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Soybeans Great Farm And Commercial Crop

Soybeans are a great source of protein. The history of this crop starts many centuries ago in China. The United States started producing the crop in the early 1800's. In the late 1800's the oil from the bean was imported to Japan and Europe.

In the mid-1940's, the crop moved to the interior corn belt area of the United States, from being grown and harvested in the east. This area is made up of the Midwest states, and today is one of the largest producers of the bean. The seven major states that produced the most crop are Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, and Nebraska.

From the 1950's through the 1970's the United States dominated this crop's production. There was a shortage of feed protein when production in the United States dropped. The countries of Argentina and Brazil had ideal growing conditions and began producing large quantities of soybeans. Today, the United States is the number one exporter of this crop. Argentina and Brazil are still producing mass quantities.

There are two ways to grow and harvest soybeans. The first method is done by commercial and large farms. Acres of fields are tilled and worked over many times in the spring. It usually begins in May. Large irrigation systems are set up to make sure the crop is watered properly.

My bother-in-law lives in northwest Ohio and has been farming soybeans for years. He uses the second method, which is the no till method. Seeds are drilled directly into the ground. The seeds can germinate in a variety of soil conditions, but the best soil is a loose loam base. It should be well drained.

One of the problems farmers deal with is poor, clay based soil. When rain arrives the fields don't easily absorb the water, become saturated and cannot drain properly. In the Midwest this is a common problem with many of the farmers. One county can have excellent loam based soil, and the next county has a hard clay base. The farmers have to adapt to their area's soil conditions.

Soybeans take longer to mature than other bean products. The usual time for maturity is from three to five months. In fall, the excitement mounds as it is time to harvest the beans. The beans will be ready when the pods are fully grown and before they turn yellow.

Over the last ten years, farmers have suffered with the yield of this crop, but the last two years has shown a sign of improvement. So much of the success of this crop depends on the right soil and water from irrigation and natural rain.

China remains the number one importer of this crop from the United States. Other countries that are major importers are Mexico, Europe, and Japan. The meal from the bean is exported largely to Philippines and Canada. The oil is exported in large amounts to Mexico and Korea.

There are three major aspects of the bean that are used today. The bean is processed and made into oil and meal. You can find the oil in shortening, margarine and salad dressings. The meal is used in breads and with other grains. Besides being a great source of protein, it is high in potassium and calcium. Many Chinese and Japanese cook with the nuts in a variety of culinary dishes.


Soy Nuts

Soy Nuts

The nut comes from the bean pod and is a member of the legume family of East Asia. It is not really considered a nut, but a legume. It is the size of a pea and is related to the pea and clove. The nuts can be dry roasted or fried. The whole bean can be used in in salads, butter, and soy coffee. Here are a couple of suggestions using the nuts or legumes.

The Ways Soy Nuts Are Used

  • The nuts are great snacks for adults and children. The key to getting people, especially children, to consume this high protein nut is to combine a variety of other healthy ingredients such as raisins, pretzels, almonds, and yes, even a few M&M's. This makes a great snack for parties, after school, evening snacks, and other special events.

  • Herbee likes to grind up the nuts or crush them with a rolling pin. He sprinkles the nuts over beef and pork roasts, along with other spices.

  • Think about taking some of these nuts and crushing them and putting them on your child's favorite ice cream sundae, or ice cream cone. This is a great way to get children to have a high source of protein.

  • Herbee also takes the nuts and chops them up for a saute with garlic cloves, basil, oregano, onions, garlic chives, and chopped tomatoes. Add some white wine and top your favorite vegetable with the saute.

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These are just a few suggestions for using the nuts or legumes. The next time you are at the grocery store or market, check out the oils and flours to see if find soybean products in any of these.

Soybeans are a great way to bring nutrition into your family's diet. They have wonderful nutritional value, and also provide a great source of income for many farmers, not only in the United States, but throughout the world.


Other Articles You Might Be Interested In.

Evergreen Plants --- How To Plan A Garden

Deciduous Plants --- The Garden Learning Center Has More Than Soybeans



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