Iowa soybean farmers joined Governor Kim Reynolds to commemorate Soybean Month in Iowa. (Left to right): Lisa Obrecht, a soybean farmer near Zearing; ISA senior director of public affairs; Randy Miller, ISA president and soybean farmer near Lacona; April Hemmes, ISA district 2 director and soybean farmer near Hampton; Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds; Pat Swanson, ISA district 9 director and soybean farmer near Ottumwa; Suzanne Shirbroun, ISA president-elect and soybean farmer near Farmersburg; Scot Bailey, ISA district 7 director and soybean farmer near Anita; and Warren Bachman, ISA district 8 director and soybean farmer near Osceola. (Photo: Joclyn Bushman/Iowa Soybean Association)
Soybean Month in August Celebrates the Crop’s Impact, Contributions to Iowa
August 10, 2023 | Brock Johnston
Ankeny, Iowa – Bolstered demand and a growing portfolio of uses prove homegrown soybeans are an economic, social and environmental driver for Iowa. These benefits were reinforced through a proclamation signed this week by Governor Kim Reynolds.
In August, Soybean Month in Iowa brings attention to the versatile crop responsible for feeding and fueling the world. From clean-burning biodiesel and feed for livestock, poultry and dairy to a variety of food and industrial products, uses derived from soybeans are nearly endless.
“The industry has experienced tremendous growth in soybean production and consumption in recent decades, both in Iowa and across the world, said Iowa Soybean Association President Randy Miller, who farms near Lacona. “We’ve only scratched the surface of the crop’s potential as ISA and other organizations continue to research and expand usage opportunities for soybeans.”
Despite ongoing challenges, Iowa farmers continue to play a critical role in soybean production success. The state’s 40,000 soybean farmers harvested 587 million bushels of soybeans in 2022 – roughly 14% of the nation’s total output.
The variety of soy-based products offered in grocery retailers has also experienced massive growth. As consumer values trend toward health-minded, environmentally conscious foods, soy satisfies both needs and contains all essential amino acids required for a healthy diet.
A recent United Nations report on global food security found more than 1.3 billion people faced food insecurity in 2022. Due to soybean’s nutrient composition and adoption of sustainable management practices by Iowa soybean farmers, the crop is well positioned to help address the protein needs of a growing population.
“Whether animal- or plant-based consumption, protein is an increasingly global need, said Miller. “It’s because of continued checkoff investment by U.S. soybean farmers that we’re able to continue efforts to support the nutrition of our communities and the world.”
Iowa is a national leader in soybean production due to the state’s dedicated agriculture providers. To boost productivity and ensure the quality of Iowa’s natural resources for future generations, Iowa soybean farmers continue to scale conservation practices to improve water quality and soil health. ISA has played a critical role in the defining decade of progress toward Iowa’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy, working directly with farmers, partner organizations, municipalities and government agencies to increase acres utilizing in- and edge-of-field practices. These include cover crop adoption, prescriptive planting, controlled drainage, saturated buffers, bioreactors and management of manure, tillage and pests.
To mark the occasion, ISA is celebrating Soybean Month in Iowa by:
- Renewing sponsorships of the Iowa State Fair trams and biodiesel-powered team buses for the University of Iowa and Iowa State University;
- Meeting with soybean farmers at six regional Summer Soy Series events across Iowa;
- Sharing soybean research results from ISA’s nationally recognized Research Center for Farming Innovation across ISA social platforms;
- Promoting the many products and uses derived from soybeans toward consumers, including soy trivia and giveaways in partnership with Iowa Cubs baseball; and
- Increasing awareness for on-farm practices yielding water quality and soil health improvements as part of Iowa’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy.
Funded by the soybean checkoff
The Iowa Soybean Association (www.iasoybeans.com) 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.