About the Iowa Soybean Association

The Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) is driven to deliver increased soybean demand through market development and new uses, farmer-focused research and results, timely information and know-how and policy initiatives enabling farmers and the industry to flourish. 

Founded in 1964 by farmers to serve farmers, ISA is governed by a board of 22 farmers to advocate on behalf of the state’s 40,000 soybean producers, including more than 12,000 ISA farmer members and industry stakeholders. 

ISA invests checkoff dollars to deliver programs and services that meet the needs of Iowa soybean farmers. From soybean research to transportation, market development to communications, ISA is home to a suite of programs that provide information and assistance to help farmers be more competitive.  

Soybeans & Iowa

The soybean is a species of legume that originated in Southeast Asia and was first domesticated by Chinese farmers. Its popularity among U.S. farmers took root in the late 1800s. By the early 1900s, acres planted to soybeans increased dramatically after George Washington Carver (a graduate of Iowa State University) discovered that soybeans are a valuable source of protein and oil and beneficial to soil quality when planted in rotation with other crops.

Quick Facts

  • Today, more than 30 states have a soybean production industry with Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, North Dakota and Nebraska among the nation’s top producers.
  • Iowa soybean farmers produce nearly 550 million bushels of soybeans, or roughly 13% of the nation’s total.
  • Iowa farmers rank second nationally in soybean production.
  • The value of Iowa’s soybean crop routinely exceeds $4.5 billion.
  • A 60-pound bushel of soybeans yields about 48 pounds of protein-rich soybean meal and 11 pounds of oil.

Learn how soybeans are utilized in Iowa, the U.S. and around the world.

Iowa Soybean Production (% of U.S. total production)

2020: 503 million bushels (12%)
2019: 502 million bushels (14%) 
2018: 565 million bushels (12.5%)
2017: 562 million bushels (12.8%)
2016: 571 million bushels (13.5%)
2015: 554 million bushels (14%)
2014: 505.7 million bushels (12%)
2013:  421 million bushels (12.5%)
2012: 419 million bushels (14%)

Average Iowa soybean yield (yield/acre)

2020: 53 bushels
2019: 55 bushels
2018: 57 bushels
2017: 56.5 bushels
2016: 60.5 bushels
2015: 56.5 bushels
2014: 51.5 bushels
2013: 45.5 bushels
2012: 45 bushels