Illinois Soybean Association Heads to Farm Shows With Valuable Information for Illinois Growers

Dec 03, 2009, 15:56 ET from Illinois Soybean Association

BLOOMINGTON, Ill., Dec. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) is heading to area farm shows with information that will benefit Illinois soybean growers. Since the soybean checkoff plays a major role in research, ISA's new display will feature many ways the checkoff-funded initiatives improve production and market opportunities, thereby helping to boost yields and grower profits.

2010 Yield Challenge - New Brochures Available

One of the primary activities featured by the ISA is the 2010 Yield Challenge. Funded by the soybean checkoff, the Yield Challenge is a new venture designed to make Illinois soybean growers the global leader in soybean yields by developing new and innovative farming practices. The ISA is promoting the benefits of becoming involved in this new endeavor and offering 2010 Yield Challenge brochures to explain the benefits further.

According to Jim Nelson, ISA Yield Challenge coordinator, "This is a great time to address the 2010 Yield Challenge because farmers and agribusinesses throughout the state have been focused on harvesting until now. Due to the unusual weather this season, they just haven't had the time to consider the benefits of this opportunity - they have been trying to wrap up their harvests instead."

One of the largest efforts created to unify a large collection of farmer research, the Challenge allows teams of growers and others to work together to improve soybean yield and generate meaningful data. As part of the 2010 Yield Challenge, participants will receive free soil testing for nutrients and soybean cyst nematode (SCN) egg and Type testing, along with free protein and oil analyses of grain samples taken from harvested plots. The soybean production strategies and data collected from the Challenge will be available to all growers to improve soybean yields in Illinois.

A Benefit to Growers and Sponsors

"The ISA is currently looking at 400-600 plots in the 2010 Yield Challenge so far," Nelson continued, "but we are still seeking growers, sponsors and student teams to participate. The 2010 Yield Challenge is not only a great opportunity for farmers, but it is also a benefit for sponsors, who can speak with key customers and challenge them to utilize different yield-enhancing strategies. The 2010 Yield Challenge will offer better exposure when they tie their own programs into ways to improve yields for their sponsored teams."

The Yield Challenge was created by ISA with participation from four public universities, University of Illinois, Southern Illinois University, Illinois State University and Western Illinois University, as well as the National Soybean Research Laboratory. Details and team/sponsor entry forms are available at Registration will continue until April 1, 2010.

Growers Encouraged to Utilize VIPS Data

For now, growers are encouraged to send in their applications and begin choosing soybean seed varieties. The recently updated Varietal Information Program for Soybeans (VIPS) database will help make selection easier by comparing the performance of more than 650 seed varieties. The VIPS booklet and website,, are great tools, giving growers the data they need to choose the best varieties for their fields.

Other Featured Information

At upcoming farm shows, growers also will have the opportunity to learn more about feed uses - providing protein to support livestock production in Illinois - and, which is touted as a great way to connect soybean growers with specialty premium programs. In addition, the display highlights soy biodiesel - American grown performance - and new uses for soy in consumer, commercial and industrial products. Finally, soybean growers can offer their opinions with a brief checkoff survey to let ISA know how producers would like their checkoff dollars invested. As an extra bonus, when soybean growers turn in their survey, they will be registered to win a work vest.

For more information and a list of the farm shows ISA will be attending, call (888) 826-4011 or go to

SOURCE Illinois Soybean Association