Soybeans are edible beans in the family of legumes farmed in many parts of the world and consumed by almost everyone in the world. Soybeans farming is very lucrative all around the world

This crop is a bushy,free-branching annual legume that grows about 13 to 37 inches tall. It’s Stems and leaves are hairy.
Its flowers are white in colour with lavender shading. The fruits (pod) grow 1 to 4 inches long . Each of the pod has 2 to 4 seeds inside. Soybeans has many varieties as there are about 10k varieties of soybeans or even more.

It’s colours ranges from gray, brown,yellow, white.
The seeds in the inside of the pod is smaller than a pea or can be as large as a kidney bean.Soybeans are hot temperature plant that does very well in an environment where the temperature is about 60 to 70 F.

It is planted or cultivated in many continents and countries of the world like the America, Asia, Europe and even some parts of Africa like Zimbabwe etc.

The crop is said to have originated from Asia at about 2900 BC.

let’s dive into the farming process of soybeans crop and some vital information about soybeans.

Before starting soybeans farming/cultivation, there are few things to consider they are: siting of farmland or farmlands, types of soybeans, preparation of farm land and planting, how to take care of the soy crops, how to harvest/ store soybeans, importance market potentialIn this article, I am going to explain all of them step by step for easy understanding.

Siting of farm land or lands

Before sitting your land for soybeans farming, you should check if the land contains rich soil nutrients as the soy plants requires a lot of soil nutrients to do well, If not, you may need to apply fertilizer or organic manure ,if you like to improve the soil productivity.

Erosion is another great disturbance to the plant. It can wash away both the soil nutrients and the crop if planted in such a farm land, so it is a great factor to consider before sitting your farm, so as to avoid such type of land or environment.

Wind is one of the major factors that disturbs the soy plants, so it should be considered also before sitting your farm land.

The cost of transportation is also considered as you don’t want to site your farm land in a desolated place that is far from an inhabited area or cities where you will supply your goods to the public for sale.

types of soybeans

Soybeans has many types some of them are:

1. Soy Milk
This is the most popular type of Soybeans,it is popular even in many countries where they ain’t planted, Soy Milk is a major source of protein.
It is formulated from Soybeans that is awesomely grounded with good grinder, cooked/boiled, and strained.

Soy milk has with various additives and lots of flavours.
It is largely available in many packages which lasts for a very long time when refrigerated unless it is opened!.

The tastes of soy milk is different as it tastes differently from one another, depending on how it is prepared.

You seriously need to experiment with locally available brands to find a soymilk that pleases you.
Also, check the label for added sugar or preservatives. You want your soy milk to have as few additives as possible.

2. Soy Protein Powder
There are 2 kinds of soy protein powder and it can be seriously confusing when shopping for this popular additive for shakes and baking of foods.

Just like with soy milk, you have to check the label for unnecessary additives, then go with the brand that works best for you, whether you are using it in a shake or for baking.

Soy Protein concentration comes from detailed soy flakes, it has about 70% protein, while retaining most of the beans dietary fiber.

3. Soy Flour
Soybeans flour is being processed from whole grounded Soybeans, it is Used to increase the protein content of breads, cakes,cookies and many more foods.

Soybeans flour has no gluten, so it cannot be used to replace wheat flour in baking, but it can be used to supplement your other flours.

4. Miso
Miso, like tempeh, is a fermented soy food. There is a wide range of misos available, particularly if you search in Asian markets. Generally a strong-tasting, salty condiment, miso is perhaps most familiar as miso soup.

It does provide soy isoflavones but, like soy sauce, its sodium content is high and thus doesn’t make a good general source of soy protein.

5. Edamame
Edamame are green soybeans that are still in their pods. This are soybeans pods that have not yet been cracked open the the soybeans removed.

This Soybeans is ideal because they are a whole food, they can be gotten or are available in the frozen food section of natural food markets and many supermarkets all around the world.

You will have to boil the pods in water for 5 minutes or a few minutes more, then pop them right from the pods into your mouth, or in a plate or bowel.
Edamame tastes more like a slightly sweet Lima beans.

This type of soybeans is great to use on soups, pasta sauces, stews, and salads.

One cup of shelled edamame contains about 23 grams of protein.

Preparation of farm land and planting

After siting a good land for the farming, the next step is to prepare the land and make it ready for the crop before planting.The best time to prepare the land and plant is in may, when the frost is gone, give it like 2 weeks gap before you plant your soybeans plants.To prepare the farm land, you have to clear the bush or forest, if there is any and rake the land.

This can be done with the help of a mechine like tractor or manually with Cutlass, etc.

When you are through with that, dispose off the dirt’s, and you may like to spray organic manure like wastes from kitchen ( peel off yam, green vegetables, ash from fireplace etc) animal dungs etc.

Applying these to the farm in a short while before planting the soybeans is a very good act because those manure or manures will increase the soil nutrients and facilitate easy, healthy growth and good yields of the crops.

Like I said above, the month of May is the best month to plant this crop when the temperature is warm of about 60 to 70 F, this is because soybeans is a warm weather plant and does not in anyway require or grow fine in cold temperature.

When you are through with the clearing of the farm land, dig holes of 1 inch deep in the soil and give gaps of 3 inches per holes. This is to give space for enough sunshine and adequate absorption of soil nutrients and also for easy weeding.

The next step is to plant the seeds in the holes you made, but before you plant, do this.Soybeans requires a lot of nitrogen to grow fine and do well, so nitrogen should be applied to the seeds before farming them.

To do this, spray the Soybeans seeds with Bradyrhizobium japonicum. this is a nitrogen-fixing soil bacterium.

To inoculate the beans, put the Soybeans seeds in a bucket or any container and sprinkle them with the bacterium.
Use a stick,spade or small shovel to mix the beans and coat each one of them.

After you are done with inoculating the seeds, make sure you plant them immediately or within some hours that day and keep the seeds out of the sun.Take them to the farm land and place them in the holes, 2 to 3 seeds per hole is good.

After placing the seeds in the holes, cover them with sand and water them immediately and keep doing so everyday.

Care of the Soy crops

To care for the Soy crops, there are things you must do to protect the crops, they are:

Weeding: weed is a problem to control in the Soybeans farm, although weed don’t have much impact on this crop when they have grown, but at little stage, weed do affect them very much and if not controlled, might lead to them dying or low yields,or even habour some diseases that might harm the crops,so for the Soy crops to do exceptionally well, weed should be removed as soon as they sprout out in the farm either with small weeding hoe or by spraying weed killer chemicals.

Watering: watering is very important to soybeans farming. There are 3 stages they require water the most, these are, when the seeds are newly planted, they will need frequent watering to germinate.The second stage is when they have flowers, at this stage, they also requires a lot of watering to do well.The final stage is when they have grown pods (fruits).

You will need to water them frequently so that they could yield more and fat pods.In over all, the maximum times to water them at these stages should be 2 times a day or once depending on the location and environment involved as over watering is still not good for them.

Pest control: although pests don’t attack soy plants as it does not attract too much pests, but one of the greatest enemies this plant has is Rabbit.

Rabbit enjoy feasting on this plant, and so should be controlled by building a fence in the farm either with wire nets or strong net, so as to prevent rabbits from penetrating the farm and destroying the crops.

Thin them: Thin the soybean crops. Immediately the crops have sprouted a few inches,you should thin them by removing the weaker ones among them to let the stronger plants flourish.To do this, cut the weak seedlings at the ground level, do not disturb their roots. The remaining plants should be spaced about 4-7 inches apart.

How to harvest/store

It takes about four to five months from the day it was planted for Soybeans plant to mature for harvest.

By this time, the pods they have will grow bigger or plumpy than before and they will start getting a little bit yellow in colour, this is how you know they are ready to be harvested.

To harvest, go to the farm with a basket to collect the pods and with a small knife/penknife to cut or pick out the pods.

Once you have harvested the pods, you can either sell it or you remove the soy beans in them before selling, storing or eating.

Blanch and shock: this is simply a way or method to remove the soy beans/seeds from the pods and a way to boil as you cannot eat them raw.

We all know that the main food/soybeans is the seeds inside the pods, so we need to remove them before eating, selling etc, so here is how to do it.

To do it, put a large pot on fire with water filled in it and allow to boil. Once it starts boiling, take the pods and put them into the boiling water, and allow to simmer for about five minutes, bring them out and put them in another big pot full of cold water, allow them to cool and place them on a tray, towel or anything clean.

After they have cooled down, it is time to start breaking them one after the other.

Remove the Soybeans from the pods, collect cooled pods in your hands and gently pinch both ends of the pods, as you squeeze, the seams of the pods will open and the beans will pop out, place the beans into a bowl and repeat this untill you have removed all the beans.

After this, you can now sell( you can also sell them in pods), eat or stored.

To store them, there are few ways to do it and each way of doing it determines how long they will last while stored. Soybeans is not a high perishable goods as they can last for quite a long time like months and years.

Here are the methods of storing them:

Refrigerator/Freezing: this method of storing soybeans is by putting them in the refrigerator to freeze, with this, they can last longer time like up to a week or even weeks. Both the pods and the soy seeds could be stored with this method!.Canning: This is the most popular and one of the most long lasting methods of storing soybeans.

In this method, the beans are boiled and treated before putting them into tin containers where they will be store for a very long time.

Companies are the main operators of this method, they use it to store their soy beans which they sell.

Drying/Grinding: This is a great way to store this crop or should I say the longest storage method.
The soy beans have to be dried, wether under the sun or with dryer and stored or grounded.

The popular soy milk we use to see and eat is as a result of grounded soy beans and it can last for decades.

Importance/market potential

There are many importance of soybeans, but in this article I am going to group them into 3, they are:

Food: food is the main reason for the cultivation/farming of soybeans plant in the first place. So because it is farmed for food purpose, there have been alot of food recipes invented for this plant, some of them are, it is used for preparing tea in place of milk, it is eaten when boiled, it can be grounded and licked, it is used for baking all kinds of breads and cakes, It is used for making drinks, etc.Apart from human beings, it also serve as food to animals like fowls, pigs, rabbits etc.

Medicinal: Another great importance of soybeans is it is very medicinal to the body.
It contains many nutrients which the body cannot do without e.g, It has been said/proven many times that Soybeans is the greatest source of plant protein, This means that it is very proteinous and farm more than any plant.Apart from protein, it has large number of vitamins which the body solely need for many work like protection.It also has calories, fat, sugar, carbs etc.

Industrial Importance: Soybeans has many industrial purposes which some of them are: It is used to manufacture drinks and beverages, It is canned in the industries and exported or sold locally, it is used by many animal feed industries to manufacture Animal feeds like chicken feed etc, it is used to manufacture some foods we eat, etc.Speaking of the market potential of this plant, it is very huge in profit as this crop requires little effort and finance in the farming process.

This is because there is no much weeding and thus it saves money which could have been spent on labourers it and does not have much pests and diseases which could have taken some money etc.With the less expenses involved and the huge market, you could make a good profit from soybeans farming.

Conclusion

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References

The Ultimate Guide to Farming Soybeans

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/262451217_Farmers’_Guide_to_Soybean_Production_in_Northern_Nigeria

https://www.wealthresult.com/agriculture/grow-soybeans-in-nigeria

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods/soybeans#TOC_TITLE_HDR_1

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