By Spy Uganda
Kampala: Soybeans are one of the most popularly grown legumes, native to the East-Asia and now grown almost everywhere. They are used as oilseeds as they are made up of around 18% oil. Soybeans are grown in conditions similar to corn. Soybeans are used in the preparation of oil, biofuel, crayons and some other uses too. Its production is nearly similar to corn production.
Let us understand all the requirements of soybean cultivation step by step.
Climatic and Soil
Soybean is a warm-season crop to grow in summer. And loamy well-drained fertile soil is good for growing soybean. Land preparation for soybean should be done by proper ploughing followed by laddering.
Mid-June is the best time for sowing soybean. Seeds should be sown by seed drill method in rows spacing 45-50 cm. And seeds spacing between 4-7 cm. A seed rate of 25-30 kg is preferred for sowing in a 1-acre land.
Soybean can use atmospheric nitrogen, but that’s not sufficient. So, the crop is supplied with 10-15% of the total nitrogen requirement. 12.5 kg of Nitrogen per acre and 32 kg per acre of Phosphorus is sufficient. And Potash is required only if deficiency is observed.
Soybeans are usually grown under rainfed conditions. If grown in summers, they require 5-6 irrigations.
Whitefly, Tobacco caterpillar, Hairy caterpillar, Blister beetle are some pests that can attack soy crops, for protection from them, suitable pest control methods can be used.
Crop becomes mature and ready to be harvested when leaves turn yellow and pods get dry. Harvesting can be done by hands by sickle or by a threshing machine.
Threats/Constraints in Production of Soybean
- Non-availability of adequate amount of quality seeds of improved varieties.
- Most of the area under soybean cultivation is dependent on rains.
- Poor adoption of improved production technology.
- Soybean seed is least storable and is vulnerable to mechanical storage.
- Soil moisture stress at critical growth stages, especially the seed-filling stage.
- High-temperature stress at critical growth stages.
- Presence of anti-nutritional factors in soybean.