BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — The Illinois Soybean Association asked. Farmers answered.
ISA worked with Aimpoint Research to conduct a producer survey in 2021 to improve communications and strategic investment. The results of the survey are being used to evaluate checkoff support among soybean growers, test the awareness of programs and initiatives, and identify opportunities and challenges.
Phone interviews were conducted with 302 soybean farmers across the state. All respondents farm at least 200 acres.
When asked about legislative priorities, farmers reported that they find trade, crop insurance and the farm bill to be the most important government affairs topics for their farm operation.
When it comes to on-farm issues, the survey found that farmers are extremely concerned with weeds and soil quality, in addition to disease, insects and water management.
Over 90% of farmers have adopted agronomic practices such as soil testing and reduced tillage. More specifically, 98% of surveyed farmers told ISA that they conduct soil tests, and 92% answered that they use reduced tillage. Biodiesel use varies by region.
According to the survey results, magazines are farmers’ most preferred means of receiving information, followed by mailers and email. Other means included newspapers, online media outlets, text messages, social media and more.
ISA also learned that most farmers are familiar with ISA and three-fourths of farmers are familiar with how their checkoff dollars are used and are supportive of ISA.
“It’s important to us as a farmer-led organization to know the priorities and concerns of the farmers we serve,” said Steve Pitstick, ISA chairman. “Having an idea of where farmers stand on certain issues guides us in our decision making and program planning year after year.”