Sustainability makes good business sense. The marketplace tends to reward those who use resources wisely and sustainably. Growing soybeans is no different. ISA focuses on sustained profitability of Illinois soybean farmers and the entire supply chain. 

Farm Profitability Education 

Farmers must use sound business practices and risk management systems to ensure sustainable operations through the ups and downs of the agricultural cycle. 

ISA’s ILSoyAdvisor.com and Illinois Field & Bean magazine feature topical assistance on everything from farm bill education and land owner contract negotiations to taxation and succession planning. ILSoyAdvisor events across Illinois allow for face-to-face interaction between soybean growers and experts who can help them improve their operations’ profitability. 

In addition, ISA promotes the University of Illinois farmdoc initiative, with online resources for today’s farm businesses. 

Management Tools to Assess Impact

  • Fieldprint® Calculator developed by Field to Market helps farmers look at operations in terms of natural resource management and sustainability, and compare their performance against county, state and national averages
  • ISA also supports the Precision Conservation Management (PCM) program, which ties profitability to results of the Fieldprint Calculator
  • The FieldRise Network is a farmer-funded team of agronomists and agricultural economists who use on-farm survey data to improve farm economic success

Building and Protecting Markets: Livestock Productivity

Animal agriculture is the No. 1 customer for Illinois soybean growers. About 40 percent of the whole soybeans crushed in Illinois are fed as meal to livestock and poultry. 

Consider how animal agriculture benefits Illinois:

  • $30.4 billion in economic impact
  • 59,700 jobs

ISA also invests in meat export groups to help build demand in foreign markets. 

Building and Protecting Markets: Specialty and Identity-Preserved Soybeans

For customers with specialized identity-preserved needs, Illinois soybean farmers have easy access to containerized shipments, especially through Chicago. 

ISA supports SoybeanPremiums.org, which gives soybean growers an opportunity to expand their portfolios by planting soybeans with enhanced quality traits.

Building and Protecting Markets: Increasing Soybean Value

The HY+Q: High Yield Plus Quality program showcases characteristics that customers value in soybeans, including protein and amino acid content. This checkoff-funded program also has the flexibility to promote future high-value traits like high-oleic or high-energy soybeans. 

Building and Protecting Markets: Biodiesel Boosts Demand

The ISA checkoff program’s successful “Get Pumped Up about Biodiesel” campaign has increased awareness and use of biodiesel, leading to greater soybean demand – and cleaner air through reduced fuel emissions.

Building and Protecting Markets: Transportation

Illinois farmers turn to waterways for the most sustainable, efficient and cost-effective means of transporting soybeans to market. Barge transportation avoids burdening our highway and rail systems. And it uses fewer gallons of fuel per ton and per mile of cargo shipped.