ISA Newsroom

Agricultural news farmers want to know.

Research and Results Forum highlights helpful tools and profit opportunities

Article cover photo
Ed Anderson welcomes farmers to the first Research and Results Forum in Storm Lake on Tuesday. Farmers attending received actionable data to help their farming operations succeed. (Photo: Joseph L. Murphy/Iowa Soybean Association)

By Bethany Baratta, ISA senior writer

There’s plenty of research happening at the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA). A few of those projects and programs were on display at the ISA’s first Research and Results Forum, held earlier this week in Storm Lake.

More forums will take place the next three Tuesdays in February.

Here’s a snapshot of what you’ll find in Red Oak, Washington and Ankeny.

Conservation insights

ISA evaluated the conservation practices used by 20 Iowa farmers to evaluate their impact on farm profitability. The analysis, completed in 2019, included cover crops, reduced tillage and nutrient management.

The ISA study was completed with support from the Walton Family Foundation, the Environmental Defense Fund and Iowa-based Regional Strategic, Ltd. Among the findings: expanded usage of reduced- or no-till systems in the state could generate an annual savings between $220 million and $265 million.

Learn more about the study from ISA Senior Conservation Agronomist Heath Ellison at an upcoming forum.

Adam Kiel visits with Karl Leikvold about the Soil and Water Outcomes Fund during the Research and Results Forum in Storm Lake. (Photo: Joseph L. Murphy/Iowa Soybean Association)

Soil and Water Outcomes Fund

The ISA conservation study showed there’s economic value to adding conservation practices to farms in the state. ISA’s Soil & Water Outcomes Fund hopes to help farmers generate additional income by capturing those environmental outcomes. In its inaugural year, the Soil & Water Outcomes Fund provides financial incentives to farmers and landowners to implement agricultural best management practices and monetizes the resulting environmental benefits by selling verified outcomes to the beneficiaries.

The Fund is jointly administered by ISA and Quantified Ventures. It is housed within the Agriculture Technology & Environmental Stewardship Foundation, a nonprofit 501c3 owned and operated by ISA.

Learn more about the Fund and the opportunities here.

Agronomy update

ISA agronomists work directly with farmers, helping them find effective solutions to a list of ever-growing challenges farmers face today.

In western Iowa, white mold and soybean lodging are two challenges ISA agronomists are helping farmers overcome, according to ISA’s Drew Clemmensen and Scott Nelson.

There are opportunities for farmers to participate in on-farm research trials to determine the yield impact on late-maturity crops planted early and the combination of a fungicide and herbicide to control the spread and impact of white mold.

For more information, follow this link. For answers to problematic pests and diseases in your area, attend a Research and Results Forum at a location near you.

Three important tools

Analysts at the ISA Research Center for Farming Innovation combine agronomic information, mathematical formulations and computer language to create useful tools for farmers to help them analyze and interpret various trials.

“By doing this, we are helping farmers make smart and profitable decisions,” said Peter Kyveryga, ISA director of analytics.

Kyveryga and Suzanne Fey, a data analyst for the Center, introduced three tools for farmers at the forum.

The Interactive Summaries of On-Farm Strip Trials (ISOFAST) is a web-based interactive tool to visualize and summarize historical on-farm replicated strip trial data.

The Vegetation Index Time Series Interactive Tool (VITSIT) allows users to produce tie series graphs of both corn and soybean canopy reflectance from calibrated and uncalibrated digital aerial and satellite imagery collected at the ISA Imagery Calibration Site in Central Iowa. Check out the tool here.

The Soybean Variable Rate Planting Simulator utilizes user inputs of historical soybean yield, seed cost, and expected yield response to simulate different variable planting rate scenarios to maximize return and minimize cost. Get started using the tool here.

To learn more about the tool and how it can be useful to your farming operation, attend a Research and Results Forum.

Valuable information

The valuable information and data offered at the forum in Storm Lake was beneficial to farmers Randy Souder and Melvin Molitor.

“The research presented today was awesome,” said Molitor, who lives near Ruthven. “We need to get that information to farmers so we can fine-tune farming.”

He was most interested in the Soil & Water Outcomes Fund and the potential for farmers to be incentivized for making improvements on their land. Souder says the results of the conservation study combined with the new Soil & Water Outcomes Fund shows an opportunity for farmers.

“I think it will increase the number of no-till acres in the state,” said Souder, an ISA member near Rockwell City. He has been a no-till farmer for several years.

“When farmers discover no-till, they’ll also discover that their soybean profits will go up considerably.”

He suggests that all farmers attend a forum to learn about the latest research from the Iowa Soybean Association and the economic opportunities that might available to them.

“Just go and see what the ISA Research team has to offer,” Souder said. “I’ve been going for ISA research events for several years, and I’ve never been disappointed.”

Register today

The next Research and Results Forum will be held Tuesday, Feb. 11 in Red Oak. You can also hear about the latest research and results at a forum in Washington on Feb. 18, and in Ankeny on Feb. 25. For more information, and to register, follow this link.

Contact Bethany Baratta at

For media inquiries, permission to republish articles or to request high-res photos, please contact Katie James, ISA Public Relations Manager at © 2020 Iowa Soybean Association. All rights reserved.