NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — The United States is the world’s leading soybean producer, and North Dakota is consistently listed among the top 10 soybean-producing states.

So, it’s a very important crop for us. But what happens if the temperatures get too hot or too cold for long periods of time?

Can soybeans adapt to changing environments? The answer is yes, in some instances.

Soybeans like it at 70 degrees, so colder temperatures will not work for them, but warmer temps might work for soybeans.

New research from the University of Minnesota is suggesting that soybeans can actually be more productive with atmospheric drying conditions, so long as there is irrigation. Researchers say rising vapor pressure deficits, are the driving force behind atmospheric drying, and would actually benefit from biological nitrogen fixation.

That’s the process that moves nitrogen from the air into the plant through its roots. And experts say it’s this process that is essential for plant health and productivity.

“We’re looking for variation among soybeans in how they respond to rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration,” said James Bunce from the Department of Agriculture.

Each type of soybean is different in how each responds to temperature changes, meaning some yield better than others. So, universities are trying to develop these strong varieties on a genetic level, right now.

To check out the latest soybean research from USDA, click here.