Postharvest losses in Soybean

Soybean oil seed crop belongs to Leguminosae family and has grown for its edible seeds. Perhaps it is most nutritious crop in the world, Soybean is nutritious food and is source of vegetable oil.

It plays important role in improving soil fertility. It reduces the pressure of parasitic weed. Soybean cake is outstanding feed for livestock particularly for poultry and feed for goats and sheep. It has usage for Varnishes, industrial paints, printing inks, caulking mixtures.

Many fuel products and lubricant based on soy oil. Thus replacing non- regenerable petroleum products. Soybean flour use for food or feed and also prepared from meal after extraction.

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Soybean protein play vital role in balancing the micro-nutrient deficiencies of staple crops flour e.g. wheat, those are deficient in amino acids like tryptophan and lysine.

Why we need to grow soybean?

It is cheap source of protein (40%) for food and feed. Its seeds have 18-22% oil and accomplish its importance in food and feed industry. Soybean was planted at 120.48 million hectares and its production is 351.74 million metric tons.

The largest producer of soybean is USA with 117.20 million metric tons (MMT), Brazil 114 (MMT) and Argentina 57.80 (MMT).  Production of soybean in Pakistan is very low as it does not meet the country requirement.

Pakistan is importing 2.5 million metric tonnes (MMT) of soybean to meet the requirement of country.  The import of soybean increases to 25% than that of the last year. To save the capital, we should encourage the farmer to grow soybean and make farmer friendly policy.

Postharvest losses in soybean:

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Transportation, weighing, storage and handling losses were 0.15%, 0.1%, 0.3% and 0.3% respectively at farm condition. Threshing losses in soybean were 2.10 % for soybean.

Transportation losses consist of bullock cart (0.96%), head load (1.74%) and tractor trolley (0.98%). The cleaning loss was (0.39%) and 15% grain postharvest loss in agriculture.

Causes of post-harvest loses in soybean:

The causes of harvest losses includes unfavorable condition for weather, soil unevenness, impure seed, bad management and high speed of harvester/ thresher. By reducing the postharvest losses, crop yield enhances and improve the economic status of farmers. The effect of speed of harvest on grains losses are unidirectional.

By increasing the speed of harvest may raise the losses, so the farmers should be careful about the harvesting speed. It may not exceeds  more  than 7 km/h to prevent harvesting loss of soybeans. Due to absence of good quality research and using old farm machinery, the postharvest loses of grains are continuously increasing.

The causes of postharvest losses of soybean may be due to different factors and their importance varies from according to different verities of environment under which these are grown, harvested and marketed.

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Major causes of postharvest loses in soybean are harvesting and processing challenges and its accounts for more than 50%.  This is because of farmers have lack of farm machinery and holding small area of land. Farmers are using oldest methods of harvesting due to which shattering of beans or more, hence there will be more post harvest loses.

They pulled up the harvesting plants out of soil and stacked at one place for threshing. It consist of piling of dry plants on soil and dry pods of soybean are placed in sacks for their manual threshing.  This also losses the nutrients that would be added to soil due to burring of crop stubble.

Sami- ur-Rehman

Sami- ur-Rehman

Student of M.Sc. (Hons.) Agronomy at University of Agriculture Faisalabad.

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