Origin: Southeast Asia
Chromosome number: 2n= 40
- Soybean is an oilseed crop.
- Soybeans are a rich source of protein, minerals, and vitamins.
- Protein content of soybean is 40% and its oil content is 20%.
- Soybean contains Omega 3 fatty acids, it has complete protein that’s why it is a good source of protein for bodybuilders.
- Soybean contains fibers, minerals like calcium, magnesium, selenium and iron, vitamin B12.
- Soybean can be consumed or eaten as soy chunks, it is also used to prepare tofu which has a high content of protein, soy milk, etc.
- Soybean has no cholesterol and has very low-fat content.
- Soybean is one of the major source of vegetable oil in the world.
- Soybean is popularly known as the Golden Bean.
- Nowadays soybean is also used to make biodiesel.
Area and Distribution
- Soybean is cultivated in Argentina, Brazil, United States.
- The United States is the largest producer of soybean crops which accounts for 34% of total soybean production in the world. Brazil stands at second position with having 27% of total production and Argentina comes in third position with 20% of the global soybean production.
- China accounts only for 7% of global soybean production while India accounts for 4% of total soybean production in the world.
- China stands at 4th and India at the 5th position for the production of soybean in the world.
- The total production of soybean in the world is 334, 894, 085 metric tonnes(2016) and in India it is 14,008,000 metric tonnes.
- The area under soybean cultivation is estimated to be around 9.73 M hectares.
Soybean Cultivation Guide
- Soybean could be easily grown in any kind of soil but it shows best results in clay loam soils with good drainage.
- Waterlogging should be avoided for the proper growth of soybean crops.
- Soil pH of 6 to 6.5 is considered ideal for plant growth, however pH till 7.5 is also good.
- Soybean can tolerate salt concentration to moderate level.
Climate and Temperature
- Soybean crops can withstand both hot and cool temperatures but its growth decreases in extreme high and low temperatures.
- For germination soybean crop requires temperature in the range of 15 to 32 degree C.
- Soybean performs well in a warm and moist climate.
- Ideal soil temperature is considered to be 15.5 degrees C or above for the growth of soybean crops.
- Flowering is delayed due to low temperatures in soybean crops.
- Temperature ranging from 15 to 30 degrees C is good for the growth and development of soybean crops.
- Soybean can tolerate drought for a short period and requires at least 400 mm of rainfall during growth.
- However, it is required to maintain moisture during germination, flowering, and pod formation.
- Soybean crop grows rapidly in warm temperature.
- Seed rate of soybean mainly depends on three factors
seed size and
- For early sowing, seed rate: 70 – 80 Kg/hectare
- For late sowing, seed rate: 100 – 120 Kg/hectare.
- Fine-textured with less number of clods is considered ideal for the cultivation of soybean crop.
- Land should be prepared and leveled with the following process:
one deep plowing with a moldboard plow
Then two harrowing or plowing with local plow.
- Drainage channels should be prepared for removing excess water from the field to prevent waterlogging conditions in the field.
Method of Seeding
- Soybean seeds should be treated with fungicides 24 hours before sowing.
- Captan or Thiram @ 3gram per Kg
- Soybean seeds could be sown in lines. You can use a seed drill for sowing.
- Plant to plant distance should be maintained and it should be between 4 to 5 cm.
- seed could be sown 3 to 4 cm deep in the soil but sowing depth should not exceed 4 cm.
- Application of 15 to 20 tonnes FYM( Farm Yard Manure) or any organic manure per hectare before sowing is considered good for soybean growth.
- N, P and K i.e. Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium requirement are as follow
20 Kg Nitrogen, 80 Kg Phosphorus, and 40 Kg Potassium per hectare. They could be applied through basal dressing.
- 40 Kg of sulfur should also be applied in the form of gypsum @ 220 Kg/hectare.
- However local soil testing and considered are preferred best to meet the nutritional need of a crop.
- The first application of water should be given just after the sowing of seeds of soybean.
- Second irrigation should be applied 3 DAS ( Days After Sowing).
- After that irrigate the field at an interval of 7 to 10 days in summer. During winter soybean crop does not need much water and you can irrigate the field at an interval of 10 to 15 days regularly.
- Major weeds of soybean crops are:
Amaranthus spinosus, Brachiaria reptans, Cleome gynanadra, Phyllanthus niruri, Trianthema portulacastrum etc.
- First few weeks, generally field gets weeds infestation that’s why it is very important to maintain field sanitization to control the growth of weeds.
- Hand weeding could be practiced 30 to 45 DAS
- Application of PRE Herbicides such as Fluchloralin, Acetochlor, etc, and PPI herbicides such as Trifluralin, Lactofen, Alachlor are efficient to control weed infestation in the field.
- When pods become dry and leaves seems yellow in the entire field, the crop is ready to be harvested.
- At this stage harvest the crop with the help of a sickle.
- Average yield of 18 to 35 quintals/ hectare is obtained in soybean crops.