BLOOMINGTON, ILL – March 23, 2015 – With concerns about soybean profitability prevalent in 2015, a record number of soybean farmers, crop consultants, agronomists and university students recently joined Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) directors and staff in learning new management strategies and innovative practices to boost yields and maximize profits.  The 2015 ISA Soybean Summit was held Jan. 30 in Effingham, Ill., and March 6 in Peoria, Ill.  More than 600 participants — a 30 percent increase from 2014 — attended the events.

“We are pleased the Soybean Summit continues to grow in popularity,” says Bill Raben, soybean farmer from Ridgway, Ill., and ISA chairman.  “Attracting more than 600 people to the two locations is a great indicator that Illinois soybean farmers are hungry for more information that can help them increase their farm productivity and profitability.”

Keynote speakers in Effingham included David Holshouser, Virginia Tech; and Brent Gloy, economist and farmer.  The Peoria event featured Steve Johnson and Elywnn Taylor, both from Iowa State University.  Both locations also featured a farmer discussion panel on the production of high-yield soybeans.  Dan Arkels, LaSalle County farmer and the 2014 ISA 100 Bushel Yield Challenge winner, talked about the techniques that worked for him in achieving record yields.

“Dan was the first documented farmer to exceed the 100-bushel target.  The Summit continued the discussion on boosting yields and helping more farmers reach that mark,” says Raben.

Four educational breakout sessions also were held, and focused on such issues as:

  • Developing habits to become a Soybean Master.
  • Discovering new trends and techniques that can help boost yield potential.
  • Finding new ways to overcome production challenges.
  • Learning how to meet growing soybean demand.

The 2015 Soybean Summit was funded in part by the Illinois soybean checkoff.  ISA will make videos and presentations available at

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