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The Future of Soy Production – Exploring High-Tech Solutions for Increased Yields 2023

The global demand for feed, food, and fuel has been soaring continuously due to the world’s population growth and increasing middle class. But how can we guarantee an adequate supply of safe, healthy food for the world’s rapidly-increasing population while restricting adverse effects on the environment and climate change?

This is one of the fundamental challenges the human species has faced in the last decade and will possibly keep facing in the coming decades. Fortunately, smart money invested in innovating global agriculture and exploring high-tech solutions will play a crucial role in solving this problem. By strategically allocating resources and funding research and development, we can drive advancements in agricultural technologies such as precision farming, vertical farming, and genetic engineering. Additionally, investments in data analytics, artificial intelligence, and automation can revolutionize the way we produce and distribute food, making it more efficient, sustainable, and resilient to environmental challenges. With smart money directed towards these endeavors, we can address the pressing issue of food security and pave the way for a more prosperous and sustainable future for the entire planet.

What does the future hold?

That said, soybean and innovative soy products provide a rich supply of plant-based protein that can tremendously increase the global supply of sustainable food and feed substantially. This post will discuss various innovative, high-tech solutions that can significantly increase soybeans’ yield potential – so keep reading to learn more about these strategies and how they can impact your harvest.

1. Tech-based breeding practices

Soybeans have numerous benefits for humans and animals, like high protein, soluble sugar content, oil, etc. Although these legumes are renowned for these favorable traits, scientific and technological experts have been experimenting with innovative breeding attempts that could extensively apply to soy production.

For instance, breeders have discovered innovative ways to substantially enhance soybeans’ protein content by increasing the quantity of sulfur with amino acids like cysteine and methionine. Soybean seeds are typically deficient in these amino acids, and innovatively incorporating them into the seeds would increase the soybean meal’s nutritional value and yield potential.

Furthermore, breeders have applied quantitative trait loci (QTL) to select cultivars with exciting traits that could produce innovative soy products. This innovative approach has helped experts increase soybeans’ content of soluble sugars, mainly sucrose.

Sucrose is the primary sugar in soybeans, although glucose and fructose are also available, but in traceable quantities. Breeders have used several QTLs that accelerate the production of sucrose by soybeans since sucrose improves food flavor for human consumption.

Therefore, it’s safe to say that innovative breeding practices have enhanced protein quality, sucrose, and oil content in soybeans.

2. Genetic engineering

Genetic engineering typically entails artificially and deliberately manipulating an organism’s DNA to modify the organism and bring out its best traits. This field aims at transforming plants by employing innovative techniques such as Agrobacterium, microparticle bombardment, and electroplating plant protoplasts.

Genetic engineering was successfully applied in soybean cultivation in the 90s. Since then, it has been incorporated into large-scale farming, with more than 200 million hectares of genetically-modified soybean seeds planted.

Notably, genetic engineering was applied in soybean production to develop the Roundup Ready variety resistant to herbicides like glyphosates. This soybean variety has become prevalent as it allows farmers to use herbicides that destroy weeds on the farm but preserve the legumes.

Genetic engineering has also enhanced soybeans’ protein content by changing their biosynthetic feedback pathways to enhance lysine production and expressing corn zein proteins to improve soybeans’ amino acids. Furthermore, scientists have relied on genetic engineering to manipulate soybean oil by reducing linolenic acid, increasing oleic acid, and delaying flowering.

Considering the advancement of gene editing, innovative experts are achieving immense success in enhancing soybean properties by modifying or removing expressions of non-desirable, antinutritional traits. This trend will become even more advanced in the future and likely shape the soybean production industry in numerous ways.

3. Modern greenhouses

In recent years, the greenhouse industry has revolutionized small facilities for aesthetic and research purposes into massive facilities that directly compete with land-based soybean production farms. Notably, the global greenhouse industry produces legumes and vegetables worth around $350 billion annually.

Due to the rapidly advancing farming technology, the soybean industry is blooming more than ever. More large-scale greenhouses facilities are emerging that are capital-infused and urban-centered.

As greenhouses continue to gain popularity in soybean production, more facilities are enhancing their technological savviness by employing automated control systems and LED lights that suit their cultivation environment.

Successful greenhouses are substantially scaling their facilities and positioning them close to urban hubs to leverage the ever-increasing food demand. As a result, modern greenhouses are likely to increase their presence in global soy production in 2023 and beyond.

4. Farm automation

Farm automation, popularly called smart farming, is an innovative strategy that increases farms’ efficiency by automating the crop production cycle. Many agro-tech companies are working on robotics innovation round the clock to design farming drones, robotic harvesters, autonomous tractors, seeding robots, automatic watering equipment, and similar innovations.

Although these tech-based approaches are relatively new in the soybean production industry, agro-tech companies will continue attaining new heights in designing more efficient soybean production equipment and machinery.

This is evident where the number of conventional farmers incorporating farm automation in their farming activities is gradually rising – all with a primary objective of fulfilling monotonous tasks autonomously.

The Bottom Line

Soy is an important legume cultivated globally due to its diverse applications and potential to contribute to food security. Its versatility is evident as soy can be used for human consumption, industrial uses, biofuels, animal feeds, and more. Although the crop has been successful in recent years, its prevalence is likely to increase drastically in 2023 and beyond, primarily due to the advancement of high-tech soybean production techniques.

Innovative food production experts consistently work on innovative strategies to enhance soybean oil and protein content while removing antinutritional properties. Gene editing and genetic engineering have effectively introduced novel genes that increase the legume’s protein quality and other nutritional benefits.

Therefore, it is safe to say that high-tech solutions are an integral part and will remain to be integral in transforming soybean production in 2023 and the future.

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