Improving the competitiveness of soybean

The technical expertise of Terres Inovia is the farmer’s ally for integrating soybean more effectively into rotations with other crops, and its analyses of different contexts (pedoclimatic, ecophysiological, outlets etc.) render this crop more competitive in both conventional and organic farming. The interprofessional organization for the plant oil and protein sectors (Terres Univia) has predicted a doubling in the area under non-GMO soybean in France by 2025.

Contact : Charlotte Chambert



Our goals

To contribute to the structuring of dedicated sectors throughout the chain, from production to use, including collection and transformation.

To integrate soybean into cropping systems in a sustainable and responsible manner.

 To improve the technical and economic performances of the crop: amount harvested, seed quality, profitability, etc.

To establish long-term production, by anticipating the demands of consumers and the constraints imposed by climate change.

Our main actions

Inoculation: from product referencing to diagnostic advice

Inoculation is a key step in growing soybeans. It conditions the proper functioning of the legume. With the increase in soybean surfaces in recent years, new processes are emerging to simplify this step. In this context, Terres Inovia is deploying a multi-local assessment network, in the field, of the various solutions offered, according to their ease of use, technical efficiency (and stability) and the risk posed by too strong a competitiveness of the strain that would prevent any further development. The institute thus supports, through its expertise, farmers, cooperatives, distributors and inoculum manufacturers in order to maintain a high level of quality of inocula distributed in France. Terre Inovia is also working on the development of rapid tests for the enumeration of bacteria in the field, in order to provide personalized advice to the producer on the need to inoculate his plot.


The effectiveness of mixed weed control in textured soybeans

5 trials spread over 4 very different climatic years, the effectiveness of different mixed weed control itineraries.

These trials involved the use of the currycomb harrow or rotary hoe once or twice in post-emergence after a pre-emergence herbicide, in comparison with a more traditional chemical weed control itinerary (same pre-emergence then split Pulsar in post-emergence), and with mechanical itineraries (tools in pre-emergence and once or twice in post-emergence), which can be extrapolated to organic farming.

An economic evaluation of the different strategies shows that the mixed itinerary with curry harrow is the best compromise when considering the criteria of efficiency, cost and working time.

In addition, mixed weed control can also be envisaged with hoeing, for soybeans sown with a single-seed system at wide spacing. It is then interesting to localize the herbicide spraying on the row. This allows to reduce the treated surfaces. This work is quite innovative because it combines chemical and mechanical means in order to reduce the use of herbicides while guaranteeing both a good efficiency on simple flora and a reasonable cost.


Reducing losses at harvest

Harvesting soybeans requires special vigilance because various factors (climatic, cultural interventions, mechanical) can lead to grain losses by ginning or during harvesting.

Estimated from 1 to 18% of the yield, these losses are attributed to an often low grazing cut coupled with particularly low soybean pods, which requires the best advice to producers to limit them.

Experiments with innovative equipment, such as flexible cutting, are therefore implemented by Terres Inovia in order to provide the producer with technical and economic references that help him in his choice of material investment.

Tests carried out by the institute thus show that the use of a flexible cutter bar has systematically reduced losses, compared to a conventional cutter bar (-33% to -65% of losses observed).


Recommended lists for soybean

After rapeseed and sunflower, Terres Inovia has been offering, since 2019, lists of recommended varieties for soybean sowing.

The objective is to help farmers and technicians to make a variety choice adapted to their own objectives and production contexts. These lists are drawn up from the results of the merged network of soybean variety trials for registration and post-registration conducted by Terres Inovia and Le Geves, with their partners.

Available in the MyVar tool, the varieties are selected according to three criteria: productivity, protein content and susceptibility to sclerotinia.


Support the development of soybeans in new territories

While French soybeans have enjoyed a favorable economic environment in recent years, both on the human and animal food markets, the areas are exported beyond traditional cultivation areas. Terres Inovia is mobilized to support the development of culture and its sector in areas where cultivation and its transformation are not well known. Thus in recent years, the institute has been involved in 5 regional projects aiming to assess the feasibility of cultivation in the territory, to build adapted farming practices and to reflect on its local development, in the Grand-Est and Hauts regions. -from France, Normandy and Pays de Loire.