Press Release

Yield Challenge Focuses on Making Soybeans New High-Value Crop

February 07, 2013

BLOOMINGTON, ILL. – February 8, 2013 – The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) invites soybean farmers from across Illinois to take part in the 2013 Yield Challenge.  The ISA Yield Challenge, which was established three years ago and is funded by the Illinois soybean checkoff, provides farmers with a platform to test innovative crop management strategies and technologies that could help boost yields.  Results from past years have consistently generated valuable data and provided farmers with opportunities to share applicable information.

"Our goal is to see the Yield Challenge not only boost soybean yields in Illinois, but also help us meet the growing world demand for soybeans," says Ross Prough, soybean farmer from Greenfield, Ill., and ISA yield target area vice chair.  "Soybeans have so much potential to become an even higher value crop.  The Yield Challenge is the perfect opportunity for farmers to test their knowledge, techniques and experience a paradigm shift.  The only way we move the needle on soybean yields is to attempt practices that have never been done before."

Changes Simplify Program

A few changes to the Yield Challenge have been made this year, including elimination of official teams and captains.  Each soybean farmer will register and compete as an individual.  All entrants may seek assistance from their agronomists and find product or technology sponsor(s).  ISA will continue to provide a coordinator who will help with registration, plot data collection and submission.  The coordinator also will approve the harvest verifier, who will monitor plot harvest and provide bags to collect soybean samples to measure oil and protein content.

Farmers in each district with the highest percent increase in yields will be honored.  First place will receive $500 and second place will receive $250.  A special 100-bushel challenge award of $5,000 will be issued to the entrant with the greatest yield greater than 100 bushels per acre. All winners will receive a certificate and recognition at the annual Illinois Commodity Conference.

Students Compete Separately

College students and FFA chapters also are invited to compete in a separate challenge, where they are encouraged to learn about more effective crop production techniques.  Winning teams will be recognized for participation and achievements, with both college and FFA categories receiving first place awards of $1,000 and second place awards of $500 for their schools.

Enter Online

All Yield Challenge participants must pay a $25 registration fee per entry.  Online registration begins April 15.  The deadline to enter is July 1.  Complete details, including information about how the program works and registration forms, are found at Interested participants also may call 888-826-4011 or email

The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) represents more than 45,000 soybean farmers in Illinois through the state soybean checkoff and membership efforts. The checkoff funds market development, soybean production and profitability research, promotion, issues management and analysis, communications and education. Membership and advocacy efforts support Illinois soybean farmer interests in local areas, Springfield and Washington, D.C.  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

Bruce Helling
McDaniels Marketing