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Introduction of Growing Soybean:


Soybean (Glycine max (L) Merrill), one of the world’s oldest cultivated crops, has been given recent prominence because of its broad utility and versatility for both human and animal nutrition, soil fertility, industrial usefulness, and geographical adaptability. Beside being an important source of vegetable oil and protein meal, the immature bean and pod of soybean can be eaten as a green vegetable, and the dried bean is consumed whole, split, sprouted, or in various processed forms. Soybean has been a major vegetable in eastern Asia for thousands of years, contributing to a generally balanced diet.


Picture 1: Dr. Akhtar Khwaja visiting soybean and sunflower trials in Brazil


In other regions of Asia the acceptance of soybean as a food crop by indigenous populations has not been very successful. Varieties and cultural techniques developed in the temperate zones have not generally done well in the humid, lowland tropics or in sub-tropics. In addition, little attention was given to developing acceptable local uses of soybean.


Soybean research and development aspect in the area


Farm machineries including rippers, field cultivators and combination of soil finisher, and heavy-duty tractors will be the key of the mechanization and getting the job done; pictures and handouts are attached in this report.

The agronomic benefits provide great for using new tillage system, which increases yield potential and increasing crop yield is the most effective way to increase farm’s profitability.

Our idea is to develop this farm as model farms of growing soybean in the Middle East with the help of new high-tech farming technology of using heavy machineries and the operation of planting of 10,000 acres can be completed in 10-20 days with 500 to 1000 acres a day planting with the help of new machineries and new technology. Please see attached pictures of new rippers, cultivators, soil finishers, planters and harvesters.





Breeding research cover the lines of cultivars may be good in the area.  Similar variety has been tried in similar climates in other parts of world, showing good response.


Physiologists will be involved looking at different breeding lines and optimum yield from the project site. At present we will test the most popular cultivars and high yielding variety for the area, which could be Bossier, William, and Clark cultivars.


The entomologist and pathologist will be looking at the diseases, as well as the insect and pest control system for the major pests of soybean.



Picture 2: Soybean insect’s major problems


The chemist will give emphasis on possible translocation of pesticides to soybean seeds and the nitrogen – fixation activity of the symbiotic bacteria and soybean roots.


The soil specialist will conduct several trials that can measure the effect of nitrogen fertilization on soybean and studies the soil moisture requirements of the various suitable cultivars in the area.


Another important discipline of cultivation is weed control in soybean, which is primacy focus of the crop management sections. Herbicides will be screened for suitability in the subtropical weed management systems and compared with other practices such as cultivation, mulching, and burning the crops residue. 


Management economists will conduct an intensive survey of soybean production and uses in the area, while providing essential data for the use of soybean in nearby countries.



Temperature of the growing area will also be studied after locating the land. But it is known that the daytime temperatures are high from May to September (35-40 °C and minimum temperatures is above 20 °C). During the winter months of Dec, Jan, Feb, temperature is often below 15 °C and daytime maximum temperatures stay at 20-25 °C. Poor growth is expected during the cooler temperatures.


Soil with high pH of 7.5-8.5 is to be expected with low organic matter range .75-1.86 with cation exchange capacity of 5.0 to 10 me/100g and with available low P and K, Ca and Mg, and low Fe and Mn.


Our objective is to find the best variety presently under cultivation in the world. The selection line will be brought from the USA, China and from other growing areas.

The yield trials will be conducted on the site on smaller plots to screen the best variety, presently the Bossier, Clark and William and Shi Shi will be planted on large-scale plots.

The soybean variety from INTSOY will be also be brought and tested in the area for evaluations.

Soybean variety will be evaluated and agronomic date of yield per acre, number of pods per plants, 100 seed weights, days to flowering, maturity, plant heights, protein and oil contents will be evaluated for quality control.

Variety with protein content range 35-45% and oil % range 16-19% will be selected for the commercial plantations.


Relationship of plant height and growth stages to yield, protein content and oil percent will be evaluated. Soybean photoperiod insensitivity and resistance to virus will be an important factor in screening the varieties.


Varieties screening for resistance to rust, purple seed stain, and nematodes will be priority in the new area. The fungicides will be tested for soybean rust control.



Picture 3: Soybean field trials


Seasonal populations of soybean insect’s pests of site will be evaluated and controlled. A strategy will be developed to control insects and pests may be affected to yield in the area.  Air suction traps will be developed to control and study the insects in the area.


Another very important part of soybean production is the study the translocation of soil and foliar pesticides in soybean.  It is known that the organic insecticides used in plant protection are absorbed, metabolized, and often translocated in crop plants. Residues of some pesticides have been reported to translocation to edible plant parts from soil-applied chemicals. Pesticide residues are not known to translocation to seeds from the soil. Pesticide with less water-soluble will be detected from the seed or soybean plant parts in the lab to maintain the quality of the produced seeds on the project.


A very important part of soybean cultivation is to maintain the nodule formation in root zone in irrigated soybean culture. A study will be conducted to study the effect of inoculation and nitrogen fertilization on nodule formation and soybean growth in different soils at the projects under the irrigation program.


Irrigated Soybean Project


The yield of irrigated soybean must be higher then rain fed soybean. We will keep track of the depth of the water table at the project area. We have to keep the information regarding root development and the moisture level below 70 cm in the bed, although 60% of the soybean roots developed within the upper 20 cm soil layer, and more than 80% of the water absorbed by the plant is supplied by roots 40 cm or deeper.  Water should not be a limiting factor to soybean growth or total yield. 



Picture 4: Irrigation practice will be used on the project for soybean cultivation will cost US $325.00/acre



Research Development Objective


1.      Collection, screening, evaluation, and maintenance of Germplasm 

2.      High yield and early maturity

3.      To determine the best date of planting 

4.      To determine the effect of Nitrogen fertilization and Rhizobium inoculation

5.      Disease resistance and insect resistance varieties

6.      Photoperiod and temperature affect on varieties development, yield and seed quality

7.      Locations response

8.      Identify suitable crop management technology and understand the large area production problems


Germplasm, Varieties Collection, Screening, Evaluation at the different locations 

             We will try to evaluate cultivars on the area to study the various agronomic characteristics. Some cultivars may fail in given better quality of seeds and will have seed shriveled problems.

             Seed shriveling may be due to the combination of many factors like high temperature at the time of maturity, and Sclerotinia Stem Rot (Sclerotinia Sclerotiorum) and Charcoal Rot (Macrophomina phaseoli).  These need to study during growing season.

             In variety evaluation may be variety belonging to III and IV maturity group such as Williams, Calland, Clark63 and maybe some other short duration variety may do well in the area.


Planting Date 

             We will start planting starting from March until September with month intervals, first year to select the best date of planting. Yield and other agronomic parameters will be used to select the date for planting.



Population Density

             We select two or three variety such as William, Clark and Brocier and will be planted at the rate of 100 to 150 kg/ha at 60, 70 90 cm spacing in rows or double rows. 


Nitrogen and Rhizobium Inoculation Studies

            It is generally noticed that Rhizobium inoculation has shown effective nodulation in root zone.  It is important to use inoculation technology on large soybean production field that help to increase the quality of soybean. It is experimented that use of 60 kg/ha Nitrogen with Rhizobium inoculation may give 2 –3 tons/ha soybean seeds.


Picture 5: Soybean nodulation


 We need to know the pH and other soil characteristics of the project area

Table 2: Soil Analysis 














Salinity                                    MMHOS/CM






Extractable Potassium              m/100 g.






Phosphorus                               ppm







Nitrate                                       ppm







Organic matter                           %







Physical or Mechanical














Sand                                           %







Silt                                             %







Clay                                           %







Tex                                            %







SiCL = Silty Clay Loam    L = Loam    CL = Clay Loam

Soybean Yield Per Plant


No. Of
















Clark 63
















Clark 63













Other Production related information 


Production Potential:High risk due to the combination of high temperature and   improper irrigation


Yield kg/ha:              (Shriveled seed) Low, 1500 kg/ha per crop high, 3000 kg/ha 

Crops per year           Two (2) crops belong to short duration

Soybean, II, III, IV maturity group. One crop belongs to long duration ,VII and VII maturity group soybean


Planting Dates:          Short duration: Early March (high yield but poor quality seeds)

                                    Long Duration: Middle April to May (good seed but low yield)

Growth Duration:       100 to 140 days (short duration)

                                    200 to 240 days (long duration)



Picture 6: Soybean production on slightly saline soils




Short duration varieties (III, IV, V maturity groups) harvested in June and July might be seriously affected by Charcoal Rot (macrophomina phaseoli) and Sclerotinia Stem Rot (sclerotinia sclerotiorum) and other diseases, which may result poor quality seeds.  In July and August planting with same varieties may respond well, germination could be one of the big problem, young soybean plants may be affected by heat (high temperature) and soil crusting could be another problem.



Picture 7: Soybean growing using pivot irrigation system in 30 inches row.(35000 acres)


Soil problems may affect yield and quality of soybean.


High salinity, heavy texture, germination, especially on flat bed soybean

production area, soil crusting after irrigation and Fe deficiency Chlorosis




60 kg/ha, nitrogen + 100 kg/ha P2O5 + no potassium with Rhizobium inoculation

may product 2.5 t/ha, grain soybean seeds.


Other problems:  Seed shriveling, shattering prior to harvest, dust accumulation on leaf and pods, spiders on them. Uninoculated soybeans may require 100 kg/ha, nitrogen in split doses. In adequate procedures for harvesting, threshing, drying and storage of seeds to maintain viability.

Picture 8: Seed shattering and split open pods of soybean could be important to study in the proposed project area


Other problems:         Processing, bird damages, rabbit attacks early and harvesting stages. Seed and Rhizobium inoculants supply could be problem in remote planting. Lack of technical manpower, mechanization.


Varieties:                    Numerous varieties of different maturity groups are available worldwide and they have resistance to diseases, temperature, shattering, etc. There is need to work on in more details to develop growing technology and management.



Guide for Soybean Production


            To realize the great importance of this sensitive crop like soybean, each management decision should be made with care and based upon the latest information available.  Each decision influences the effectiveness of all others.  A wrong move anywhere along the line reduces the potential yield.  Soybean planting guide is prepared on past planting experiences to help growers to manage their field for better soybean production.


Land Selection


            Select an evenly well-drained experimental field, which is fairly uniform in fertility and slope; avoid fields with pH above 8.5.




Land Preparation


            The successful production of soybean is dependent in part on a well-prepared seedbed.  Land should be well prepared as for corn and upland rice.  The seedbed is best prepared by plowing followed by frequent harrowing or light disking before seeding to kill the germinating weeds.  Thorough and proper preparation of the soil will control weeds that otherwise would be likely to choke out the young plants and or seriously cut down the production of seeds.  A firm seedbed with a light, loose covering of fine soil, well smoothed by the harrow, aids in seeding to a uniform depth and in obtaining a good stand of plants.  A soil free from clods with optimum moisture level incurred the best results of germination especially when seeding is done in close drills. 



Land Preparation Steps:


1.      First plowing 35 cm deep

2.      Sub-soiling 50-60 cm

3.      Disking and leveling

4.      Fertilization + Trifluralin incorporation

5.      Disking and leveling

6.      Ridges preparation

7.      Preparation of water canal for irrigation purposes or

8.      Installing irrigation systems will be a priority




Zero tillage or No till soybean production.

            Soybean seed is directly dibbled in straw after crop harvest, this system is very common in China, and helps saving cost of land preparation.  It has many good benefits. 



Picture 9: No tillage soybean, soybean is dibbled in barley and wheat straw







Row Width:

            Soybean can be successfully grown in almost any crop width; narrower rows increase yields but it is difficult to cultivate.





Picture 10: Soybean planted in straw in 30 inches row after wheat or barley harvest





Picture 11: Pivot system with fertilizer tanks and pumps







            Proper soil moisture is vital for good uniform germination. However, flooding will cause seed to rot, critical periods when moisture is essential are at flowering and bean filling.  Avoid soil cracking and wilting.  Irrigation is necessary after fertilization and at the time of seeding.  Considering above points apply water as needed and note the time and number of irrigation applied. Field showing the irrigation system will be install to provide water to the crop. 







Soybean field will irrigate and fertilize with water-soluble fertilizer through irrigation system, which will be well attached to irrigate. A pump, and diesel engine and water tank of 2500-liter capacity will require running this operation. 


The large pivot system will cover one square mile, which is approximately 640 acres (26 ft. radius/one half miles). 2500 gallons per minute is needed to operate and it takes 99 hours to apply one inch per acre water.  Note if larger pivots system are used the larger pumps and more water per minute is needed. It also depends on how water is available for irrigation on project.


Picture 12: Soybean planted on flat bed in low salinity condition of soil with  poor  root nodulation, need extra nitrogen to get early start.




            Soybean field is fertilized in many countries.  It is necessary in fields of poor nodulation or with poor nodules formation and soils with low fertility, or flood deposited soils. Rates of fertilizer must be based on soil tests. A Basal application of 40 to 50 kg/ha of Nitrogen at the time of seeding and 100 kg/ha of Phosphatic material mixed at the time of land preparation is a must in the soils with no nodulation, soybean fields with good nodulation or with good bacteria inoculation; an application of 1020 kg/ha would be enough for initial soybean development, but a second dose of Nitrogen application at the rate of 30 to 50 kg/ha by side or top dressing at the time of flowering or pod filling would help to increase the production by 50%.  Water application help if applied following fertilization.



Weed Control


            Trifluralin application at the time of land preparation will definitely control the early stage of development of weeds but to achieve high yields weeds must be controlled again, since some weed grow again and compete directly with the soybean plants for water and nutrients.


            Apply Lasso (Alachlor) 1.5 kg a.i./ha as a pre-emergence spray supplemented with one mechanical weeding or Paraquate at the rate of 0.75 kg a.i./ha post emergence. 




            Harvesting is a very important step.  It makes no sense to work hard to get a good yield and then lose them by poor harvesting methods.


Picture 13: Harvesting soybean on large plantation


Picture 14: Edible Oil Company (D) LLC

Subsidiary of Dubai Investments