Soybean is the most produced and consumed oil seed crop worldwide. In 2013, 226 million metric tons were produced in over 70 countries. Organically produced soybean represents less than 0.1% of total world production. In the USA, the certified organic soybean crop was grown on 53 thousand ha or 0.17% of the total soybean acreage in the USA (32 million ha) in 2011. A gradual increase in production of organically grown soybean has occurred since the inception of organic labeling due to increased human consumption of soy products and increased demand for organic soybean meal to produce organic animal products. Production constraints caused by pathogens and insect pests are often similar in organic and non-organic soybean production, but management between the two systems often differs. In general, the non-organic, grain-type soybean crop are genetically modified higher-yielding cultivars, often with disease and pest resistance, and are grown with the use of synthetic pesticides. The higher value of organically produced soybean makes production of the crop an attractive option to some farmers. This article reviews production and uses of organically grown soybean in the USA, potential constraints to production caused by pathogens and insect pests, and management practices used to reduce the impact of these constraints.
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