There are more than 77-million acres of soybeans in the United States. We’re all familiar with fields of soybeans even if we don’t recognize the crop. It is grown and harvested in the Mississippi River Valley from New Orleans to Minnesota. The soybean pods hang brown and fuzzy just waiting for the farmer to combine them. But what if we took just a few of those 77-million acres and harvested the pods while they were still green. That’s when we call it Edamame (Ed-uh-mom-ay) says University of Illinois researcher Marty Williams. A soybean producers in Illinois saw the potential to produce vegetable soybeans or in other words, edamame. Its just now that vegetable processors in the United States have seen a great enough demand for the product that they are considering contracting acres to be harvested. Based on the time and the way the plant is used, its treated differently by EPA for herbicide registration. So products that are registered to use on soybeans don’t meet the standards to be used on edamame. It’s a matter of time before edamame is in full production.
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