As the weather changes, it is clear that spring has surely arrived. Farmers are busy getting equipment ready for the field, seed is being delivered, and everyone is working hard to finalize their game plan for the season ahead.
As producers, retailers, and distributors, one thing it seems we do not pay enough attention to is the inoculant options available for leguminous crops. A large percentage of the people I personally meet with, don’t seem to have a clear understanding of the importance of inoculating their beans and peanuts with a commercially available inoculant.
Weather Conditions and Your Crops
With the unsteady weather patterns we experienced this past summer and winter, inoculating these crops will be critical to crop growth success. For example, the southeast U.S. has experienced the gauntlet of extremes; record setting droughts, record setting temperatures, and record setting floods. These adverse conditions wreak havoc with the Rhizobium populations in our soils. Along with extreme weather events affecting Rhizobium populations, the soil type and fertility of the soil can greatly affect Rhizobium populations.
Most producers are safe with a standard rate of inoculant for their crop. However, if you have gone through one of the fore mentioned record setting weather conditions, then it is important you consider doubling your inoculant rate for the 2018 planting season. By doubling your inoculant rate for the areas which have been hit with drought, extreme temperatures, or flooding, you will be taking the proper steps to assuring the Rhizobium populations will be where they need to be to produce nodulation, plant biomass and shoot N-uptake for the crops.
ABM Adverse Conditions or Virgin Ground Recommendations
ABM® highly recommends at least a double (2x) inoculant rate when planting soybeans under the following conditions. ABI Sterile Peat is highly recommended to be used as a second inoculant to achieve the double rate.
- Soil has not hosted the specific legume for more than 3 years
- Soil pH of less than 5.8 or greater than 8.5
- Organic matter less than 1.5%
- Drought or flooding
- Soil temperatures exceeding 80°F
- Eroded soil
- Use of soil treatments and chemicals injurious to soil bacteria and inoculants
Being proactive and taking the proper steps to evaluate your soil, the events that have occurred over the last year, and in turn selecting the correct inoculant and rate to best fit your needs, will lead you down the path for high-yield success and a greater ROI for your crops. Neglecting these simple steps will set your crops up to perform at a subpar level.
Our goal at ABM is to help producers, retailers and distributors look at every aspect of their crops and inputs to ensure they maximize their profitability and achieve their greatest potential.
We hope everyone has a very successful 2018 season. Please stay safe with the long hours that are about to take place.