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Soybean Cultivation Guide: Know Field Preparation, Correct Sowing Methods, Suitable Land Type, Hybrid Varieties

Pronami Chetia
Pronami Chetia

Soybean has an important place in the world's oilseed cultivation scenario, due to its high productivity, profitability and vital contribution towards maintaining soil fertility. Moreover, it is one of the most popular components in the Indian kitchen and considered as the most nutritious food items that have been consumed for thousands of years. Moreover, it’s one of the most demanding and profitable vegetables for Indian farmers which demand is just growing with the coming years.  

The crop also has a prominent place as the world's most important seed legume, which contributes 25% to the global vegetable oil production, about two-thirds of the world's protein concentrate for livestock feeding and is a valuable ingredient in formulated feeds for poultry and fish. About 85% of the world's soybeans are processed annually into soybean meal and oil. Approximately 98% of the soybean meal is crushed and further processed into animal feed with the balance used to make soy flour and proteins. Of the oil fraction, 95% is consumed as edible oil; the rest is used for industrial products such as fatty acids, soaps and biodiesel. 

The major soybean-producing nations are the United States, Brazil and Argentina. The three countries dominate global production, accounting for 80% of the world's soybean supply. 

Production of soybean in India is dominated by Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh which contribute to 89 per cent of the total Soybean production in-country. 

Field preparation 

How to prepare the field for Soybean Cultivation? 

Land preparation for soyabean cultivation is almost the same as required for maize in India. For Soyabean cultivation, the field should be deeply ploughed in early summer to kill harmful insects and flies. Followed by spreading cow manure (natural fertilizer), to enrich the field. Soyabean farming requires well drained soil with pH ranging from 6.0 to 7.5. 

Farmers should consider the below points to enhance soyabean productivity during the cultivation process. 

1. You Must Use Quality Seed: Poor quality seeds can affect crop productivity and result in yield reduction. Proper selection of quality seed plays vital role in crop production

2. Accurate Quantity of Seed: Farmers should have knowledge of the accurate quantity of seed while sowing. Following the recommended quantity per hectare will aid in good productivity. 

3. What’s the correct sowing methods? 

Soyabean germinate through the Epigeal mode of germination, which means the seed germination process takes place above the ground. This can sometimes cause stress on the germinating seeds as they need to push through the soil to take root. This should be considered when preparing the land for sowing as hard, dry soil may be an obstacle while sowing if the root in not able to penetrate the ground properly. 

While it’s always important to prepare the soil before sowing any crop. Well fertilized and ploughed soil make for ideal growing conditions for soyabeans, and not taking the time for these critical steps may limit the yield and quality of the crop. 

Seed rate is also an important aspect. It is governed by numerous factors such as seed size, seed weight, spacing, germination of the seed. Soyabean gown for grain purpose needs about 20-30 kg seed per hectare. 

Land type 

Soybeans can be grown on any irrigated soil types, using border-check flood, overhead sprinkler and bed layouts. However, you need to know that Soybeans have little tolerance to waterlogging up until the four leaf stage. So a lasered layout capable of rapid watering and drainage is essential. Mature plants have greater waterlogging tolerance and occasional periods less than 48 hours can cause minimal yield loss. Soybeans are intolerant of soil salinity and need soil with less than 2 dS/m ECc and irrigation water need to be less than 1.5 dS/m ECw. Paddocks with a pH (CaCl2) of less than 4.8 may need liming, soybeans are intolerant of acidity. 

List of Soybean Varieties Released/Notified in India (ICAR)


Sl. No.

Soybean variety

Year of release/Notification


Area of adaptability

Maturity                                                        (days)

Yield (Kg


Salient features

Reaction to insect - pests & diseases


Clark 63

361 / 30.6.73



Northern & Central zone


1500 to 2000


Purple flowers, plant height 20-30cm, resistant lodging

Tolerant to bacterial pustules





Northern hill zone


2100 to 2500

Determinate plants with purple flowers, tawny pubescence, yellow seed and black hilum

Susceptible to yellow mosaic, defoliators, bacterial pustules and girdle beetle



S.O. 786/2.2.76

Northern plain zone


2000 to




White flowers, tawny pubescence, yellow seed coat and light brown hilum

Resistant to bacterial pustules and rust


Type 49

13 /


Central zone


2000 to 2500


Purple flowers, grey pubescence, yellow



Punjab Soybean No. 1






Central, northern plain & northern hill zones


2000 to 2500


Semi determinate plants having purple flowers, tawny pubescence, small yellow seed and grey hilum. Highly pod shattering, early with good germinability and suitable for food uses.

Susceptible to bacterial pustules



13 /



Throughout India


1500 to 2000



S.O. 13 dt 19.12.78

Northern plain zone


1800 to






Northern hill zone and Northern plain zone


2000 to 2500



Durga (JS 72-280)


Madhya Pradesh


2000 to 2200


Important Things to Know about Soybean

Maharashtra is the first state in India to implement projects under the Public-Private Partnership for Integrated Agriculture Development (PPPIAD) scheme. In 2012, the State Department of Agriculture rolled out projects focusing on improving value chains for crops as well as developing integrated value chains for specific crops through public-private collaboration and co-investment.

In the first year, the partnership was rolled out with the aim of reaching out to at least 200,000 farmers in the state. FICCI undertook the evaluation of Soybean project implemented by ADM in year 2012-13 and 2013-14. The objectives of the study were to assess the outcomes in terms of increase in productivity of Soybean, improvement of farm incomes; document the processes of linkage of farmers with input and output markets; and to identify the processes that enable a successful partnership between the Government, private industry and farmers.

The project on Soybean aimed at improving the standard of living of small and marginal Soybean growing farmers by enabling/empowering them to be self-reliant through the supply of high yielding planting materials, providing agronomic support, assisting in adopting advanced Agri practices, providing market linkages, and sharing experiences of research and development in Soybean cultivation

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