blend.
ASA will encourage the use of biodiesel as a fuel additive to improve the lubricity of low sulfur diesel fuel for on and off road applications, including railroads.
ASA supports a coordinated effort of state and national soybean organizations to set priorities and coordinate all federally-funded soybean research projects. Among the factors to be considered in setting priorities are acreage, disease, and compositional traits. ASA supports the Better Bean Initiative, also know as QUALISOY, to continue to improve commodity soybeans through improved compositional traits. ASA will coordinate and manage all legislative activities with regard to QUALISOY.
FOOD AID AND THE ROLE OF SOY IN CONFRONTING AIDS
ASA is committed to work on allocating funds for government food procurement to include soy protein in the diets of people receiving antiretroviral therapy, orphans and HIV/AIDS affected households facing food insecurity. ASA also urges the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) not to reduce funding for the International Feeding Initiative below $100 million, and to seek additional funding from U.S. and other major industrial democracies.
ASA supports comprehensive World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations as the best means to increase worldwide incomes and reduce trade barriers to soy and livestock products. ASA believes that bilateral or regional Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations should be focused toward those countries that represent significant commercial markets for U.S. soybeans and products, livestock products and agricultural exports in general.