Soybeans are a type of legume that is native to East Asia and is now grown all over the world. They are a vital ingredient in many food products used for livestock feed and biodiesel. Soybean production has increased significantly in recent years due to advances in technology and techniques.
One of the most important techniques for improving soybean production is inoculants. Soybean inoculants are microorganisms that help promote plant growth and can be applied to the seeds before planting or to the roots after planting. Inoculants help improve plant health and yield by increasing the amount of nitrogen available to the plants. Here we take a closer look at these techniques.
- Breeding techniques
The soybean seed has several useful properties, including a high protein content, oil content, and soluble sugar content. The value of soybean seeds is based on these positive characteristics, but there have been, and continue to be, efforts to breed for even better characteristics. Breeders have sought to improve soybean so that it contains more of the sulfur-containing amino acids methionine and cysteine, and hence more protein overall.
- Genetic engineering techniques
Genetic engineering deliberately and artificially changes an organism’s DNA to benefit the organism. Agrobacterium, electroporation of plant protoplasts, and microparticle bombardment are some techniques used to modify plant genetics. Gene editing, which uses the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/Cas9 system, is a relatively young subfield of genetic engineering. To accomplish the desired result in genetic engineering, either a gene from one organism is transferred to another so that it may express that gene’s product, or a frameshift or deletion is induced to silence a gene.
- Applying nitrogen fertiliser at the correct time and rate
Another way to improve soybean production is to apply nitrogen fertiliser at the correct time and rate. Nitrogen is an essential nutrient for plant growth, and applying it at the right time and rate can help ensure a good yield.
- Controlling weeds early and throughout the season
Reduced yields, higher production costs, harvest delays, and poor product quality are some ways weeds negatively impact agriculture. Weeds block the flow of irrigation water, prevent the proper use of pesticides and provide a haven for disease-causing organisms.
Weeds are problematic because they outcompete cereal crops for resources like water, sunlight, and minerals. Planting annual seeds in a field might lead to a continuous problem with weeds.
All across the world, people plant soybeans because of the many ways they can be used. Many agronomic factors, including double cropping, cover crops, crop rotations, irrigation, plant density, row spacing, and post-emergence fertilisation must be considered throughout the growing season to ensure successful soybean growth.