Glycine max, commonly known as soybean in North America or soya bean is a species of legume native to East Asia, widely grown for its edible bean which has numerous uses. The plant, classed as an oilseed rather than a pulse by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, produces significantly more protein per acre than most other uses of land.
Soy vegetable oil, used in food and industrial applications, is another product of processing the soybean crop. Traditional non-fermented food uses of soybeans include soy milk from which tofu and tofu skin are made. Fermented soy foods include soy sauce, fermented bean paste, natto and tempeh.
In June, soybean crop is usually sown in India i.e. it is a kharif crop. In some states, it is cultivated two times a year. The harvesting period for soybean crop in India comes around September and October. It is a highly dependent on rain and a change in the rainfall pattern affects the production of soybean. Cultivation is successful in climates with hot summers, with optimum growing conditions in mean temperatures of 20 to 30 °C (68 to 86 °F). They can grow in a wide range of soils, with optimum growth in moist alluvial soils with a good organic content. Soybeans, like most legumes, perform nitrogen fixation by establishing a symbiotic relationship with the bacterium Bradyrhizobium japonicum (syn. Rhizobium japonicum; Jordan 1982).
Varieties: Ahilya-1 (NRC 2), Ahilya-2 (NRC 12), Ahilya-3 (NRC 7), NRC 37 (Ahilya 4), Ankur, ADT-1,JS 79-81, JS 80-21, JS 90-41, JS 93-05.
Production of soybean in India are Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Nagaland and Gujarat.
In India, major trading centers of soybean are Indore, Ujjain, Dewas, Mandsore, Astha, Nagpur, Sangli and Kota .
Brazil, United States, Argentina, Canada and Paraguay etc. are major soybean exporting countries. India ranks 9th in soybean export.
China, Japan, Mexico, Thailand, Korea, Indonesia, Turkey, Iran etc are major soybean importing countries.