Soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merrill), which is grown worldwide nowadays, is very different from the ones it originates: species of creeping plants developed in the east coast of Asia, along with River Amarelo in China. Its evolution started because of plants from natural crosses between two species of wild soybean that were domesticated and improved by scientists of the ancient China. It was important to the ancient Chinese civilization’s diet that soybean together with wheat, rice, rye and millet, was a sacred grain, which included ritual ceremonials at the time of sowing and harvest. Despite being known and explored in the East for more than five thousand years (it is recognized as one of the oldest plants grown in the Planet), the Occident ignored its growth until the second decade of twentieth century, when the United States (EUA) began its commercial exploration (first as a forage and later as a grain). In 1940, at the height of its growth as forage, around two million hectares were grown in this country for such purpose. Soybean is a Brazilian rural crop that grew in the last three decades and it corresponds to 49% of the area of grains planted in the country.
The increase in its production is linked to the technological advances, handling and efficiency of producers. The grain is an important component in the production of animal and human diet. Biodiesel production is also directly linked to the soybean growth, which is the main raw material used at a national level. It is grown in the Midwest and South region of the country mainly. Soybean has become one of the most important products in the national agriculture and in the trade balance
(Source: Embrapa Soja).