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U.S. and Wisconsin Soybean Facts

What are Soybeans?
The bushy, green soybean plant is a legume related to clover, peas and alfalfa. Soybeans are typically planted in the late spring and when they flower, in the summer, they can produce up to 80 pods. Each pod contains 2-4 pea-sized beans, which are high in protein and oil.

Where are soybeans commonly grown?
Soybeans are grown throughout the United States but the ideal planting locations are in the Midwest. Typically, in Wisconsin soybeans are planted in April/May and harvested in September/October.

What are soybeans used for?
Soybeans actually have hundreds of uses from industrial products like engine oil or crayons to food products and animal feeds. Soybeans are naturally rich in protein and oil and they have the highest natural source of dietary fiber making them a very versatile crop in terms of how it is used. Typically when soybeans are processed they are cleaned, cracked, dehulled, and rolled into flakes. This process separates the soybean oil and the soybean meal. The oil can be used in food products like salad dressing or cooking oils or it can be used in countless industrial products. The meal part of the soybean meal, which contains the protein, can be used in further food products or it can be used to provide feed to livestock. Visit SoyStats.com for a list of even more uses for soybeans.

Soybean farmers are improving yields using less land, energy and water
Today’s farmers grows twice as much food as his or her parents did, and does so using less land, energy and water, producing fewer emissions. According to a new report released by Field to Market, The Keystone Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture, six U.S. commodity groups—including soybeans—are being produced more efficiently than they were three decades ago. During the study period, from 1980 to 2011, total soybean production increased 96 percent and the yield (bushels per planted acre) increased 55 percent.

Learn how our soybean farmers provide the following for us every day.

Feed

Food

Fueling our Economy

Fun

Sources: The Soyfoods Council, United Soybean Board, USDA ERS, FAO, EPA, Reuters, USDA Census of Ag, USDA, Wisconsin 2012 Agricultural Statistics, FAS, ASA and SoyStats.com