Soybeans

Crop Information Sheet

Soybeans

The soybean plant is known as the "miracle crop". The bushy, green plant is a legume that is related to clover, peas, and alfalfa. This plant is usually planted late spring and harvested in early fall. During the summer, these plants flower and produce 60-80 pods. In each pod are three pea sized beans. These beans are high in protein and oil and can be used for many products around the world.

About Soybeans

History

Soybeans originated in southeast Asia. However, the Chinese were the first to grow the plant in 1100 B.C. Japan and many other countries grew it too during this time.

Growing Season

Soybean crops grown around the world have different production cycles of planting and harvesting times. These are the different places and time frames where soybeans are grown.


United States (38 percent of world production)

Planting: Soybean crops are planted beginning in late April and last through June.
Harvest: Soybeans are mainly harvested in late September and is finished by the end of November.

Brazil (25 percent of world production)
Planting: Mid-August through mid-December.
Harvest: February through May.

Argentina (19 percent of world production)
Planting: October through December.
Harvest: April through early June.

China (7 percent of world production)
Planting: Late April through mid-June.
Harvest: September through early October.

Planting Techniques

The soybean plants can be planted in cultivated or tilled land either by a tractor or a planter. They deposit the seen about 1 1/2 inches deep into the ground in rows taking up the whole field. These rows are about 30 inches apart so the soybeans can grow into bushes.


Soybeans can also be drilled into the ground in seven-inch rows by a "special till" planter. This means the land is not previously tilled or cultivated and the plant is put into the ground where stubble was left over from the previous year. It saves time, conserves moisture, and decreases the chance of soil erosion.

Care & Other Management Practices

When the plants begin to sprout, about four to seven days after planting, the farmer must inspect the plant. If there are bugs overpopulating the plant, the plants must be sprayed with a pesticide to keep the bugs from harming the crop.