Soybean growers can use the newly redesigned VIPS website to choose soybean varieties. (Photo by Carrie Muehling/WJBC)
By Carrie Muehling
NORMAL – A major redesign of the VIPS website should give farmers an easier way to choose soybean varieties.
VIPS stands for Varietal Information Program for Soybeans. The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) has supported the program since 1998, but this is the first major update to the program’s website.
“We always had an awful lot of information there, and it was overwhelming to farmers. Mainly farmers are interested in the yield and standablity and the disease resistance and this sort of thing,” said Ross Prough, a farmer from Greenfield, Ill., who serves as one of six at-large directors with the ISA.
The redesign makes that information more readily available, while farmers can still find other details about a number of soybean varieties if they so choose. The new website is also more friendly to mobile devices.
“You’d have to have pretty good eyesight to read the old website on your smartphone, even turning it sideways. It’s just not going to work,” said Prough.
The website is one of few in the country offering this type of information.
“Something that you won’t find a lot of other places is we’ve got information on the protein and oil level of the different varieties, so you need to take a look at that and try to select your beans not just for yield and agronomic traits but start taking a look at selecting for the components that we’re producing, as well,” said Rowen Ziegler, production chairman for the ISA board of directors.
Protein and oil analysis has always been there, but recently there is a new emphasis on the need for having that higher quality bean available for competition in the world marketplace. ISA has a goal of producing soybeans that average 19 percent oil and 35 percent meal.
Prough and Ziegler attended the Illinois Soybean Profitability Summit in Normal on Monday.
Carrie Muehling can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.