Soyabean Cultivation Project Report, Crop Economics

Introduction to Soyabean Cultivation Project Report

Today, let us discuss  about Soyabean Cultivation Project Report, Economics, cost and profits associated with Soy crop.

Soyabean belongs to the legume family of plants native to the East Asian region. This crop is annual in nature and is used for a variety of purposes like human consumption, livestock feed and industries. This crop is categorised as a commercial crop and holds the second largest position among cash crops in the country. Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra are the two leading producers of Soyabean in the country. Soyabean ranks first as an oil seed crop in the world and is very prominent in India.

The Soyabean is considered a major crop in the United States, Brazil, Argentina, India and China. The annual production of Soyabeans on a global scale is 337 million tonnes. The average yield of Soyabean crops estimated worldwide is approximately 2.8 tonnes per hectare. In India, the average production annually is about 11.7 million tonnes per hectare. There has been a rapid increase in the production area of the Soyabeans owing to the improved varieties of seeds and availability of various agro-climatic conditions in the country.

This soyabean cultivation project report aims at discussing the farming methods, establishment cost and profits associated with the Soyabean crop.

Soya Plant and its properties

Soyabean is a leguminous crop that has an annual production routine. It is categorized into determinate and indeterminate types. The plant grows to a height of 40 to 100 cm with a well branched structure. The other parts of the plant are as follows:

  • The crop has a taproot system of maximum length of 1.5 m. Lateral roots develop from the taproot and grow to a depth of 300 mm. The roots of the crop contain a specific bacterium that helps in nitrogen fixation.
  • The crop has leaves that are arranged alternately and have a different shape. The colour of the leaves is dark green or is tinted with brown, red or blue lesions. The leaves drop off the plant when the seed pods ripen indicating the harvest season.
  • The inflorescence of the plant produces almost around 20 small purple or white flowers that undergo self pollination. For the indeterminate variety, flowers appear on the main stem at the fourth to eight node. The flowers on the determinate type appear at the eight or ninth node and then precede to other nodes.
  • The fruit of the plant appears in the form of pods that are hairy and vary in size and shape. The colour of the pod is either brown or black; sometimes they are tinted with green or purple. The pods have three seeds. The seeds are round or ovoid in shape, hard and have a smooth texture.
  • The mass of the seeds is generally 12 to 25 g per 100 seeds. The colour of the seeds id yellow, green, red, brown, black or doubled coloured based on the variety of the crop. The seeds contain 17 to 22% oil and 36 to 42% protein.

Varieties of Soyabean

The variety of the soya plant should be chosen such that it fits into the 4 to 5 months of the growing season. The variety should also have the highest yield in a particular season and area. The best variety for the farm should have long periods between maturity and pod shattering. The last but most important characteristic of soya variety is to be disease resistant. Some determinate and indeterminate varieties are:

  • Indeterminate – SC (serenade, safari, squire and saga).
  • Determinate – SC (status, sequel, sentinel, santa).

Soil and climatic requirements for Soyabean Farming

The proper temperature is an important factor in the growth of Soyabeans; too high or low temperatures can delay growth and yield. Temperatures above 30˚C and below 13˚C are not suitable for the plants. For all the stages of the plant 25˚C is considered optimal for growth, but during the planting time the soil temperature should be around 15˚C so as to stimulate germination. The seedling should not be placed under extreme heat conditions otherwise they get easily damaged. The length of the day influences the growth of Soyabean plants, i.e. the photo period is important during farming.

The minimum rainfall required for the growth, yield and quality of Soyabean is around 500 to 900 mm annually. Since the crop has long root system, it is highly tolerant to dry weather conditions before flowering. Water-logging has a negative impact on the crop, but for maximum seed yield the root zone needs at least 50% of water.

Fertile soil is a pre-requisite for soya farming. It should also be well-drained and deep in nature. The soya plants are expected to adapt well to heavier soil types with lower pH value. The pH value lower than 5.2 obstructs the nitrogen fixation process. Compact type of soil is not recommended for soya plants. High clay content is considered good for the plants.

Propagation of Soyabean

Propagation of Soyabean is done through seeds. Seeds that are more than 2 years old are not suitable for sowing. Obtain fresh seed every year for Soyabean farming so as to have a profitable crop.

Land preparation and planting of Soyabean

The seedbed for Soyabean farming should be prepared from a certain depth. The soil should be loosened, but unnecessary tillage must be avoided. The soil loses moisture while loosening; hence proper measures should be adopted to ensure a good moisture level in the soil. The soil may also be damaged by wind and water erosion and effective protective measures are to be considered while tilling. Two methods of tilling are practiced on the farm i.e. conventional tillage and conservation tillage.

  • In Conventional tillage, the tilled surface is inverted such that the soil bed has no crop residues.
  • In conservation tillage, tillage implements are used that leave the crop residue over the soil surface as a protection against wind and water erosion.

Planting is done over a wide range of dates when irrigation in the region is not required. In non-irrigated regions, generally the planting is done in May until June. Under irrigated conditions, Soyabean plants are planted only when the soil temperature gets around 60˚F. The minimum depth of planting ranges from 1 to 1.5 inches. Early planting varieties are sown at shallow depths and late planting in dry soil conditions is done at a deeper level.

The seeds are planted at a distance of 5 to 15 cm with a row spacing of about 40 to 90 cm. The spacing between rows and plants may vary depending on the irrigation facility and water availability in the region. It is believed that rows that are narrower than 30 inches have several advantages. Certain areas have witnessed a plant population of 80,000 to 1, 40,000 plants per acre depending on the row and plant spacing.

Manure and fertilizer requirements for Soya Farming

A soil test is always recommended before planting or before the application of fertilizers. Lime is added adequately to the soil to bring the soil pH level to 6.8. This crop under normal conditions doesn’t need any nitrogen fertilizer because the roots contain a bacterium that fixes nitrogen levels in the soil. This nitrogen is produced only after nodulation and until then the plants take in the nitrogen available in the soil. Pre-plant application of 200-300 kg of fertilizer is recommended as a basal dose for Soyabean crops. The average nutrient requirement of the crops is phosphorous and potassium @ 20-30 kg/ ha for medium quality soils and 40-60 kg/ha for poor quality soil. Other than these major elements, the plants also need minor nutrients like calcium, magnesium and sulphur.

Read: Frequently Asked Questions About Fertilizers.

Irrigation needs of Soy

The availability of water in the region decides the method of irrigation provided to the plants. The drip irrigation and sprinkler methods are considered to be very good for soya crops. These crops need very less water during the late reproductive growth stage. Soyabean crops are mostly grown as rain-fed crops, but in regions where they are grown as irrigated crops, then the price of the produce goes higher. The crops are sensitive to dryness during the pod formation stage. Therefore, the soil is irrigated even before planting the crops to a depth of 60 to 100 cm so as to keep the soil moist at all times. Irrigation is given at regular intervals such as 4 to 5 days after planting and during the flowering stage. It can be concluded that, the peak daily water usage rate for Soyabean crops is about 0.30 inches per day.

Read: Frequently Asked Questions About Irrigation.

Weed management in Soy Productioon

Weeds decrease the yield of crops and use up the nutrients from the soil. Weeds grow fast and cause hindrance to the growth of soya crops. Removal of weeds is extremely important to protect the crops from damage and stunted growth. Manual removal of weeds is done during the early stages of crop growth, but after the plants attain a height of 5 to 10 cm, mechanical weeding is preferred. Lower row spacing (30 cm) is expected to reduce the weed depressions. Herbicides can be used as pre-emergence sprays for controlling the weeds, but should be applied carefully because the Soyabean plants are sensitive to these herbicides.

Weeds can also be controlled by using cover crops during the fall. The combination of cover crops should be chosen carefully and should have the ability to establish quickly.

Pest and disease control in Soya Crop

Some common pests found in Soyabean farms are common cut worm, large false wireworms, cabbage semi loppers, painted lady, African bollworm, American leaf miner, aphids, thrips, nematodes, seed maggot. The following control measures can keep the infestation away:

  • Crop rotation
  • Using biological control techniques
  • Controlling weeds
  • Sterilizing the soil before farming
  • Inoculation of Rhizobium belonging to the cowpea strain group
  • Intercropping
  • Avoiding too much moisture in the farms
  • Using recommended insecticides and pesticides when required

Soyabean plants are prone to a variety of viral and fungal diseases such as Soyabean rust, bacterial blight, sclerotinia stem, purple seed stain etc. These diseases can be controlled by chemicals, biological treatments, mechanical ways or by cultural practices. Some of the disease control measures in Soyabean farms are:

  • Using seeds that are disease free and certified
  • Crop rotation
  • Proper irrigation management
  • Deep ploughing
  • Managing plant debris after harvest
  • Use of proper chemicals when the infection is severe

Read: Frequently Asked Questions About Plant Diseases.

Harvesting and yield of Soyabean

Harvesting should always be done during the right time otherwise this may lead to loss of crop due to shattering. The best sign of harvest is when the leaves begin to shed and the moisture of the seeds reduces below 15%. Generally farmers who have little experience in Soyabean farming can detect harvest season by the colour of the pod and its shattering ability. The general harvest time is estimated to be 100 to 150 days after planting. Soyabean crops are not harvested by hand, stacking or windrowing. The general ways of harvesting Soyabean are mentioned below:

  • For small farms with availability of labour force, hand harvesting is done. This reduces the loss during harvest and produces beans with high viability. When seed production is intended, farmers usually deploy hand harvesting. Sickles or sharp hoes are used for harvesting and each labourer is expected to cut and thresh 50 to 90 kgs of clean beans each day.
  • Mowing is to cut the plant material using a mower and then use a mechanical winnower to clean the harvest. Each labourer is expected to harvest and thresh approximately 150 kgs each day.
  • Swather is used to cut the produce and wind-row the crop before it is combined.
  • Large farms use machines to harvest are called combine harvesters. The losses during this method are inevitable. These machines can cut the crops close to the ground very slowly. Threshing should be done carefully to avoid damage of the Soyabean seed.

Post harvest management of Soya Crop

These methods are used for handling the produce after harvest such as:

  • Sorting is done to remove unwanted material from the produce.
  • Grading is done to rate the quality of the produce obtained from the farm and each region or country has their own standards for grading the produce. It is mostly done on the basis of colour, variety, quality etc.
  • The packing is done differently for each grade of Soyabean. The bags used for packaging are properly closed or sealed before transporting to the desired location.
  • After harvest the beans must be dried to less than 14% moisture content before storing. Three methods can be used for drying Soyabean such as natural air, low temperature and high temperature.
  • Beans, dried to 14% moisture level can be stored for 6 months and if they are dry to 11% moisture content then they can be stored for 11 months.
  • The Soyabean can be stored for a long duration of time without fumigation. There should not be much moisture in the area otherwise there is a risk of combustion. Proper air movement through the grain helps to keep the temperature low.

Cost and profit analysis / Economics of Soy Farming / Soyabean Cultivation Project Report

The estimation of Soyabean production for 1 hectare of land is described here. These values presented here are approximate values and may deviate from the original depending on the location and availability of resources. Mostly variable costs during the farm operations are mentioned here and the fixed costs like land rentals, electricity charges, interest on various factors are not mentioned in the report. These fixed costs are specific to the region of the farm and should be carefully evaluated before actually deploying the project.

Material and labourInvestment in Rs
80.65 mandays of human labour20,000.00
5.71 pair days of bullock labour2,855.00
6.07 hours of machine labour2,732.00
65.62 kg of seeds as planting material3,281.00
10.20 quintals of manure1,020.00
112.4 kgs of fertilizers5,620.00
Plant protection chemicals1,000.00
Other miscellaneous charges5,000.00
Total investment 41,508.00

 

Yield per hectare of small farms is: 19.11 quintals (1900 kgs) approximately.

Cost of Soyabean per kg: Rs 50.

Income from the farm: total yield x cost per unit = (1900 x 50) = Rs 95,000.

Profit from the farm is: Income – Total investment = Rs 95,000 – Rs 41,508.

                                                                                             = Rs 53,492.

Other than these the Soyabean farms also produce some by products which also are sold at a good value in the market.

It is important to note that non rain-fed areas would need the arrangement of irrigation systems and deploying a drip irrigation system for one acre of land would cost around Rs 50,000 to Rs 75,000 approximately.

Loans and subsidies of Soya Farming in India

NABARD is a regular organization providing subsidy support to the farmers based on the size of their project, but apart from this there is the Soybean Processors Association of India (SOPA), which extends helps to farmers, processors and exporters of Soyabean. Either of these organizations can be approached for support of the Soyabean farming project.

Read: Growing Pearl Millet.

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