How To Know When Soybeans Are Ready to Harvest

How To Know When Soybeans Are Ready to Harvest? In this article, we will show you how to know when soybeans are ready to be harvested. You will learn the best time to harvest soybean pods by observing the plant and the pods themselves.

When the soybean begins to ripen, most of the foliage turns yellow and falls, and it generally takes 8 to 10 days from the beginning until the plant is practically defoliated, indicating that threshing can begin. The moisture content of the grain should be checked, which should be between 13 and 14% to avoid losses. Read on to find out how to know when soybeans are ready to harvest.

When Are Soybeans Ready to Harvest

When Are Soybeans Ready to Harvest? Soybean ripening is manifested by the change in color of the pods from green to more or less dark brown. This occurs gradually from the lower pods to the upper pods, although within a few days of each other. As the soybean begins to ripen, the leaves start to yellow and fall off the plant, leaving only the pods on the plant.

As the soybeans mature, their moisture content decreases from 60 to 15% throughout one to two weeks. Soybeans can be harvested with a well-regulated grain harvester with losses of less than 10%. The optimum time for harvesting is when the plants have reached full maturity, the stalks are not green and the grain is ripe with a moisture content of 12-14%, i.e. when 95% of the legumes are brown. If harvesting is delayed, there is a risk that the pods will open and shatter spontaneously.

Soybean yields depend on the variety, the soil, cultivation methods, climate, etc. Average yields of about 4,000 kg per hectare are normally achieved. Factors such as poor soil preparation, planting at the wrong time, the use of non-adapted varieties, the presence of weeds, late harvesting dates, high grain moisture, and poorly maintained harvesting equipment can negatively affect final production yields.

There are many uses for soybeans, the most important being the production of protein, oil, lecithin, and fodder. It is mainly cultivated for the production of seeds and their transformation into protein meals for animal feed production. The oil is used for human consumption and industrial uses (manufacture of margarine, butter, chocolate, confectionery, etc.).

when are soybeans ready to harvest
How To Know When Soybeans Are Ready to Harvest? Soybeans are ready for harvest when the pods turn brown (see image).

What Do Soybeans Look Like at Harvest

What Do Soybeans Look Like at Harvest? The appearance of soybean pods when ready to be harvested is a tan or brown color, but the pod should be closed. Mature soybean pods will be firm to the touch and oval. As mentioned above, the moisture content of the soybeans should be 12% to 14%.

There are several methods for determining the moisture content of grains, which are classified into two groups: direct and indirect. For an industrial crop, electronic meters are used (see image below) but if you are harvesting soybeans at home, you will be able to check manually.

When you see the soybean pod is brown or toasted as mentioned above and firm to the touch, you should be able to harvest the soybean. We hope you found this article on How to know when soybeans are ready to harvest useful. Learn more about How Do You Know When Cabbage Is Ready to Harvest?

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what do soybeans look like at harvest
What Do Soybeans Look Like at Harvest? You will notice that the soybean pod is brown or toasted, as in the image above. This way, you will know that the soybeans are ready to be harvested.
About Henry Morgan

We are the Morgan family, Henry, and Julia, both agronomists from the University of Michigan, where we met. We are experts in putting our hands in the soil and developing organic foods and improving production processes for decades. Likewise, we have worked for companies such as Mondelez International, BASF, Monsanto, etc. currently in our role as science writers for TheGardenStyle.com as well as advisors in promoting large scale food growing in urbanized areas. In this website, we share what we are most passionate about, gardening and farming. Enjoy and see real photos on our website.