The National Soybean Sustainability Initiative Online Survey Tool

The National Soybean Sustainability Initiative Online Survey Tool

Shawn Conley, Vince David, Carrie Laboski, Paul Mitchell, Paul Esker, Jed Colquhoun, AJ Bussan, Jeff Wyman and Deana Knuteson

Soybean production is a critically important component of US agriculture both domestically and in the global market place.  Global markets are increasingly demanding documentation of sustainability creating challenges to soybean producers.  To ensure there is a balance to their agriculture, sustainability programs are encouraging growers to engage in resource conservation efforts and look at the environmental, social and economic aspects of many of the practices they currently use in their farming operations.

To be proactive in regards to sustainability the National Sustainable Soybean Initiative (NSSI) was created in 2011.  NSSI’s mission is to develop a roadmap of soybean management systems that will help producers to achieve verifiable sustainability outcomes, improve the environmental services and productivity of their farms, help their rural communities thrive, and satisfy performance expectations of the value chain.

We have developed a whole farm and soybean specific sustainability protocol that incorporates questions linked to environmental, economic and social sustainability factors.  These criteria have been established utilizing researched based data from the Midwestern region.  Growers are able to use the information from this protocol for their own on-farm research and marketing requirements.

To get a coordinated, regional baseline of sustainability of soybeans, we are working on collecting data from growers for the survey.  No specific field or farm specific data will be received on the collection end, but growers are able to keep the data for themselves.  We will only look at combined data and no grower specific data will be available.  However, the combined data will allow us to look at a baseline of where soybeans growers in the Midwest are in regards to conservation and sustainability practices, and we will use the data to better enhance our research and educational programs.  Furthermore, this data can be used by state and national organizations for communication and marketing purposes.

With this, we encourage you to participate by filling out Whole Farm Assessment ( and Soybean Assessment ( ) protocols online.  For more information, please contact Shawn Conley ( or look at