Ukraine Soybeans: 17.5% of the Output Certified as Sustainable
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Ukraine is the largest producer of Soybeans in Europe: between 2000 and 2014, Soybean acreage increased from 64.4 thousand to 2.0 million hectares. In 2020, 2.8 million tons of Soybeans were harvested from 1.3 million hectares with an average yield of 2.15 t/ha. According to AgFlow data, Ukraine exported 14,650 tons of Soybeans to Egypt in July – August 2023, followed by Turkey (14,314 tons).
Soybean is grown in all Ukraine’s natural and climatic zones, but the most favorable conditions for this crop are in the Forest-Steppe, in the so-called “Soybean belt.”
With the intensification of modern agriculture, the agricultural and environmental importance of Soybean as a plant that responds to irrigation fixes atmospheric nitrogen in symbiosis with nodule bacteria, enriches the soil with fixed nitrogen and protects the soil against erosion, is a good forecrop in crop rotation. Complete and appropriate execution of all methods and technological operations within the optimal timeframe will ensure 2.5-3.0 t/ha yields on non-irrigated lands and 3.8-4.5 t ha under irrigation.
The State Register of Plant Varieties Suitable for Dissemination in Ukraine includes seven Soybean cultivars bred by the Plant Production Institute named after V.Ya. Yuriev of NAAS. They all are grain cultivars, able to meet the requirements of modern intensive agricultural production fully; their yield potentials amount to 4.0-5.0 t/ha; their seeds are of high quality; and they are resistant to lodging and shedding, suitable for direct combining, and more adapted to the regional soil and climatic conditions of Ukraine in comparison with foreign cultivars.
Soybean Sustainability in Ukraine
According to a new study using only certified, sustainable, and non-GM Soybeans, the soymeal produced at the AdamPolSoya (ATK Group) crusher in Ukraine has 80% less CO2 emissions than the average Soybean meal available on the European market. The study, carried out by the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) Austria, reveals how the exclusive use of Europe Soya-certified Soybeans at AdamPolSoya (ATK Group) in Khmelnitsky region in Ukraine has a significant positive impact on the carbon footprint of the processed certified Soybean meal.
The Soybean meal produced from Europe Soya certified Soybeans at AdamPolSoya causes 0.36 kg CO2 per kg of Soybean meal. This compares to the average Soybean meal produced in Europe from an average Soybean import mix, which causes 1.99 kg CO2 per kg of meal. This significantly higher level of emissions of Soybean meal from imported Soybeans is mainly caused by deforestation and land conversion for the cultivation of Soybeans in regions such as the Amazon or the Cerrado.
The EU relies on soya imports for producing animal feed – as it only has 8% self-sufficiency. Currently, 40% of the EU’s soya imports come from Brazil. Brazilian Soybeans are far too often linked to deforestation, producing up to ten times the amount of greenhouse gas emissions than Donau Soja/Europe Soya-certified beans. The carbon emissions from deforestation are a strong focus of new legislation, which soon will ban the selling of products in the EU that are linked with deforestation.
Despite the vast challenges that Ukraine has faced in the wake of the Russian invasion, its agricultural cultivation – especially soya – has remained resilient. Last year, 1.5 million hectares were planted with soya (up on the previous year’s figure of 1.32 million hectares), yielding 3.7 million tons in 2022, up 7% on the last year, when 3.49 million tons were produced. 2023 also looks to be a strong year for cultivating the crop in Ukraine, with 1.8 million hectares planted. According to Donau Soja Standards, approximately 658,000 tons of Ukrainian Soybeans (17.5% of total production) were certified as sustainable, deforestation and conversion-free, and non-GM.
Other sources: DONAU SOJA
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