EISENHARDT supplies GMO and non-GMO soybeans directly from the cooperatives and top exporters of Argentina and Brazil in bulk and containerized cargoes.

The soybean (U.S.) or soya bean (UK) (Glycine max) is a species of legume native to East Asia, widely grown for its edible bean which has numerous uses. The plant is classed as an oilseed rather than a pulse by the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO).

Fat-free (defatted) soybean meal is a primary, low-cost, source of protein for animal feeds and most prepackaged meals[citation needed]; soy vegetable oil is another product of processing the soybean crop. For example, soybean products such as textured vegetable protein (TVP) are ingredients in many meat and dairy analogues. Soybeans produce significantly more protein per acre than most other uses of land.

Traditional non fermented food uses of soybeans include soy milk, and from the latter tofu and tofu skin. Fermented foods include soy sauce, fermented bean paste, natto, and tempeh, among others. The oil is used in many industrial applications. The main producers of soy are the United States (35%), Brazil (27%),Argentina (19%), China (6%) and India (4%). The beans contain significant amounts of phytic acid, alpha-linolenic acid, and the isoflavones genistein anddaidzein.


Soybeans are an important global crop, providing oil and protein. In the United States, the bulk of the crop is solvent-extracted with hexane, and the "toasted" defatted soymeal (50% protein) then makes possible the raising of farm animals (e.g. chicken, hog, turkey) on an industrial scale never before seen in human history. A very small proportion of the crop is consumed directly by humans. Soybean products do, however, appear in a large variety of processed foods. During World War II, soybeans became important in both North America and Europe chiefly as substitutes for other protein foods and as a source of edible oil. During World War II, the soybean was discovered as fertilizer by the United States Department of Agriculture. In the 1960-1 Dillion round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), the United States secured tariff-free access for its soybeans to the European market. In the 1960s, the United States exported over 90% of the world's soybeans.[20][21] In 2005, top soybeans exporters are Brazil (39% of world soybean exports), United States (37%) and Argentina (16%), while top importers are China (41% of world soybean imports), European Union (22%), Japan (6%) and Mexico (6%).

Cultivation is successful in climates with hot summers, with optimum growing conditions in mean temperatures of 20 to 30 °C (68 to 86 °F); temperatures of below 20 °C and over 40 °C (68 °F, 104 °F) retard growth significantly. They can grow in a wide range of soils, with optimum growth in moist alluvial soils with a good organic content. Soybeans, like most legumes, perform nitrogen fixation by establishing a symbiotic relationship with the bacterium Bradyrhizobium japonicum (syn. Rhizobium japonicum; Jordan 1982). For best results, though, an inoculum of the correct strain of bacteria should be mixed with the soybean (or any legume) seed before planting. Modern crop cultivars generally reach a height of around 1 m (3.3 ft), and take 80–120 days from sowing to harvesting.
The U.S., Brazil, Argentina, China and India are the world's largest soybean producers and represent more than 90% of global soybean production.[23] The U.S. produced 75 million tons of soybeans in 2000, of which more than one-third was exported. In the 2010-2011 production year, this figure is expected to be over 90 million tonnes. Other leading producers are Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, China, and India.

Environmental groups, such as Greenpeace and the WWF, have reported soybean cultivation and the probability of increased soybean cultivation in Brazil has destroyed huge areas of Amazon rainforest, and is encouraging further deforestation.

American soil scientist Dr. Andrew McClung, who first showed that the ecologically biodiverse savannah of the Cerrado region of Brazil could grow profitable soybeans, was awarded the 2006 World Food Prize on October 19, 2006.

Soybean plants are vulnerable to a wide range of bacterial diseases, fungal diseases, viral diseases and parasites.

Soybeans can be grown organically, that is, without the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers.


Different varieties of soybeans being grown together
Soybeans are one of the "biotech food" crops that have been genetically modified, and genetically modified soybeans are being used in an increasing number of products. In 1995, Monsanto Company introduced Roundup Ready (RR) soybeans that have been genetically modified to be resistant to Monsanto's herbicide Roundup through substitution of the Agrobacterium sp. (strain CP4) gene EPSP (5-enolpyruvyl shikimic acid-3-phosphate) synthase. The substituted version is not sensitive to glyphosate.

In 1997, about 8% of all soybeans cultivated for the commercial market in the United States were genetically modified. In 2010, the figure was 93%.[49]As with other "Roundup Ready" crops, concern is expressed over damage to biodiversity.[50] A 2003 study[51] concluded the RR gene had been bred into so many different soybean cultivars, there had been little decline in genetic diversity, but "diversity was limited among elite lines from some companies". The widespread use of such types of GM soybeans in the Americas has caused problems with exports to some regions. GM crops require extensive certification before they can be legally imported into the European Union, where there is considerable supplier and consumer reluctance to use GM products for consumer or animal use. Difficulties with coexistence and subsequent traces of cross-contamination of non-GM stocks have caused shipments to be rejected and have put a premium on non-GM soy.

A 2006 United States Department of Agriculture report found the adoption of genetically engineered (GE) soy, corn and cotton reduced the amount of pesticides used overall, but did result in a slightly greater amount of herbicides used for soy specifically. The use of GE soy was also associated with greater conservation tillage, indirectly leading to better soil conservation, as well as increased income from off-farming sources due to the greater ease with which the crops can be managed. Most farmers adopted the GE crops to improve yields, save time and reduce the amount of money spent on pesticides. The use of GE soy also permits the use of a herbicide that is less toxic to humans. Though the overall estimated benefits of the adoption of GE soybeans in the United States was $310 million, the majority of this benefit was experienced by the companies selling the seeds (40%), followed by biotechnology firms (28%) and farmers (20%).

In 2010, a team of American scientists announced they had decoded the genome of the soybean - the first legume to be sequenced