What is the history of soybeans being farmed in the US?

Published Feb 25 


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Feb 25  

Categories: Soybeans

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By Rick Foster
Published Sep 15 

Native to Asia, soybean seeds were sporadically planted in the colonies in the 1700s and then gained more traction in the 1800s as farmers planted soybeans for forages. Not until the 1900s did soybean gain widespread attention as a staple when it comes to agricultural production in America.


Early Accounts of Soybeans in America

Early accounts of soybeans in the U.S. include the farmer Samuel Bowen planting soy crops in 1765 in Savannah, Georgia, and Benjamin Franklin sending seeds in 1770 to a friend in Philadelphia. For an interesting read, check out “Magic Bean: The Rise of Soy in America” by Dr. Matthew Roth.


Soybeans in the 1800s

In American literature, the first use of the word “soybean” dates back to an 1804 publication in which Dr. James Mease recommended the production of soy crops. 


In the late 1800s, various agricultural experiment stations conducted soybean testing including Rutgers Agricultural College in New Jersey. These positive results led to many farmers planting soy for their livestock feed.


20th Century Soybeans in America

In the early 1900s, the use of soybean as oil and meal grew dramatically and production spread throughout the U.S. By the middle of the century, the U.S. produced more than 75% of the world's total soybean crop. In the ‘70s, soybeans even became America’s number one cash crop.  

What is the history of soybeans being farmed in the US?

Native to Asia, soybean seeds were sporadically planted in the colonies in the 1700s and then gained more traction in the 1800s as farmers planted soybeans for forages. Not until the 1900s did soybean gain widespread attention as a staple when it comes to agricultural production in America.


Early Accounts of Soybeans in America

Early accounts of soybeans in the U.S. include the farmer Samuel Bowen planting soy crops in 1765 in Savannah, Georgia, and Benjamin Franklin sending seeds in 1770 to a friend in Philadelphia. For an interesting read, check out “Magic Bean: The Rise of Soy in America” by Dr. Matthew Roth.


Soybeans in the 1800s

In American literature, the first use of the word “soybean” dates back to an 1804 publication in which Dr. James Mease recommended the production of soy crops. 


In the late 1800s, various agricultural experiment stations conducted soybean testing including Rutgers Agricultural College in New Jersey. These positive results led to many farmers planting soy for their livestock feed.


20th Century Soybeans in America

In the early 1900s, the use of soybean as oil and meal grew dramatically and production spread throughout the U.S. By the middle of the century, the U.S. produced more than 75% of the world's total soybean crop. In the ‘70s, soybeans even became America’s number one cash crop.  

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Categories: Soybeans

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