Leguminosae, Fabaceae Glycine max (L.) Merr.
Source: Magness et al. 1971
In the U.S., soybeans are not grown commercially as a vegetable, although tremendous acreages are grown for forage, feed, and for crushing the seed for oil. In the Orient, soybeans are important food crops and are used as are beans and peas in this country.
Soybeans are also grown as a hay crop, as pasture and for turning under for soil improvement. The 1960 census reported 333,537 acres cut for hay in 1959. For hay, fields are mowed when seeds are well developed but before the leaves drop. At this stage the hay is nutritious and palatable. The straw from plants harvested for seed is of some value for feed, but since most leaves have shed prior to such harvest and combines are used which leave the straw scattered in the field, the straw is not generally salvaged as feed. The meal obtained after pressing out the oil is a high-protein, nutritious feed supplement useful for all kinds of livestock.
As vegetables, they are used to some extent as green pods, like snap beans, or for the unripe seeds, like garden peas or green lima beans; or as ripe seeds. Culture and exposure of edible parts are similar to that of lima beans, which see. The following refers to soybeans as food vegetables only:
Production in U.S.: None commercial.
Use: As cooked vegetables.
Parts of plant consumed: Whole pods, green or dry seeds.