Developing soy production in Central and Northern Europe

Jürgen Recknagel, Fredrick Fogelberg
Posted: 07.06.2021
The soybean is an important ingredient of livestock feed in Europe and is also widely used in foods. Most soy used in Europe is imported (about 97% as beans and meal), mainly from South America and the USA. European soy production is currently concentrated in the south (Italy) and south-east (Balkan countries). Based on research conducted in Sweden and Germany, this chapter provides pointers to the development of the soy crop in central and northern Europe. It provides an overview of the history of the development of the crop in northern Europe, outlines relevant recent field research, and discusses aspects of good production practice. We focus on new production areas, generally north of traditional production areas. In recent years, interest in growing soybeans has spread east and north from Romania and Italy and parts of France to Austria, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland and even the BeNeLux countries, the Baltic and Scandinavian countries, with subsequently rising acreages. In order to succeed with soybean cropping in central and northern Europe, cultivars of the 00, 000 or 0000 maturity groups should be used. Grain yield in Scandinavia is about 2 t/ha. Crops in Germany and Austria produce about 2.5–3.5 t/ha. Knowledge about locally adapted cultivars and production technology is needed to support the development of the crop in new production regions. To ensure profitability of this new cropping, infrastructure for processing to feed and food has also to be developed.

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Fogelberg, F. and Recknagel, J. (2017). Developing soy production in Cental and Northern Europe. In: Murphy-Bokern, D., Stoddard, F. and Watson, C. (Eds.).  Legumes in cropping systems. CABI.

  • Fredrick Fogelberg
  • CABI
  • 2017
  • The soybean is an important ingredient of livestock feed in Europe and is also widely used in foods. Most soy used in Europe is imported (about 97% as beans and meal), mainly from South America and the USA. European soy production is currently concentrated in the south (Italy) and south-east (Balkan countries). Based on research conducted in Sweden and Germany, this chapter provides pointers to the development of the soy crop in central and northern Europe. It provides an overview of the history of the development of the crop in northern Europe, outlines relevant recent field research, and discusses aspects of good production practice. We focus on new production areas, generally north of traditional production areas. In recent years, interest in growing soybeans has spread east and north from Romania and Italy and parts of France to Austria, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland and even the BeNeLux countries, the Baltic and Scandinavian countries, with subsequently rising acreages. In order to succeed with soybean cropping in central and northern Europe, cultivars of the 00, 000 or 0000 maturity groups should be used. Grain yield in Scandinavia is about 2 t/ha. Crops in Germany and Austria produce about 2.5–3.5 t/ha. Knowledge about locally adapted cultivars and production technology is needed to support the development of the crop in new production regions. To ensure profitability of this new cropping, infrastructure for processing to feed and food has also to be developed.

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    Fredrick Fogelberg and Jürgen Recknagel
    Developing soy production in Central and Northern Europe
  • 2017. Developing soy production in Central and Northern Europe. Legume Hub. https://www.legumehub.eu

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Authors: Jürgen Recknagel, Fredrick Fogelberg
Acknowledgement: Legume Futures has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant No. 245216.

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