Industry Leaders Gather to Discuss Future Farming Profitability


BLOOMINGTON, ILL. – July 15, 2016 – The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) late last month welcomed agricultural industry leaders to its biannual Soy 2020 roundtable event.  The discussion centered on how farmers and industry partners can navigate a challenging marketplace to stay profitable in the future.


Terry Hinds, chief lending officer for 1st Farm Credit, addressed macro issues affecting the market, including events in Europe, China, Japan and South America, weather patterns and technology. Two years into a down cycle, Hinds notes, and many are just now seeing the impact. Without a significant market shift, he expects credit quality will likely continue to deteriorate. Lenders have been "courageous" recently, making exceptions to help farmers though the down cycle.  Hinds underscored the importance of having a plan, and using a lender as a resource.


Steve Myers, accredited farm manager and certified crop adviser with Busey Ag Services and the Illinois Professional Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers, shared the perspective of Illinois farm managers, their role and how they can help producers manage their farms.  Myers sees a rapid trend of fixed cash rent going toward flex rate cash rent leases.  His advice?  Work harder and smarter.  Maximize equipment, review opportunities in specialty markets, dump the practices that don’t make economic sense and sharpen marketing.


The Soy 2020 group then discussed factors affecting the marketplace and the best approach to staying profitable moving forward.  Advice for success included the value of planning and leveraging relationships, collaborating and sharing ideas.  Participants see many new opportunities in niche markets and through unique thinking, and farmers are encouraged to embrace their entrepreneurial spirit and think outside the box.


Daryl Cates, ISA chairman from Columbia, Ill., noted, "Soy 2020 is a great event for industry partners and farmer leaders to come together and discuss changes.  With the future uncertain, it is great to collaborate, discuss and propose solutions to move the industry ahead."


The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) checkoff and membership programs represent more than 43,000 soybean farmers in Illinois.  The checkoff funds market development, soybean production and profitability research, issues analysis, communications and education.  Membership and advocacy efforts support Illinois soybean farmer interests in local areas, Springfield and Washington, D.C., through the Illinois Soybean Growers. ISA programs are designed to ensure Illinois soy is the highest quality, most dependable, sustainable and competitive in the global marketplace.  For more information, visit the website



For more information, contact:


Amy Roady                                        Jayma Appleby                     

309-808-3610                                     847-722-9818