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View from the Cab: Saluting the state bean

By Kent Casson

It’s only appropriate that the official state bean of Illinois is the soybean.

What else would it be – green beans or baked beans? Although, I do enjoy those two types of beans on my dinner plate.

A measure was recently passed through the Illinois Senate from Senator Doris Turner which made this designation. The Illinois Farm Bureau reports Illinois is the number one producing state in the country of soybeans with 15 percent of all soybeans in the U.S. produced here.

“The 48th Senate District is home to the soybean capital of the world, Decatur, Illinois,” said Turner (D-Springfield). “When designating state symbols, we have to recognize the impact the soybean has on our economy and the number of jobs it creates.”

Ron Kindred, Illinois Soybean Association Chairman, said ISA commends Senator Turner and the General Assembly for passing House Bill 4439 to recognize the importance of soybeans to Illinois agriculture on the 60th anniversary of the Illinois Soybean Association.

House Bill 4439 passed the Senate with bipartisan support from lawmakers. HB 4645 was transferred to HB 4439 and HB 4439 passed the Senate 58-0-0 and was sent to the House for concurrence. Illinois Farm Bureau supports this.

USDA says Illinois soybean farmers raised 648.9 million bushels of soybeans on 10.3 million acres in the 2023 growing season. Compared to 2022, total acreage and yield estimates were both down 4 percent in the state and average yields remained the same in 2023 at 63 bushels per acre.

“I would like to congratulate by fellow 43,000 soybean farmers on another successful growing season,” said Kindred. “Despite challenges such as heavy, early season rains in some areas and extremely dry conditions in other areas of the state, Illinois farmers made smart management decisions to maintain average soybean yields statewide.”

As part of being the nation’s leader in soybean production, Illinois farmers also invest in their checkoff to drive soybean demand internationally and domestically. Since its creation in 1964, Illinois Soybean Association has helped increase demand for soybean meal as a feed ingredient in a booming agriculture market, has increased the adoption of soy-based biodiesel and helped secure the preference for Illinois soybeans in key overseas markets.


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