This is why you use inoculant

Discussion in 'Food Plots for Wildlife' started by cutman, Jul 27, 2020.

  1. cutman

    cutman Administrator Staff Member

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    I planted this field of soybeans about a month ago. The field had been fallow for several years before sweet corn this spring. I used a whole pack of inoculant on the seed - look at those nodules on the roots! I’ll dig up another plant every couple of weeks to check on the progress.

    For those that don’t know, these nodules allow the soybeans to fix their own nitrogen (thus not needing nitrogen fertilizer). Bacteria in the inoculant is what causes the nodules to form, so if you haven’t planted legumes in a field in a while - use inoculant!

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  2. sagittarius

    sagittarius Active Member

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    That over simplification is not really accurate. Soybeans and any other legume will use nitrogen in the soil just like any other green plant. While it is always good to use inoculates, legumes can be totally healthy with out it. Legumes can tap into the N in the nodules in times of stress. But before the nodules can form, legumes use nitrogen from the soil. The biggest benefit to forming the most nodules possible ... is the nitrogen they leave behind in the soil, for the next crop, after the soybean plant dies. ;)
     
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  3. cutman

    cutman Administrator Staff Member

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    What I said (and you quoted) is 100% accurate. The nodules allow nitrogen in the air to be converted into a form of nitrogen that the plant can use during the current growing season. If properly inoculated, no additional nitrogen fertilizer is necessary. That doesn’t mean they won’t take advantage of nitrogen already in the soil, but how many soybean farmers do you know who add extra nitrogen fertilizer to their crops?

    What you said is also accurate - the nodules will leave nitrogen in the soil for the next crop. That’s a huge benefit (and the reason I plant clover cover crops before corn).

    In short, legumes are great. Inoculate them to get the biggest benefit.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2020
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  4. sagittarius

    sagittarius Active Member

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    https://www.ilsoyadvisor.com/on-farm/ilsoyadvisor/nitrogen-soybeans-here-what-we-know-0
    • Soybeans produce only about 50% of the nitrogen they need from the nodules, with the rest coming from the soil.
    • Soybean crops’ large nitrogen needs require accumulation of between 4 and 5 lbs. of N per acre for every bushel of grain produced.
    • Nitrogen applied preplant at 30 to 60 lbs./A can benefit establishment without negatively impacting nitrogen fixation.
    • Supplemental nitrogen does not always shut down nitrogen fixation as previously thought, and rates as high as 100 lbs./acre can be applied without a detrimental effect on nodules or nitrogen fixation.
    • Somewhat surprisingly, preplant applications of N were the most consistent in increasing yield, probably because they provided young plants with needed N before the nodules became established and able to start fixing nitrogen.

    https://agfax.com/2014/01/02/adding-nitrogen-soybeans-can-improve-yields/#:~:text=Apply N from full bloom,is working at optimal capacity.

    IPNI also states that the maximum amount of nitrogen a soybean plant can fix is 300 pounds — equivalent to the needs of a 60 bushel crop. However, soybeans only fix about 50% to 60% of what it needs with rest coming from the soil, either as inorganic or organic mineralizable nitrogen.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2020
  5. cutman

    cutman Administrator Staff Member

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    Thanks for posting that (seriously). I find the science behind farming fascinating and always like to learn.

    The vast majority of farmers I talk to (and read) subscribe to the theory that supplying nitrogen to soybeans will put an end to the nitrogen fixation process. Based on what you posted, that’s not true. It seems like the most successful farmers rely on tissue testing to determine if extra nitrogen is required, but even then they only test if the beans are visibly yellow.

    Again, thanks for posting. I’ll post updated pics in a couple of weeks to see how many more nodules are present.
     
  6. buckdeer1

    buckdeer1 Well-Known Member

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    I am hoping that I can use some leftover bean seed from this year next year by using inoculate before planting
     
  7. Drycreek

    Drycreek Well-Known Member

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    Hate to be the odd man out here, but I’ve planted beans several times and IC peas many more times and never have I used an innoculant. Made lots of forage too. No innoculant in this pea/bean mix and wheat was grown there last fall. 0B58C931-659F-4745-BD3E-F2E488C6A6C1.jpeg
     
  8. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    Maybe if you had used innoculant there'd be a big buck standing beside that doe. Seriously, that's a pretty good stand for a fall plot.
     
  9. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    I thought the deer wiped out all of your beans?
     
  10. cutman

    cutman Administrator Staff Member

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    I planted another plot where my sweet corn was. It has an electric fence around it.
     
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  11. Drycreek

    Drycreek Well-Known Member

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    Well, there was a middle sized one:) 9BDC788B-E54E-4AF1-84FD-85C3E8D4B92A.jpeg
     
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  12. THE LLC

    THE LLC Well-Known Member

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    Had you ever planted peas or beans there before?
     
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  13. farmer

    farmer Active Member

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    If you use dap for your phosphorus you get 11% nitrogen, also nitrogen for young beans is one of the biggest reasons I like using litter as fertilizer.
    That said, inoculate never hurts but I’m not convinced it always helps, kinda like micronutrients and fungicide. Some years they really help but every year they cost me money!
     
  14. cutman

    cutman Administrator Staff Member

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  15. Drycreek

    Drycreek Well-Known Member

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    Yes I have, and I know where you’re headed, but every plot I’ve ever had peas, beans, or clover in was originally either weeds and grasses or woods and brush. All of my pea or clover plots have been very successful until the deer ate them down. I have no problem growing good plots most of the time, without innoculant, just having enough area to plant. The plot pictured above looked like this a few weeks later :) Pea and bean vines. The leaves are still there in the form of deer poop !:D BA2E5172-6D6C-42E1-8BB3-E8BAE0BB3A60.jpeg
     
  16. THE LLC

    THE LLC Well-Known Member

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    I never inoculate my garden peas and they do excellent.
     
  17. farmhunter

    farmhunter Well-Known Member

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    I inoculate beans about 1/2 the time. If I had beans with nodulation the year before I dont usually.

    That said this year I fertilized for corn prior to planting - like I usually do but ran out of corn in a couple spots - so I planted beans. The extra growth was very noticeable from the 19-19-19 fertilizer - so much so that I may supplement my soybeans with some starter fertilizer in the future.
     

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