Soybean pods in the evening sun

(Photo Credit: Joseph L. Murphy/Iowa Soybean Association)

ISA Launches Research Center for Farming Innovation to Boost Soybean Profitability

February 7, 2020

Ankeny, Iowa — Soybean farmers wanting to boost profitability through improved data, information and decision tools related to agronomics and conservation have a team at the ready to help make the most of every acre and growing season.

The Iowa Soybean Association’s (ISA) Research Center for Farming Innovation has launched. The goal: to deliver the very best farmer-led research combining agronomic, conservation and analytics tailored for soybean farmers.

ISA Sr. Research Director Ed Anderson says the Center integrates and focuses what were the On-Farm Network, Environmental Programs and Services and Analytics programs to better serve Iowa’s 40,000 soybean growers.

“Our expertise, experience, expansive data sets and farmer-focused approach are unique in providing value to Iowa soybean farmers because of the investment made by Iowa soybean farmers,” he says. “We’re uniquely positioned to deliver innovative and transformational research, tools and technical assistance that can only be found at the Center.”

This holistic approach to soybean research is about developing systems and practices that are more profitable, resilient and sustainable, Anderson says.

“We’re excited about the future and enabling farmers to thrive despite the challenges and uncertainties that accompany every growing season,” he says.

In addition to more comprehensively serving soybean producers, the Research Center for Farming Innovation also:

  • Leverages soybean checkoff investments with additional non-checkoff sources;
  • Strengthens partner relationships with Iowa State University’s Soybean Research Center and the Iowa Nutrient Research Center;
  • Collaborates with other farm and commodity organizations, state and local agencies and companies engaged in seed, crop protection, precision and digital agriculture; and
  • Broadly accelerates farming advances for profitability and sustainability.

For ISA President Tim Bardole of Rippey, ISA’s new approach to production and conservation research brings greater value by tailoring data for the unique geographic and agronomic settings of each operation.

“There’s never a one-size-fits-all approach. Each farm has unique circumstances that require an individualized plan of action,” Bardole says.” “We are positioned to deliver insights and recommendations for agronomy, conservation, natural resource management, engineering and data analytics for the individual farmer.” 

The Center is poised to assist farmers considering big picture operational decisions for short- and long-term profitability with a suite of research and decision-making tools. ISA researchers help farmers take a programmatic approach to continuously improve their overall operations with an eye on maximizing economic returns.

The Iowa Soybean Association ( 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 15,000 ISA farmer members and industry stakeholders.