Soya belongs to the papilionaceous flowers or to the leguminous
plants and may reach a height of 80 to 100 cm. The flowers are red, white but
can also be violet. The beans grow in pods that develop in clusters of 3 to 5 cm
with each pod usually containing 2 or 3 beans. These beans are sometimes big or
small, long, round or oval. The color can also vary. Some are yellow, others are
green but can also be brown or violet and some are even black or with spots..
The soybean fields are brown when harvesting starts because the leaves of the
plant are dry before the beans are mature. The remaining plant has only stems
Soybean plants can be grouped into basically two main types, determinant and
indeterminant, both grown mostly in temperate climates. The determinant
varieties will flower at a certain time of the year, basically when the days
begin to shorten. Indeterminant varieties will continue to flower and put on
fruit until the weather dictates that it is time to curtail plant growth. There
are many different varieties which allow soybeans to be produced in different
maturity zones that stretch from North Dakota (latitude 49?N) to Louisiana
(latitude 30?N) in the United States.
One of the most important agronomic characteristics of soybeans is that it can
take nitrogen from the air and "fix" it to be used by the soybean plant.