Welcome to ISA’s newest resource for farmers—the one place completely dedicated to the community of Illinois soy producers. This site not only has the latest information on soybean production, it also provides a unique opportunity to engage with others in our forums. As you read the site, let us know what we’re missing—ask questions and challenge us, and each other.
These conversations must take place so we can learn from each other. We’re in pursuit of 600 million bushels together, and this site is all about helping us get there.
Leveraging Success, Together
I’m a southern Illinois farm kid, so I’ve seen firsthand the growth of the soybean industry in Illinois. Back in the ’60s, when the roots of today’s Illinois Soybean Association took hold, soybean yields averaged just 26 bushels per acre, with total state production at less than 130,000 bushels.
Fast forward to 2013. We’re now up to an average of 49 bushels per acre and a number one ranking for U.S. soybean production. Illinois farmers soybean farmers produced 460 million bushels in 2013 (compared to 383.5 million bushels in 2012)—and we couldn’t have done it without you.
Our success is worth pondering a moment. How did we get here? And more importantly, how do we keep getting better?
Illinois is a leader, and we want to maintain that position as a preferred supplier to the world. And we can do it, provided we all work together towards our mutual goals.
Of course, Mother Nature has a lot to say about the number of bushels we raise, but I believe Illinois farmers’ adoption of better management practices deserves the real credit for these accomplishments.
The World Needs Us
Sure, we’ve improved yields, but we aren’t stopping now. Demand for Illinois soybeans is strong, so we must keep moving forward. Customers around the world want our beans, as many as we can grow, it seems. That demand has been, and continues to be, fueled by the investments of your soybean checkoff.
These customers prefer Illinois soybeans—I know this, because I’ve heard it with my own ears, and from more than just one foreign buyer. Foreign buyers see Illinois, and ISA, as a leader, and your ISA Board of Directors takes this image seriously. Our checkoff investments are designed to provide long-term success for our industry.
Demand continues, and so we need to produce more soybeans, and produce them with less environmental impact. We need to meet and exceed our customers’ expectations for soybean oil and soybean meal, especially high protein and its nutrient-rich amino acids. We must have sound infrastructure to carry our crops to market. And we must have freedom to operate without undue interference from outside the ag world.
A History of Leadership
Since 1964 the Illinois soybean checkoff has funded research and programs to promote Illinois soybeans, and we’ve come a long way in our first 50 years. But ISA is still looking forward, still preparing for the future. We have a goal to help farmers utilize 600 million bushels of soybeans a year by 2020, and that will require the collective effort of the whole industry. We need more soybean acres, and more 50/50 rotation with corn. We all need to research the latest tools and technology, knowledge and resources to help us continue to lead in American soybean production.
That’s why we built www.ILSoyAdvisor.com. It connects farmers like me with industry experts, certified crop advisors, university researchers and other farmers to learn and share, to challenge and succeed. Together, we can make this a go-to resource for years to come.
Illinois’ soybean industry has the dedicated people, climate and the ready access to domestic and global markets to continue growing. Together, we can make the next 100 years just as successful as the last 100.