The 2014 growing season brought above-average, and even record-breaking, yields to Illinois. According to USDA estimates released this month, Illinois has claimed the title of top soybean-producing state for the second year in a row.
“Achieving this distinction for the second year in a row is confirmation that Illinois has become a nationwide leader in soybean production,” says ISA chief executive officer Craig Ratajczyk. “In addition to our ongoing work to build soybean demand domestically and internationally, we support our growers with a wide range of programs, such as ILSoyAdvisor.com and the Voice for Soy program, which helps give farmers a voice in legislative matters.”
The January 12 USDA Crop Production Report estimates Illinois farmers raised 547.7 million bushels of soybeans in 2014 on 9.8 million harvested acres with an average yield of 56 bushels per acre. Iowa ranked second in terms of total production with 505.7 million bushels raised on 9.8 million acres and an average yield of 51.5 bushels per acre. In 2013, Illinois produced 474 million bushels.
“While it’s true weather played a major role in this year’s harvest, better management practices play an important role in helping farmers take advantage of a good growing year,” says Bill Raben, soybean farmer from Ridgway, Ill., and ISA chairman. “To help support the success of Illinois soybean growers, ISA invests checkoff funds in programs to build demand by reaching new markets, as well as research and education programs to help ensure grower profitability.”