Reminder of Importance of Inoculation for Nitrogen Fixation Peanut Notes No. 3 2023
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I recently had a discussion with a distribution representative about inoculating peanuts. Last year there were some issues with inoculation of peanuts. In new ground fields (without a recent history of peanut production,) the single most important practice to make sure you put in place is applying inoculant (most people are using liquid products) in the seed furrow. Make sure the inoculant reaches the bottom of the furrow that the seed is placed in. The roots need to get infected by the bacteria in the inoculant. This is absolutely critical. Absolutely critical! We have tables in 2023 Peanut Information that point out the financial realities of not including inoculant or having a failure of applied inoculant. We also show the cost and return on application of the amount of ammonium sulfate needed to correct a nitrogen deficiency. You need a nitrogen rate for peanuts just like you do corn if you don’t have biological nitrogen fixation going on.
If you are a farmer, please make sure you apply inoculant. I recommend an in-furrow product in every acre of peanuts, regardless of rotation history. New and old ground. The stakes are much higher on new ground (no history of peanut production.) On new ground, I recommend an in-furrow inoculant AND a peat-based inoculant applied in the hopper with seed (this is for insurance if an orifice gets clogged or there is some issue with the inoculant you purchased or the way it was handled.) If you are in Ag Business, a Consultant, or with Extension, please pass this along to every farmer you are in contact with.
I don’t know all the details, but in 2022 there was a new peanut grower with a lot of new peanut land that did not inoculate. This farmer likely had lower yields, and if yields were increased with applied nitrogen, it was expensive. The first few years peanuts are in new ground is an ideal situation, in most cases, to have high yields. There are many potential challenges with peanut production. We need to help all farmers avoid this particular one. Thanks for spreading the word.