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?, funded by the Illinois Soybean Association, helps answer this question by showing us soybean production in action – one photo at a time.

How does SoyCam get soybean production photos?

For the past four years, soybean farmers from across Illinois have been helping 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. SoyCam gives them a place to share it with you. As you look through our many 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 regular notes from farmers on how rainfall (or lack of), pests, disease and even streetlights impact the growth of soybeans.
  • Compare the soybean growth in the northern part of Illinois to those in southern Illinois.
  • Watch as farmers bring in the crops and what is involved during harvest.

What else do these soybean farmers post photos of?

In addition to posting traditional field photos, many of our SoyCam farmers also post pictures of other parts of agriculture they are involved in—like pork production, beef production and the sustainability efforts they practice to help ensure we are using the Earth’s resources in the best possible way. You’ll even see photos of their families as many of them work together to produce the food. There is so much we can learn by simply walking a day in one of these farmers’ shoes.

Want to follow SoyCam?

Add SoyCam to your list of favorite websites and check back regularly during the soybean growing season – typically from April or May to October—to see the journey of the bean. You can also follow us on Twitter for regular updates and some of the coolest photos from the fields.

Illinois Photographer Participants

Warren County - Deb Moore White County - Tim Scates Greene County - Ross Prough LaSalle County - Kate Hagenbuch Jasper County - Karl Spencer

ISA has partnered with eight different Illinois soybean farmers for the 2014 SoyCam program. These individuals will be shooting and posting photographs of their soybean fields and related production efforts throughout the growing season. For more information about each participant or to access his or her gallery, simply click on a name in the list below. We also encourage you to review our archived galleries from 2012 and 2013.