Soy is one of the most popular crops in crops. It belongs to the legume family, has a high yield and grows on almost any type of soil, except for sandy ones. Soy fruits contain a large amount of vegetable protein. They have the widest application: they are used for preparing various dishes and in food production, as well as as feed for farm animals.
Soy flour is made from bean seeds, from which soy meat is in turn produced. Soybean oil (which is considered one of the best vegetable oils) and soy milk (white seeds are used for this) are obtained from the seeds. Soya liquid sauce is prepared from fermented soy. Soybean meal is produced from pressed beans.
Demand for soybeans is consistently high. It costs much more than wheat and is much less prone to price fluctuations. The need for soybeans and products of its processing is increasing every year with an increase in poultry meat production and developing livestock and pig breeding. For all these reasons, soybean cultivation is a profitable and highly profitable business. However, as in any other direction, there are certain features that must be taken into account.
The subtleties of soybean cultivation
The main phases of soybean growth include germination (from sowing to seedlings), seedlings (from the appearance of cotyledons to the blooming of primordial leaves), the formation of the first triple leaf, branching, the appearance of buds, flowering, the formation of beans, seed filling and ripening. Under favorable conditions, soybean seedlings can be seen already on the 6-9th day after sowing. During the filling of seeds, soybean no longer grows, and during the ripening of beans, plants discard leaves. In most varieties, ripened beans do not crack, and the plants themselves do not lie, which facilitates harvesting.
For some reason, it is widely believed that soy is an unpretentious plant. In fact, it is a light-loving and heat-demanding culture. With a lack of lighting, the stems of the plant and leaf cuttings lengthen, which prevents the formation of side shoots and beans or even the fall of previously formed ovaries in the lower part of the plant. The greatest heat demand is in the flowering and fruit formation phases. The optimum air temperature during this period is 21-22 ° C. At temperatures from 14 ° C and below, the plant does not grow and does not develop. At the beginning and end of the growing season, the need for heat is much lower. Moreover, at this time, plants even relatively calmly tolerate frosts to –2-3.5 ° С.
In addition to light and heat, soy needs a lot of moisture, but this need also depends on the period of plant growth. In the initial period of growth, before the appearance of flowers, soy is relatively drought-resistant, although a lack of moisture can somewhat negatively affect the productivity of plants and the development of lower beans.
But with a lack of moisture during flowering, the formation of ovaries and pouring seeds into large volumes of the crop, you should not count. With the intensive development of green mass, the area of the evaporating surface of the plant increases, so with the onset of flowering, moisture consumption also increases. During flowering and the formation of beans, soybeans are also demanding on air humidity. At low humidity during this period, new ones do not form and existing flowers and beans are discarded.
Experts advise growing soybeans on weed-free fields with optimal reserves of nutrients and moisture. Do not forget that for a good harvest, this plant needs two to three times more nutrients than grain crops. This means that the soil for growing soybeans must be fertile and cultivated, otherwise you can not do without the additional cost of applying a large amount of fertilizer. There are no particular preferences for soil types, but neutral or slightly acidic (pH 5.5-6.5), well-permeable soil rich in phosphorus, humus and calcium is best suited.
Like all legumes, soy is a valuable crop in crop rotation. It can be sown in the fields where cereals (best of all, winter wheat), corn, sugar beets, potatoes, and perennial grasses were grown before that. Other legumes, perennial legumes, cabbage and sunflowers are unsuitable as precursors because of the danger of the spread of bacteriosis and other diseases.
Some crops susceptible to sclerotinosis (for example, rapeseed, soybeans, sunflowers) should not exceed 33% in crop rotation. After soybean, it is recommended to sow the field with winter wheat, other crops, corn, rape, fodder and vegetables. Take into account that late harvesting in some regions of our country does not allow winter crops to be grown after soy. Soya greatly depletes the soil with nutrients, so it must be borne in mind that it is recommended to return soya to its original place no earlier than two years later. Thus, you will need to regularly look for new sown areas for each year.
Soybean varieties differ not only in requirements for agroclimatic and environmental conditions, but also in purpose. For example, there are varieties intended for oil-feed use or food, oriented to the production of soy proteins. It is also necessary to take into account the purchase price, composition, ratio of the main grain ingredients and the yield of a particular variety. Please note: in our country it is forbidden to grow genetically modified soybeans, although abroad it has become very widespread due to the fact that this culture is not so demanding and cheaper than ordinary soybeans.
Proper preparation of the soybean field
A field intended for sowing must be prepared in advance. First, in the fall, one or two husks are produced to a depth of 8-10 cm and fertilizers are applied for plowing. If crops were previously grown on this field, fertilizers are applied to a depth of 22-25 cm, and if corn is grown to a depth of 25-30 cm. Harrowing is carried out in early spring with heavy, medium or light harrows across or at an angle to the direction of plowing.
In principle, presowing cultivation of the field is not much different from cultivating the soil for other leguminous crops. Its main goal is the destruction of weed seedlings and the preservation of moisture. If the field is not leveled in autumn, if it is clogged with weeds or carrion, during long, cold winters, in the spring they cultivate to a depth of 6-8 cm, followed by digging. It allows you to increase the temperature of the seed layer by a couple of degrees and stimulates the germination of weeds, which are then removed.
For pre-sowing cultivation, which is carried out to a depth of 4-5 cm across or at an angle in the direction of the previous cultivation, steam or beet cultivators with flat-cut legs will be required. The field for sowing should be as flat as possible and without lumps. This is due to the fact that soybeans are quite low. An uneven surface makes it difficult to harvest. The height of the ridges and the depth of the furrows should not be more than four centimeters.
After sowing, soil herbicides are introduced to seedlings using harrows to a depth of at least three centimeters or ring-spur rollers (in this case, the efficiency of nitrogen-fixing bacteria increases). If there are rhizome and rootstock weeds on the field, then it is recommended not to carry out pre-sowing treatment, but to wait for the wheat grass to grow to 10-15 cm and to sow. Then, 3-4 after sowing, before soybean shoots appear, the fields are treated with a continuous round herbicide. Fertilizer consumption is 10-20 kg / ha of nitrogen, 15-30 kg / ha of phosphorus and 25-60 kg / ha of potassium.
Seeds must be etched before sowing, and immediately when sown, they are inoculated with nodule bacteria (rhizotorfin). Conventional etching machines are not suitable for inoculating soybean seeds, since the particles of rizotorfin are quite large and do not pass through the nozzle and filters of conventional equipment, and rizotorfin in liquid form is more difficult to use. Some farmers use a concrete mixer for this, others inoculate in the back of a truck, followed by breaking up the formed lumps in the seeder. The flow rate of the working solution is about 70-80 liters per 1 ton.
Some farmers do not use rhizotorfin, and before planting, they add ammonium nitrate to the soil. On the one hand, this increases the cost of production, but allows for good yield.
Sowing is carried out in the third decade of April – the first and second decades of May when the soil is heated to a temperature of 10-15 ° C. First, late-ripening varieties are sown, and only at the end are early ripening varieties. Seeds are sown to a depth of 450-700 mm. The row spacing is 0.4-0.6 m. The seeding rate depends on the variety of plants, the method of sowing and weed control. The average sowing density is 35-40 seeds per meter. With an increase in row spacing, the seeding rate also increases by 10-20%.
How to collect and store soy
After the emergence of seedlings, it is necessary to regularly destroy weed plants and carry out cultivation of row-spacings. After the appearance of 5-6 true leaves, the plants begin to bloom. At this stage, nitrophoska (mineral nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium fertilizer) is introduced into the soil, abundantly watered and covered with earth. The ripening period ranges from 85 to 245 days, depending on the variety and climatic conditions of the growing region.
For example, early soybean varieties ripen by the end of July, and later by October. Harvested after falling leaves and the acquisition of beans grayish color. Before digging the plot, the stems of the plant are pulled out, and the fallen leaves are buried in the ground to accelerate their decay. Before threshing, the beans are laid out in the sun, where they open or hatch, then they are screened and poured into bags. For storage of soybeans, you can use ordinary arochniki.
The main thing is that the humidity level in it does not exceed 14-15% (optimal – 12%). Too wet soybeans can be dried using special equipment, but this is too expensive a process that significantly increases the cost of finished products.
Productivity depends on the region, on the variety and on weather conditions. The average yield without irrigation is 10 centners per hectare, and with irrigation – 25 c / ha. The highest yields in most regions are given by early varieties.
Experienced farmers know that sowing and growing soy is not the most difficult thing. It is much more difficult to harvest the crop. For this, harvesters are used (usually Don). Although the soybean crop needs to be harvested in a short time (for some varieties it is only 3-5 days), otherwise the beans will crack and crumble to the ground, but it is very difficult to do this even if there is a sufficient amount of equipment.
One combine can harvest a maximum of 20 hectares per day, provided that the fields are well-cultivated and without weeds. But in fact, this indicator is much less – about 5 hectares. And even in this case, crop losses are very significant. During harvesting, it is necessary to ensure that the soy stalks do not fall into the drum of the combine, otherwise the risk of breakage is high.
To grow soybeans, you need the following equipment:
- pneumatic seeder (you can use seeders for sunflower, grain or beets),
- equipment for inoculation and harrowing,
The profitability of this business is 25%. To increase the profitability of the business, experts advise buying an extruder for the production of soya “meat”. This is an inexpensive and fairly compact equipment that allows the processing of beans. The product yield is up to 25 tons per 30 tons of feedstock.