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What happens to soybeans after they’re harvested?

James in the combine

Across Ontario soybean harvest is in full swing, and over two million acres of soybeans will be harvested (How Big is an Acre?). When a combine goes through a field and harvests the soybean crop, the soybeans are usually taken to an elevator. At the elevator, the soybeans, if required, will be dried to the appropriate storage moisture of around 14%. It is important to store only dry grains; otherwise, they will rot.

But what happens now? The possibilities are endless! Depending on the type and grade of the soybean (how high of quality), it could end up ground or roasted in animal feed, or the oil could go into vegetable oil, or even into crayons! The soybean may even end up being loaded on a boat and shipped to one of over 50 different countries that Ontario exports to for use in tofu or other food items.