THE CLOCK starts ticking the moment a soybean inoculant is applied to the seed. Depending on the product, the live rhizobia might stay viable on the seed for a few hours or a few days. This has traditionally required farmers to apply inoculant in the planter box just before planting or to hire their seed supplier to apply a liquid formulation for just-in-time delivery. Either option can add to the stress of an already busy planting season.

Addressing the time crunch, Advanced Biological Marketing is the first company to bring an encapsulated inoculant to market. The product, called Excalibre, extends the effective life and efficacy of the live rhizobia to 60 days on the seed before planting. The encapsulated rhizobia remain protected and dormant on the seed until planted in the soil, giving more flexibility in planting date management and choice of insecticide and fungicide. An added benefit is the compactness of the product package; a 1-lb. package of Excalibre dry powder is enough for a properly equipped seed supplier to treat up to 60 50-lb. bags of soybean seed. The product is applied at a low rate of just 0.02 oz. for 100 lbs. of seed.

Contact Advanced Biological Marketing, Box 222, Van Wert, OH 45891, 877/617-2461, visit www.abm1st.com.