Soybean or soya bean is a species of legume (Glycine max) native to eastern Asia. It is classified as an oilseed rather than a pulse due to its high oil content and its more popular use as a source of vegetable oil and industrial applications such as biodiesel. It has been grown in China for over 5,000 years. Soybean is one of the most versatile crops grown around the world.
Soybeans are the world’s foremost provider of vegetable protein and oil. The bushy, green soybean plant is a legume related to peas, groundnuts (peanuts) and alfalfa. The most versatile of the world’s major crops, soybeans can be grown in a wider variety of soil and climatic conditions than any other major world crop. Consequently, soybeans are the most widely grown oilseed in the world. In the last 20 years, scientists have learned how to extract a much wider variety of byproducts from soybeans that are proving beneficial in animal feed, human food, and industrial applications.
Scientific name – Glycine max
Soybean crop varieties
|Varieties||*Agro-climatic zones||**Duration (days)||**Grain yield (q/ha)|
|#PK 327 +||N,U,B,H||105-110||25|
|#PK 271 +||N,U,H||110-115||26|
|#PK 262 +||U,B,H||110-115||27|
|Kalitur (Fodder)||All zones||120-125||20|
Soybean growing season in India
May-June: North Bank Plains Zone, Upper Brahmaputra Valley Zone & Central Brahmaputra Valley Zone.
Mid May-Mid June: Hills Zone
June- April: Lower Brahmaputra Valley Zone & Barak Valley Zone.
Soil requirement for soybean crop
Soybean can be grown on wide range of soils but soyabean grows best on fertile well drained loamy soils. Water logging is injurious to the crop. In acidic soils where pH is below 6.0, lime (200 mesh powder form) should be added @ 2t/ha, at least 7 days before sowing. Liming is necessary once in three years.
Land Preparation for soybean crop
Soybean should be grown on well-pulverized bed. Land should be prepared by giving deep plowing followed by laddering. There should be provision of surface drains with gentle slope for good drainage.
Fertilizers requirement for soybean
Potash is required for healthy development of seeds. Foliar application of MOP is recommended in soils with low potash content.
Fertilizer should be placed in furrows at a depth of 5 to 7 cm below the seeds and should be covered with a layer of 3-4 cm soil and make it level with the field. In case placement is not possible, the fertilizers should be evenly broadcast and incorporated in the soil.
Foliar-Spray of MOP
MOP should be sprayed at the flower initiation stage in between 30 and 35 days after sowing with hand sprayer for proper grain filling in pods.
Preparation of MOP solution for spraying with hand sprayer :
|Quantity of MOP (kg)||Quantity of water (l/ha)||Strength of MOP solution (%)||No. of
|Type of sprayer|
Seed Rate and Time of Sowing
For branched type soybean varieties (Bragg, Alankar, Ankur, Silajit, PK 271, and PK 262) the seed rate is 60 kg/ha or 8.5/ bigha when sown early, normal and late to obtain a plant population of about 0.2 million/ha. The seed rate for less branching type soybean varieties (JS 2, Moti, Kalitur, and Pusa soybean) is 75 kg/ha or 10.5 kg/bigha for the same period of sowing to obtain a plant population of 0.4 million/ha. For late sown crop, seed rate is 80 kg/ha or 11.5 kg/bigha for a population of 0.6 million/ha. Germination is affected if it rains within 72 hours of sowing.
Seed are sown in lines 45 cm apart at a distance of 5 to 10 cm between seeds. Depth of seedling should not exceed 4 cm. The depth can further be reduced to 2 to 3 cm if moisture content in soil is high. The rows should be covered with a thin layer of paddy straw for better germination.
Soybean Cultivation practices
Two manual weedings at 15 and 36 days after sowing should be done.
Soybean seeds should be treated with Thiram @ 3 g/kg of seed. Soybean is susceptible to yellow mosaic virus. In order to stop spread of the vector of yellow mosaic disease in field, spray dimethoate 30 EC @ 1 to 1.51 in 800 to 1000 l water/ha.
Rhizoctonia solani induced dry root rot in soybean can be effectively managed by seed treatment with Trichoderma spp by slurry method @ 5 g/kg of seed.
Spraying of dichlorvos 100 EC @ 0.5 ml/l or chlorpyriphos 20 EC @ 1 ml/lit should be done against hairy caterpillar, semilooper, leaf roller and flea beetle.
Harvesting of Soybean
At maturity, all the leaves turn yellow and fall off and the stalks stand only with pods. Harvesting can be done at this stage by cutting the plants with a sickle or by breaking at the base.
The grains should be dried before storage to ensure that the moisture content of seeds does not exceed 10 per cent. Seeds can be stored in dry bins or polythene bags. (250 gauge thickness) in an airtight condition. Bins should be kept on wooden racks so that it does not come in direct contact with the ground. Treatment of seeds with Thiram (@ 3g/kg of seed) is absolutely necessary when stored for seed purposes.
Drenching of soybean seeds should be done before any kind of soybean preparation. For this purpose, 0.5% sodium carbonate solution be prepared and mixed with seed @ 2 litre/ kg of seed and boiled for 20 minutes. Then the boiled seeds should be washed with plain water 2-3 times to remove the trypsin inhibitor.
Use of Soybean
Soybean contains 40% protein and 20% high-quality oils. Besides this, it is also a source of vitamin B complex, thiamine and riboflavin. Several food products can be prepared from soybean.
- Seeds should be soaked in water for 12 hours.
- Seed coats should be removed by rubbing the soaked seeds between palms.
- A paste should be made by grinding the peeled seeds.
- The paste should be boiled in water which should be about three times its weight and the milk should not be over boiled. Otherwise, its nutritive value may be lost. A few drops of ginger juice and a few bay leaves should be added for removing the beany odour.
Soybean milk is useful against intestinal disorder. It prevents summer diarrhea. It is easily digestible and can be used as a diet for old debilitated and convalescents. Soybean can also be used for the preparation of Chapati, Kachuri, Malpowa, Bhujia, Ladoo, Chutni, Bor, Cake etc.
To prepare curd, soy milk should be poured in an appropriate container while it is moderately hot.
Green soybeans are widely used as much in the same way as the pea is used. When the bean reaches its full size, but yet green and tender, it is collected from the plant. It is usually boiled and taken as a green vegetable. Green beans are also used in salads. In order to secure the best flavour, the beans should be cooked when they still remain affixed in the pods. In such cases, they are soaked in boiling water for a few minutes to make it easy to shell.
Soybean and maize mixture is an excellent poultry feed.
- Assam Agricultural University, Jorhat
- Department of Agriculture, Assam