ISA conservation agronomist, Joe Wuebker trains Ryan an

ISA conservation agronomist, Joe Wuebker trains Ryan and Tarin Tiefenthaler, farmers from Carroll on using the ISOFAST tool. That tool and others will be introduced during ISA's Innovation to Profit Conference, Feb. 17. (Photo: Kriss Nelson/Iowa Soybean Association)

Conference preview: Tools for economic solutions

January 13, 2022 | Kriss Nelson

Farmers know that agronomic decisions are complex with many forms of risk.

The Iowa Soybean Association has developed a series of free, online, interactive decision-aid tools to help farmers manage the dynamics of economic risk.

A “Decision Support Tool workshop: ISA Dynamic Economic Solutions for Farmers” will be presented during the Innovation to Profit Conference scheduled for Feb. 17 at the FFA and Enrichment Center in Ankeny. Attendees are encouraged to bring their iPad or laptop for this workshop.

“The workshop will be hands-on, or you can follow along,” says Peter Kyveryga, ISA senior research scientist and director of analytics. “Farmers and agronomists can customize their market prices and production costs to closely emulate their farm operations and produce estimated field-specific breakeven yield response, net return or breakeven practice cost.”

The tools utilize various strategies ranging from analyzing the rich, historical, on-farm replicated strip trial data in the ISA archive to simulation-based tools running instant computations on user-defined inputs of cost, prices and yield responses to various products and practices.

“Farmers looking to manage risk related to volatile crop market prices, input costs and those who want to better target market their soybean crop can benefit from attending this workshop,” Kyveryga says. “Industry agronomists and independent consultants who want to keep up-to-date on the latest research and digital technologies can also benefit.”


Cover Crop Economic Simulator was developed in 2021 and is designed for farmers, landowners, crop consultants and agronomists interested in measuring and weighing the environmental, agronomic, and economic outcomes of cover crops through simulation of different scenarios. Based on partial budget economic analyses, the tool visualizes estimated revenue based on a range of market prices and crop yield ranges controlled by the user. It also provides examples of cost offset opportunities (federal and state cost-share, ecosystem services payments and erosion reduction values) and incorporates their impact on net revenue.

Soybean Quality Economic Simulator is a relatively new tool that facilitates simulations and visualizations of potential economic return from protein premium payments based on soybean quality. It also allows user input to adjust soybean grain price, expected yield, yield change and the premium payment amount. The potential marketing benefit to farmers from advanced knowledge about soybean quality before entering it into the supply chain is significant and has substantial implications for the competitiveness of US soybeans entering both local and international supply chains and markets.

Economic View on On-Farm Studies or EVOS is a new tool based on the Interactive Summaries of On-Farm Strip Trials (ISOFAST) platform. It is being designed to provide a deeper understanding of economic impacts to aid farmers and agronomists in decision-making. It utilizes more than 50 ISA on-farm studies in both corn and soybean since 2006. The tool compares different products and practices, providing their relative ranking using estimated economic risk, average return, and the option of default or user input of product and application cost and crop prices.

“Iowa soybean farmers routinely contend with tough business challenges,” says Kyveryga. “Our goal is to provide tools that help diversify how they can approach some of their toughest economic issues. Sustainable, profitable agriculture provides food security, fuel diversification and a host of other manufacturing benefits to our nation.”

To register and view the full agenda for the Innovation to Profit Conference, visit the conference page. See more decision tools at this page.