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Funded by the Illinois Soybean Association checkoff program, this one-day Summit provided a fantastic lineup of expert speakers sharing the latest agronomic insights, agtech innovations and agribusiness management advice - along with actionable recommendations to improve your yields and boost your bottom line. And for Certified Crop Advisers, CEU credits were offered for qualifying breakout sessions. Check out the 2020 Event Recap for more information on this year's breakout sessions.

2020 Soybean Summit Presentations

John McGillicuddy - McGillicuddy Corrigan Agronomics

The key to increasing your soybean yield is solving the specific issues occurring in your fields. The first step is to identify those problems that are critical to your final yield. Evaluating how your soybean yield is built and what is working and not working in your fields is by far the best source of information to localize your agronomic practices and direct your investments of time and money. In this session we will present information on what to look for, what measurements to take and how to let your local information be the driving force to making your agronomic decisions.

John McGillicuddy is an independent agronomist who contracts with Wyffels Hybrids, Peterson Farms Seeds and other independent seed companies to provide technical support to their sales staff members.

Sara Wyant - Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.

2020 will hopefully be a much better year than 2019, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be a few challenges ahead. Agri-Pulse Editor Sara Wyant shares a timely presentation around some of the top issues producers will likely confront in 2020 and shares ideas around how to be more prepared in the ever-changing political environment.

Sara Wyant is President of Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc., a communications firm with offices in Washington, D.C., Sacramento and Camdenton, Missouri. Wyant gained first-hand knowledge of crop and livestock production while growing up on a farm near Marengo, Iowa. She and husband Allan Johnson, parents of sons Jason and Jordan, also own the farm where her husband’s family originally established a homestead near Almont, North Dakota.

David Powell - Growmark, Inc.

When trying to obtain high yielding soybeans, most growers have determined it’s not one single thing they did, it was the full system that produced high-yield results. Weed management is no different. To have quality season-long control of weeds, it’s important to evaluate and implement a systems approach, and a system without residual herbicides is not much of a program.

David Powell is the Sr. Agronomy Services Manager for GROWMARK, Inc., where he leads the Agronomy Services team as well as supports member companies in the technical area of weed science. David grew up on his family farm in Medora, Illinois, where they produce corn and soybeans.

Doug Tinnes - BASF

Seed treatments have become increasingly popular and important as growers strive to increase yields and return on investments while reducing economic risk. In this presentation we will dive into soybean seed treatments and understanding the types of active ingredients used. We will look at standards, understanding how treatment impacts investment and can reduce financial risk, and how soybeans are treated. As an outcome from this session, growers will know what to ask about seed treatment products, application methods used and what expectations they should have for performance.

Doug Tinnes is a regional account manager for seed treatment solutions at BASF. A CCA for over 20 years, Tinnes has worked in the seed industry in a variety of capacities with prior experience at Syngenta and Bayer. He holds a bachelor’s degree in businessvmanagement from LaSalle University.

John Pike - Pike Ag, LLC

A movement toward earlier planting dates for soybeans has proven to be an increasingly popular production strategy. With proper timing and variety selection, higher yields are increasingly likely, but an early soybean harvest can also open other possibilities to help maximize benefits from cover crops. This session will address management options created by an early planted soybean system to develop a cover crop strategy that can further increase yields, improve overall nutrient management and water quality factors necessary to meeting the goals of the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy.

John Pike lives in Marion, Illinois, and operates Pike Ag, LLC, providing agronomic consulting and contract research services for the ag industry. He is also a Certified Crop Adviser and the Southern Illinois coordinator for NREC nitrogen management research conducted by the Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association and is involved in cover crop research and education efforts.

Matt Bennet - Channel Seed

A multitude of events has led to the climate in recent years of challenging soybean markets. This presentation will look at the best way to lock in profit for 2020. As producers have seen tight margins for the past five years, capturing optimum marketing opportunities has become increasingly important. Matt will also discuss setting up a marketing plan tailored to your individual farm’s needs.

Matt Bennett is a Windsor, Illinois, farmer and former grain elevator owner. He is Channel Seed’s grain marketing consultant and holds a Series 3 brokerage license doing business through AgMarket.Net, Farm Division of JSA. Bennett brings the producer perspective to the table, enriched with his extensive grain marketing background. He specializes in formulating riskmanagement strategies for corn and soybean farmers and livestock producers.

Dawn Odenthal - Conservis Corporation

What are some of the advantages of investing in technology when profits are tight? 2019 brought many challenges to the farm gate. The tendency following financially tough years is to only invest in “necessary” inputs, such as seed and chemicals, and not explore options for implementing technology on farms. However, this is often the most important time to find something new or make a change as technology may unlock some savings or increase revenue—even small improvements acre-by-acre can add up to impressive value.

Dawn Odenthal is a businesswoman with more than 25 years of experience. From her early days as an accountant to management of various business groups, she has always balanced an eye on the bottom line with growth of the business. Her current work is with Conservis, an independent farm management software company that brings data together to help farmers manage and grow their operations.

Roger Price - GSI/AGCO Corporation Paul Card - GrainViz

This presentation will help you better understand factors critical to soybean storage success such as grain quality, equipment and a focus on profit. We will also discuss the latest advances made by GrainViz technology. As an outcome of this session, producers will learn how to focus on value, expense, return and risk when using data and automated grain management.

Roger Price is the Director of North American Sales and Service for AGCO’s GSI, where he is responsible for all aspects of the farm dealer and commercial contractor network. Price’s prior experience includes director of business development at Land O’Lakes and the vice president of operations at the South Dakota Wheat Growers.

Paul Card, Ph.D., is the president and CEO of GrainViz, a cable-free 100% moisture and temperature imaging and monitoring technology for stored grain. Card spent his early career as Canadian Tire’s innovation manager before his role as Chief Technology Officer for Seccuris. In 2011, Card cofounded 151 Research, a research and technology incubator in Manitoba that developed the GrainViz technology.

Brooke Didier Starks - Meyer Capel Frank Dhom - Peoples State Bank Kent Leesman - Illinois FBFM

Challenges ranging from barriers to entry experienced by young and new producers to the difficult decisions when exiting full-time production make succession and transition planning a necessary tool for your operation. Join our expert panel as they discuss methods and opportunities to preserve your operation through multiple generations.

Frank Dhom has been in the financial industry for 11 years and is currently a loan originator at Peoples State Bank. Before joining Peoples State Bank in June of 2019, Dhom worked at Rabo AgriFinance as a relationship manager and covered the southern Illinois market for four years.

Currently employed as part of the Illinois Farm Business Farm Management (FBFM) field staff, Kent Leesman grew up on a family farm near Hartsburg, Illinois. He serves over 130 full-time farm accounts in southeast Logan County and serves on the Illinois FBFM leadership team as an area manager.

Dale Lattz - UIUC

When thinking about factors of row crop production, land is not only the most vital asset but also the costliest. Margins have been thin over the past several years, which makes understanding your cost to operate key to success in today’s market. This discussion will provide insight about past, present and projected costs associated with producer’s most vital asset: land.

Dale Lattz works at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and is a farmdoc research associate.

2020 Soybean Summit - Things to Know

If you grow soybeans - and especially if you want bigger yields and better profits - be sure to sign up for the 2020 ILSoyAdvisor Soybean Summit. Funded in part by the Illinois Soybean Association checkoff program, this year’s Soybean Summit will educate producers and production industry participants on various management techniques that can lead to higher yields and greater profitability.

Attending the Soybean Summit is FREE and includes complimentary breakfast, lunch and coffee throughout the day.

Soybean Summit offers Certified Crop Advisors (CCAs) the opportunity to earn CEU credits through qualifying sessions in various CEU categories. Check back for additional details about CEU credits available at the 2021 Soybean Summit

For more information about the trade show and sponsorship opportunities for the 2021 Soybean Summit, contact ISA at

We'd like to thank the 2020 Soybean Summit sponsors

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