Soy 100 aims to help producers grow 100-bushel soybeans

Around 100 South Dakota soybean producers participated in the Soy 100 conference in Brookings.

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Tregg Cronin discusses markets with producers at Soy 100.
Ariana Schumacher / Agweek

BROOKINGS, S.D. — South Dakota Soybean producers gathered in Brookings to discuss topics surrounding the industry and learn how they can best reach their goal of growing 100-bushel bean crops.

The conference room at McCrory Gardens on March 23 was filled with soybean growers, all preparing for this year’s growing season.

“We are always trying to look forward in assisting producers in getting the best yields possible. So, we have a yield contest, we take information from that and bring it back to farmers so they can see what everybody else is doing across the state,” said Jerry Schmitz, executive director of South Dakota Soybean Checkoff and South Dakota Soybean Association.

For young producers like Beau Schooley, meetings like this help to create networking opportunities and learn from others in the industry.

“Just everyone talking with each other, like I seen a buddy I haven’t seen in two years today and we hit it off and got to talk to each other and just meeting new people too and finding new ways to do things,” Schooley said.


“You know, everybody likes working with their peers, learning about what their peers are doing and what’s successful and maybe what wasn’t successful last year and sharing that information,” Schmitz said. “We always look to neighbors, and they want to look across the region to find out ‘hey what’s everybody doing.’”

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Tregg Cronin discusses the grain markets with producers during Soy 100.
Ariana Schumacher / Agweek

Topics discussed included weather, fertilizer, diseases, agronomy and markets.

“Once you raise all those soybeans, hopefully you’ve got a plan for what to do with them and so just trying to navigate these commodity markets with the volatility that we haven’t seen in a long, long time,” said Tregg Cronin, market analyst for Cronin Farms.

They are bringing world topics into the discussion to teach producers about how these issues can impact their farms here in South Dakota.

“What’s happening in Ukraine for instance and the rest of the world, what’s happening in banking and with the bank closures and how that might impact agriculture,” said Schmitz.

“We’ve got a lot of cross currents in our markets right now with the banking sector crisis, volatile energy market, geopolitical tension in the Black Sea and China, but then also we’ve got a lot of specific things to the grain markets to keep on top of from you know, snow pack on the northern plains, how many acres are we going to plant, what are the demand indicators showing for corn, soybeans, wheat,” said Cronin. “So, trying to figure out what are the grain markets going to tell us, but yet respect all these influences that are driving price action on a day to day basis.”

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Producers listen to talks about the current grain market during Soy 100.
Ariana Schumacher / Agweek

The Soybean Checkoff is hoping that by bringing education on these topics, they can help farmers reach their highest production potential.

“Everyone wants to do their best and instead of just trying to do things by yourself, it’s a lot better to do things with each other, just like anything, working together, you are going to have a better output then doing stuff by yourself,” Schooley said.


“The final goal is to make them sustainable and to make sure that they are economically viable for the next generation,” Schmitz said.

The South Dakota Soybean Association does have other events coming up, including their “Shop Talks.” You can find more information about their upcoming opportunities at

Ariana is a reporter for Agweek based out of South Dakota. She graduated from South Dakota State University in 2022 with a double major in Agricultural Communications and Journalism, with a minor in Animal Science. She is currently a graduate student at SDSU, working towards her Masters of Mass Communications degree. She enjoys reporting on all things agriculture and sharing the stories that matter to both the producers and the consumers.

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