Telling the Story of Soybeans One Photo at a Time

Around the world, soybeans have fast become known as a miracle crop because of their ever-growing use in many of the foods we eat. Not only can we eat the actual soybean, it is also used to feed cattle, pigs, chicken and fish, and is a key ingredient to many of your favorite foods. But what goes into growing this miracle crop? The Illinois Soybean Association funded the SoyCam initiative to help answer this question by showing us soybean production in action – one photo at a time.

How does SoyCam get soybean production photos?

Soybean farmers from across Illinois helped tell the story of soybean production with images from their fields. These farmers are proud of their crops and what they do for a living. They want to educate people who don’t live on a farm about what they do and why. These are their images, their crops, and SoyCam shares them with you. As you look through our SoyCam galleries, you will:

  • Gain an understanding of the risks farmers take each year as weather conditions impact their crops and overall success.
  • Discover how farmers prepare their fields for soybeans.
  • See field equipment in action as farmers take to the fields for planting.
  • Learn about soybean varieties and crop management techniques.
  • Read notes from farmers on how rainfall (or lack of), pests, disease and even streetlights impact the soybean growth.
  • Compare soybean growth in the northern part of Illinois to southern Illinois.
  • Watch as farmers bring in the crops and what is involved during harvest.

What else did the soybean farmers post photos of?

In addition to posting traditional field photos, many of our SoyCam farmers posted pictures of other parts of agriculture they’re involved in – like pork production, beef production and the sustainability efforts they practice to help ensure we’re using the Earth’s resources in the best possible way. They also show you how their families work together to produce the food. There is so much we can learn by simply walking a day in one of these farmers’ shoes.

While the SoyCam initiative has ended, you can still see the story of soybeans – and our Illinois soybean farmers – in the Archived Galleries. Check them out now!