Natto Soybean Production in Wisconsin

Shawn Conley, State Soybean and Small Grains Specialist

Natto is a traditional Japanese food made from soybean fermented with a particular bacteria spp. Natto-type soybeans are usually less than 5.8 mm (no. 14.5 screen) in diameter and have a clear hilum and thin seed coat. Smaller beans are preferred, as the fermentation process is able to reach the center of the bean easier. Opportunities exist for Wisconsin growers to access markets for identify preserved soybean and thereby gain premiums in the market above the current commodity price (S. Sinner, personal communication, SB&B Foods, 2018). Natto soybean production is similar to conventional production, although seed size and quality issues are more important. The objectives of this study were:

  • To evaluate the effect of soybean seeding rate coupled with fungicide and insecticide seed treatments on natto soybean stand establishment, growth, and seed yield
  • To evaluate foliar fungicide use for disease control on several natto soybean varieties
  • To evaluate various seeding rates on four varieties of food grade soybean for seed yield, growth characteristics and seed quality

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