Inoculant Performance Peanut Notes No. 50 2020

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There can be issues with inoculant (nitrogen fixation) performance in some fields. Old product or a product handled poorly are possibilities. A mistake by the manufacturer is a possibility but that is uncommon as most reputable companies have excellent quality control. Field conditions can contribute to poor inoculation. This spring some growers have experienced caving in of soil after seed drop but before the spray solution is delivered. The inoculant will never catch up with the root system in those areas of the field. This is often spotty in fields and is associated with the “fluffiness” of soil in certain parts of the field.

Letting product sit too long in a tank, especially if water is on a municipal system with chlorine, can affect the life of the bacteria in the inoculant. To be safe, only mix what you can use in a day. Consider adding new product if the tank sits overnight.

Inoculants and in-furrow insecticides are compatible based on previous research. Inoculants are compatible with Proline. We have not looked at all of the stimulant type products that are available. Avoid fertilizers in the furrow. Before I add something with an inoculant in the seed furrow (and the seed in general) I would want someone else to have done it before I do it. There is a lot at stake. Including a peat-based hopper box treatment is good insurance if something goes wrong with the in-furrow product, especially in new ground fields.

The only sure way to correct an inoculant failure is applied nitrogen. There are several sources but we have worked mostly with ammonium sulfate (AMS). I will point you in that direction because that is what we have researched over the years. Don’t rush to apply nitrogen now. Nodules can take a month to develop. Make a decision on applying AMS at that time and not now. I’ll provide more information on that in a few weeks. Being timely is important, but see what the peanuts and the inoculant and native bacteria are capable of doing first. Trying to apply inoculant in a separate furrow near the originally planted streak likely will not work. I think more harm than good will be done this way. Only a small portion of the roots will get infected by the bacteria.