The Industry As A Whole
Soybean production has traditionally been one of the largest agricultural enterprises
in Arkansas. Soybean acreage in Arkansas declined sharply in the 1980s but has stabilized
around 3.2 million acres annually. The value of Arkansas crop varies considerably
from year to year as prices fluctuate, but averages $500 million. Arkansas ranks eighth
nationally in soybean production.
Soybeans are grown in more than 50 of the states 75 counties, but are
concentrated in eastern Arkansas. Some soybeans are also produced in the Arkansas River
Valley in the west and the Red River Valley in the southwest.
Major Soybean-Producing Counties
Optimum planting dates for soybeans are May 5 through July 5, although early maturing
varieties can be planted prior to those dates in south Arkansas.
Approximately 30 percent of soybeans is "double crop" behind wheat. Following
spring wheat harvest, the land is replanted to soybeans, allowing the harvest of two crops
from the same land during one year. Irrigation-furrow, flood and sprinkler-is common
practice on about 35 percent of soybean acreage.
Soybeans are harvested between Oct. 15 and Nov. 20, although harvest of early maturing
varieties begins earlier. Average yields are around 27 bushels per acre, but vary
considerably between areas.
Soybeans move into the marketplace by a variety of channels. They may be stored on the
farm and sold later to one of the following three types of facilities or moved directly
from the field to one of those facilities. Ultimately, delivery will be made to either a
local elevator, river elevator or a processor. Local elevators eventually will move
soybeans to river elevators or processors. Those soybeans that are delivered to river
elevators generally move into the export marketplace, while processors convert the
soybeans to meal and oil for both export and domestic utilization.
Of the soybeans produced in Arkansas, approximately 35 percent is exported. The rest is
processed domestically into cooking oil and poultry or livestock feed.
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For additional information about any board-related activity contact:
Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board
ATTN: Warren Carter
P.O. Box 31
Little Rock, AR 72203-0031
Copyright © 2003 Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board.
All rights reserved.