Nitrogen is essential for high soybean yields. It is a building block for amino acids and chlorophyll that help the crop to thrive. Fixation is crucial and there are multiple management practices available to increase nodulation through seed treatment.
A soybean plant has the ability to capture nitrogen through nodulation. Indeed, according to Iowa State University, a soybean plant can secure 50-75% of its necessary supply from atmospheric nitrogen. This is the result of a symbiotic relationship with the bacteria Bradyrhizobium japonicum.
In this relationship, the bacteria burrows into the plant roots in search of nutrients. In response to the infection, the soybean plant encases the microbes creating nodules. As the symbiosis is established, the plant gets nitrogen from the bacteria and the bacteria receives carbohydrates.
Growers tend to utilize Bradyrhizobium japonicum seed treatment inoculants as the first step to enhancing nodulation on soybeans. While this is a great first step, it is not always enough. Without specific food sources and certain biostimulants, nodulation rates can remain impaired in most soils. Utilizing specific food sources and biostimulants in your seed treatment program can help the existing populations colonize and thrive along while also aiding in the establishment of new populations through inoculation.
Deciding whether to inoculate is a field specific decision and should largely be based on that field’s crop history and recent environmental conditions. The soybean’s symbiotic partner does not thrive on its own in most US cropping systems. And fields that have not hosted healthy soybeans in several years could likely be depleted of Bradyrhizobium japonicum. In such cases, inoculating soybeans with your My Yield seed treater is an easy and accurate way to replenish your soil’s populations.