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How To Best Grow Soya

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Soybean is processed for its oil and meal for the animal feed industry.

A smaller percentage is processed for human consumption and made into products such as soy milk, flour, soy protein and tofu, among others.

Soybean is also used in many non-food (industrial) products.

Seed bed preparation

  • Soils should be deep and well-drained.
  • A fine seed bed and fertile soils are required to ensure good crop growth and development.
  • Tillage by one ploughing and one or two harrowing is ideal.
  • In fields where inoculated soybean has never been grown, the seed should be inoculated with rhizobium japonicum (a legume-root nodulating, microsymbiotic nitrogen-fixing bacteria).


  • Soybean spacing is dependent on the method of planting — planters, hand dibble or drill when planters place one seed per hole.
  • Soybeans should be planted with a spacing of 60cm between rows and 5cm between plants.
  • For planting by hand hoe, three seeds per hole are planted at a spacing of 50cm between rows and 25cm between plants.
  • By drilling method, seeds are sown60cm between rows and 5cm between plants. A seed rate of 50-60kg/ha or 25 to 30kg per acre is recommended, giving 300,000 plants per hectare.

Fertiliser application

  • You will not require nitrogen fertilisers for good soils. Phosphorous fertiliser is very essential. Incorporate 200kg/ha of SSP or 100kg/ha of TSP into the soil before planting. Apply 50kgs/ha of NPK.

Crop protection

Weed control: Keep the fields free of weeds

First weeding: Three weeks after planting

Second weeding: Three weeks after first weeding

Third and fourth weeding: It can also be done if needed.


Available varieties are resistant to most diseases, except soybean rust. Use disease-resistant soybean varieties as a control measure. Fungicides can be used to control soybean rust, where susceptible varieties, such as Namsoy1 and Namsoy2, are planted. The most readily available fungicide is Diathne M45: This should be applied at a rate of 2kg per hectare (2.5g or litre) or one levelled teaspoon in two litres of water.

Best results are obtained when applied on two-week interval from disease on set, when rust spots first appear on lower leaves.


  • The most destructive soybean pest in Uganda is the stink bug (usually green), which pierces the pod pericarp and sucks the sap from the developing seeds. This causes seeds not to grow and pods sometimes drop off.
  • The plant compensates for lost pods by growing new ones, but pods in infested plots have fewer and smaller seeds.
  • When pods are damaged by stink bugs, the plants retain their leaves and the stems remain green after maturity. Green stems among mature plants make harvesting difficult.

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