From the Field

Inoculation May Be Key After Adverse Weather

I think I’m safe in assuming that the 2019 crop year is one that many would like to forget, certainly across the Midwest. My travels have taken me throughout a wide area over the past 60 days and seeing those standing crops reminds me just how bad things were in 2019. But a new growing season is now on our doorstep and that means we have an opportunity to right last year’s wrongs and maximize our yields on 2020 crops.

When we’ve had adverse conditions, like significant flooding, we may need to do extra this season to ensure that we get good nodulation in soybeans, field peas, green beans and all other legumes. That’s where inoculation becomes critical. An inoculant product should be used when soil conditions likely have low levels of Bradyrhizobia. Flooded ground is definitely something that we need to be concerned with because much of the bacteria can be either leached away from the soil or ends up too deep to do any good. There may not be bacteria in sufficient numbers to properly nodulate the legume crop.

Aside from flooding, there are several other soil situations where inoculation may increase yield. For example, if your soil hasn’t hosted the particular legume for three years, it’s classified as virgin ground.

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