, Farm Journal Seeds & Production Editor
One of the stumbling blocks to seed applied inoculant use has always been the extremely narrow planting window. Remember the days when agronomists recommended planting seed within two hours of application to avoid having the Rhizobia
die as the inoculant dried?
No longer. New liquid formulations preserve bacteria for much longer than those old dry formulations. Stewart Smith, vice-president of research and development for EMB Crop BioScience, says the volume of bacteria in new liquid formulations is much greater than in the past too, which leads to better coverage and enhanced performance.
New for the 2010 planting season from EMD Crop BioScience is an improved formulation of the popular Optimize 400 inoculant that includes LCO Promoter Technology (Lipo-chitooligosaccharide), a naturally occurring molecule that enhances root and shoot development, nodulation and nitrogen fixation. "The new formulation can survive on the seed for 120 days,” says Smith. "That offers flexibility so that planting can occur right after treating or wait until conditions are more favorable,” he says.
Soybean yield contest champion Kip Cullers, Purdy, Mo., says he always asks farmers who ignore this technology what they have against being profitable. "This treatment costs around $3 per acre and gives me a routine boost of 2-3 bushel per acre,” says Cullers.