Distribution and Climate



The areas where soybeans are mainly grown range from cold temperate-climate regions (Northern U.S. and Canada) to tropical regions (Indonesia). Soybeans are more resistent to short-term droughts than corn, which probably resulted from an adaptation to the climate in which it resides. Heat, water, and sunlight are the three main requirements for growth. Temperatures between 22 and 35°C are prime for its growing season, and can affect its blooming dates. An average temperature below these prime temperatures delay blooming. Also, higher temperatures can decrease the rate of node formation and growth. Soybeans are also less susceptible to frost than corn.

Soybean distribution map created by Olivia Scurek

This photo shows the main soybean distribution in red.




During the first three decades of the 20th century, soybean production was largely confined to the Orient (China, Indonesia, Japan, and the Republic or Korea). However, in the 1940’s, the U.S. overtook the entire Orient in production (mainly due to its cultivation being completely mechanized).


Soybeans are very sensitive to daylight, and in turn are grown in regions where light is available about 12-13 hours a day. In the U.S. over half of soybeans produced come from the corn belt, which is shown in red above. In Asia, the soybean growing region is concentrated mainly in the East, and in Brazil, most soybeans are grown in the South.

In both the U.S. and China, areas of the greatest soybean production are located within 35-45°latitude.


Click here to see how soybeans are classified.



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