Wet, cold weather and flooded fields can adversely impact soybean yields. Growers should make sure their soybean seed is properly inoculated with rhizobia bacteria, according to Jim Beuerlein, agronomy extension, Ohio State University. Beuerlein also is a technical adviser to Becker Underwood, a manufacturer of inoculants.

“Waterlogged or flooded fields are particularly vulnerable to rhizobia loss,” Beuerlein says. “Flooding, standing water and even super saturation of fields can create a soil environment which reduces the oxygen content to the point that most rhizobia can die in as little as two to five days.”

Because it is a living organism, rhizobia can lose its ability to produce nitrogen if it undergoes stressful conditions for a period of time. “Soybean growers really need to make sure the seed is surrounded with fresh, active rhizobia to ensure the best nodulation and nitrogen-fixation potential,” Beuerlein adds. Nodulation and nitrogen fixation will help soybeans develop more vigorous plants with more blooms and pods, which lead to greater yields.

The rhizobia must produce 300 lbs. of nitrogen/acre for soybeans, which is about 3 lbs. of nitrogen/day/acre, Beuerlein says.

Becker Underwood’s field development specialist Kurt Seevers recommends applying multi-action, growth-enhancing inoculants to soybean seed prior to planting. He says growers should use an inoculant with a guaranteed high rhizobia count.

For more information, visit www.beckerunderwood.com.

 

Photo courtesy of Advanced Biological Marketing