October 29, 2012

Soybean Inoculants, an Inexpensive Insurance for 2013

The record drought and hot weather of 2012 caused soils throughout the Midwest to become excessively dry for long periods of time, likely lowering the populations of soybean rhizobia bacteria. Rhizobia bacteria (Bradyrhizobium japonicum) form a symbiotic relationship with soybean plant roots to fix atmospheric nitrogen to make it plant available. This process supplies a significant amount of the nitrogen required for soybean growth. These bacteria survive best in moist soil at moderate temperatures (40-80° F). As a result of the extreme hot and dry weather, the top six inches of soil in many fields became excessively dry, likely causing bacterial cells to desiccate and die. Any bacteria surviving these extreme conditions would have been weakened or moved into a survival mode. The weakened and lowered rhizobia populations offer a higher likelihood for significantly reduced soybean root nodulation in 2013, which can create the potential for a nitrogen starved crop.

soybean nodules

Using a soybean inoculant in 2013 can be good insurance for proper nitrogen feeding of a soybean crop. There are a wide number of excellent inoculant products available on the market from seed-applied formulations to products applied at planting. Seed-applied products have become very popular options as they offer a lot of ease and flexibility to the planting operation. Contact your local Channel Seedsman to inquire about Channel® brand soybeans and Acceleron® Seed Treatment Products.​

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