Did you know that Soybean is the most protective bean with the highest protein content amongst all plants in the world as it has 26% protein? Well this is one of those nutritious legumes that should not miss your diet especially if you can’t afford animal protein since it has all the eight essential amino acids meaning it’s in the class of milk and meat.
The soy bean is also used to make vegetable oil, soy milk, soy sauce, natto and tempeh. The soy milk that has been mentioned is usually used in the making of soy lattes for those who are lactose intolerant. The legume is also used as fertilizer making the whole plant a valuable plant to humans. The plant originated from Asia but has since spread all over the world, most particularly the New World. The fact that the plant has no cholesterol, its low in fat, has heart friendly omega 3 fats, it’s a good source of calcium, iron, magnesium and vitamin B12, can reduce the risk of heart disease, osteoporosis and cancer then this plant value is above board.
Here are the world’s top 11 soybean producing countries in the world today
1. The United States
The most used seed for oil production is the soybean and it accounts for 90% of the nation’s oil seed production. This agricultural class includes: sunflower, canola/rapeseed and flax seeds. All these seeds are used in the making of vegetable oils. The U.S. is responsible for 34% of global soybean production. According to Commodity Basis, this nation is has a market share of 42% which makes it the largest exporter of the raw plant. Soybeans are normally planted in May or early June while the harvesting begins in late September to October.34.4 million hectares of land have been set aside for the purpose of planting soybeans. Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Wisconsin have the largest soybean plantations in size. The states that produced the highest yields are; Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and Indiana. In other countries where soybean is produced, prices pretty much remain the same regardless of soybean production. Not so with the United States. Here, prices are determined to a large extent by the increase in demand for bio-diesel, whereby the soy oil is used in fueling combustion engines. The production of soybeans each year in the seasons leading up to 2014-2015 ranged between 82.8 million and 108 million metric tons.
The second largest producer of soybeans is Brazil. It produces about 30% of the crop worldwide. There are over 29 million hectares of land that have been set aside for the production of soybean. In the seasons leading up to 2014 to 2015, the production of soybean has steadily increased, according to USDA. Production quantities in each year ranged from 66.5 to 94.5 million metric tons. Exports of soybean gave the country earnings of $23 billion. The soybeans that are grown in Brazil have higher protein levels than those grown elsewhere in the world and therefore are more expensive in international markets according to Commodity Basis. Brazil also produces natural, non-genetically modified soybeans, whose price is steeper than the soybeans that are genetically, modified.
With lands of over 20.3 million hectares devoted just for the production of soybeans, Argentina is the third largest producer of the crop in the world. The states where the crop is grown and yields the largest quantity according to Commodity Basis are: Cordoba, Santa Fe and Buenos Aires. Argentina claims 18% of the world’s production of soybeans. It is the biggest exporter of soybean oil and soy meal. However, it only exports 7% of raw soybeans. 2013 was a big year for the soybean in Argentina, being the country’s biggest export and netting the country $10.7 billion. In the four seasons leading up to 2014 to 2015, the yearly production has ranged from 40.1 to 56 million metric tons. This is according to the USDA.
According to the Commodity Basis, 4% of global soybean production is accounted for by China. Soybeans are mainly grown in the northern Heilongjiang Province which is located near the Russian border. The Agriculture Commission that is in the province states that there are over 235 million hectares used to grow soybean. In spite of that, China has had to import large amounts of soybeans to be able to meet domestic demand. In fact, the country accounts for 60% of global soybean imports which means it is the largest importer of soybeans after some members of the European Union. The prices of soybean in the world market are largely dependent on China’s demand. In the six seasons leading up to 2014-2015, annual production was in the range of 12.2 to over 15.08 million metric tons.
According to Statista, India trails China in the production of soybeans. It is responsible for 3.95% of global production. There has been a compound yearly rate of 9.6% for the production of soybean from the 2004-2005 season to the 2012-2013 season. In the three seasons up to 2014/2015 soybean production ranged from 9.5 to 12.2 million metric tons, the states of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh give 89% of India’s total production. The other 11% is produced in Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Gujarat. Exportation of this crop earned the nation $2.7 billion alone. Demand for soybean is on the rise and the country has therefore introduced new cultivation technologies that will raise soybean yields.
The sixth country is the South American nation of Paraguay. It accounts for 3% of global soybean production according the survey done by Commodity Basis. As more land has been devoted to soybean production, the yields have also increased. According to the USDA, the land that has been allocated primarily to cultivating soybean has increased at a yearly rate of 6%. There are now over 3.1 million hectares of land in Paraguay where soybean is cultivated. The USDA predicts an increase in hectares of land that will be used for soybean cultivation over the next 5 to 10 years. Exportation of soybean is done to the E.U., Russia, Turkey, Mexico, Egypt and Brazil, usually passing through Uruguay and Argentina. In 2013, soybeans were Paraguay’s number one export, earning the nation $2.41 billion.
According to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, yearly exportation of soybean earns Canada over $1 billion. Production of soybean has been on the rise. As a matter of fact, in 2014 over 6 million tons of soybeans were harvested. This was in itself a leg up from 12.95 from the previous year. Land that is dedicated to soybean production is 5.5 million hectares. Ontario and Quebec provinces account for 705 of Canada’s soybean production. Two thirds that aforementioned percentage is exported to countries like the U.S., the Netherlands, Europe, Japan, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.
In Europe, Ukraine is the largest producer of soybean and it has produced 3.9 million metric tons of the crop in 2014/2105. This is by itself an increase from the previous season when there was 2.774 million tons produced, according to Commodity Basis. Half of this is usually exported. The plantations have also increased din order to meet the demand for the crop. In 2000, Ukraine had only 65000 hectares of land on which soybean was grown but in 2015, the number had risen to around 2.1 million hectares.
Soybean is the heart of Bolivia and accounts for 3% of Bolivia’s GDP. The crop is responsible for the employment of 45,000 people and has indirectly created employment for 65,000. The crop is mostly grown in the Santa Cruz region. There are about 14,000 producers of soybean in Bolivia. Yields per hectare range between 1.8 and 2.3 metric tons, if soil, weather and agronomic practices are being taken into consideration. A drought that occurred in 2015 affected soybean production to such an extent that it dropped to 3.1 million metric tons. 12% of the one million hectares was greatly affected by this situation. In 2013, the crop was the third largest export for the country, garnering it $620 million.
Neighboring Paraguay is another soybean producing country – Uruguay. Yearly soybean production has been on a steady rise. The country’s production increased from 2.76 million tons in the 2012/2013 season to 3.2 million in the 2013/2014 season. Uruguay’s land is dominated by soybean plantations, which take up over 60% of the arable land. With such a large amount of land, it is no surprise that soy production is on the rise. In the 2012/2013 season, there were 2.76 million tons produced and that number increased to 3.2 million metric tons in the 2013/2014 season. Exportation of soybean garnered Uruguay at least $1.89 billion, according to research done by MIT. The success in production is attributed to the adoption of soybean seeds that have been proven to do well in the country’s climate.
Soybean is one of the three major oil crops in Russia. The other two are sunflower seed and rapeseed. Soybean production has been one of the fastest growing industries in Russia over the past decade. Growth of this production has been fueled by factors such as increasing export, slackening of import rules around soy meal, changing animal feed market worldwide. These factors have led to increase in number of hectares used for soy cultivation as well as an increase in soy production. Russia delivers non-genetically modified, ecologically-clean and accessible soy at a very affordable price. Producing 2.7 million metric tons annually, Russia is the eleventh largest producer globally.
The countries above make up the world top 11 largest producers of soybean. Soybean as we know it normally its processed for animal feed industry and a small percentage for human consumption in byproducts such as soy protein, soy milk, soy flour and others. With all the above health benefits this plant should always or more regularly find its way into your meal.