U.S. Soy Production
Soybeans in the U.S. are planted on approximately 72 million acres (29 million hectares) each year and produce an average of 2,850 million bushels (77 million metric tons). Soybeans can be grown throughout the United States but the ideal planting locations are in the midwest. Iowa, Illinois and Minnesota are the top producing states.
The soybean seed is planted as early as April 15th or as late as July 15th. Planting dates vary depending on the latitude and geographic region. Classification of soybean cultivars into maturity groups help U.S. farmers choose correct varieties for their regions. Farmers may plant 6 to 10 different varieties of soybeans each growing season. Seeds develop in pods with each pod containing 1-5 seeds, but the most common varieties contain 2-3 seeds per pod.
Soybeans are considered dry mature when seed moisture reduces to less than 14% in the field. Harvesting date depends on the variety, growing regions, planting date, and local weather conditions. The most active harvest periods are during the months of October and November.
Soybeans are stored at farms, elevators, and processing plants in various types of storage facilities before being channeled to the next destination. Local elevators will store and condition the soybeans before selling and shipping to a soybean processor or export elevator. Farmers may also transport soybeans by truck to a regional transport facility such as a railroad or river terminal for shipment directly to a grain buying station, processing plant, or harbor facility for shipment overseas.