Inoculant Performance Peanut Notes No. 43 2022

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Make Sure Inoculant Performs Well!

With fertilizer prices high, especially nitrogen (N), it is imperative that optimum inoculant performance is achieved, especially in new ground fields or fields that have not had peanuts in a very long time. It takes as much applied N to optimize peanut yield as corn in that field. On pages 24-28 in 2022 Peanut Information, we include a discussion of peanut response to inoculants and how to address an inoculant failure with applied N. It is not pretty! With N prices consider applying a peat-based material in the hopper with seed in addition to the in-furrow liquid (or possibly granular material) at planting. This is really good and inexpensive insurance (the peat-based product is not a replacement for in-furrow liquids.) Generally, inoculant cost is 1% of the total budget. Nevertheless, a mistake with inoculant in new ground is major and painful. Tables 3-5, 3-6, and 3-7 are designed to help you make a good decision on correcting a N deficiency in peanuts. Keep in mind the financial returns presented in those tables are based on ammonium sulfate at around 25 cents per pound. That is not where we are today with prices. The key is to make sure the inoculant performs. Moreover, given N costs, I would go out of my way to make sure (perhaps a higher in-furrow rate and the peat-based product with seed) to make sure peanuts are inoculated. Living bacteria (from the inoculant) in the seed furrow that results in immediate infection of roots is essential.

Here are reasons why we can experience an inoculant failure:

Old product or “mistreated” product

Non-uniform application

Poor water quality

Caving in of planter slit before application but after seed drop

Incompatibility with other agrichemicals or fertilizers

Mixed in tank too long prior to application

Shallow planting

Equipment delivery