Post-Harvest Management and Storage of Soyabean

Harvesting:

The maturity period for soyabean crops ranges from 90 to 145 days (depending on the variety). When the plants reach maturity, their leaves turn yellow and the pods drop from the stem of the plant.  Soyabean pods dry out quickly and will turn colour - brown or black. This occurs because there is a rapid loss of moisture from the seed. At harvest, the moisture content of the seeds should be about 17%. Harvesting can be done by hand, which is typically done by breaking the stalks on the ground with a sickle.

Threshing:

Threshing can be done either with a mechanical soyabean thresher or some other conventional method. Threshing should be done carefully, as any kind of severe beating or trampling may damage the seed coat, thus reducing the viability of the crop and the quality of the harvest. Moisture content should be about 13% to 14% when harvesting with a thresher.

Storage:

After harvest, seeds need to be stored and kept for the next planting season. Seed moisture determines the length of seed storage life. If the crop is harvested when there is high moisture content, the longevity of the seed is reduced dramatically. For example, seeds with high moisture can be more susceptible to fungus or other storage pests. Hence, reducing seed moisture is the first step for longer seed life.

Ideal moisture storage rates:

•    For short-term storage (6 to 8 months), moisture content should be reduced to                          approximately 12%. Seeds should be stored in a cloth or gunny bag.
•    For long-term storage (1 to 2 years), moisture content should be reduced to below 7%.            Seeds should be stored in a polythene bag.

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