Advice on Application Strategy & Techniques
At Legume Technology we supply a wide range of pre-treatment inoculant products that are specially formulated to keep performance-enhancing bacteria alive on the seed for longer. We work with both distributors and farmers to ensure they’re able to increase their yield by applying our products effectively.
Introduction to Inoculation
If a seed is inoculated correctly, biological nitrogen fixation can satisfy the plant’s nitrogen requirements, thereby reducing the need for nitrogen fertilisers. Inoculation can typically increase yield by 40-60% and the concentration of protein within the crop by 5%.
Our inoculants are purchased as living strains of Rhizobium, either in a solid or liquid form. The aim is to apply the product to the seed so it can spread to all emerging roots and produce nitrogen-fixing nodules. As we’ve mentioned, this is supplied as a pre-treated product or the seed can be inoculated before sowing by the farmer.
Peat-based products are regarded as the standard. The product sticks to the seed, essentially coating and colouring it, and is easily seen by the farmer. Conversely, liquid inoculants use a range of additives and utilise polymers for adhesion and protection purposes. Liquid inoculants contain a range of additives, including polymers for adhesion and protection purposes. We also supply products that colour the seed ( COLOURFiX Blue) so that the coating can be seen clearly.
There are several methods tfor applying inoculants, either by hand or by using specialist equipment:
- Mixers – Powered by vehicle batteries, equipment such as the ‘L-Tech Manual Applicator’, can be used in the drill box to mix the seed and inoculant, saving labour costs.
- Conveyors – The L-Tech ‘Automated In-Line Applicator’ allows the seed to be coated on farm premises. The inoculant and other products are added into the seed transfer auger, which evenly coats the seeds during transfer between bags (for transport to the field) or from the bag directly into the drill box.
- Suspension – Inoculation by spraying with the L-Tech ‘Rapid Bulk Bag Applicator’ is a very efficient method for coating seeds with liquid inoculant, such as LiquiFiX. The seed is discharged from suspended 500-1000kg bags into a coating chamber fitted with a nebuliser that coats the seed evenly as it flows into the planting equipment. This method can coat 500kg of seed in 3-4 minutes and results in a high bacteria count.
- Furrowing – A fast and effective technique is to apply inoculant to the furrow during planting. Planting equipment fitted with a liquid applicator can be used to coat the seed while it is being planted. Contact between the inoculant and seed treatment chemicals must be avoided to prevent any reduction in bacterial count.
Application Key Points
All of our inoculant products must be used according to the following critical application points:
- The inoculant must be used as instructed.
- If the field to be planted has not been used for growing legumes, the seeds should be inoculated with a double dose.
- Unless previously treated, inoculation and sowing should ideally take place on the same day, so that only freshly inoculated seeds are used.
- Inoculants must be stored in a cool, dark place, away from a direct sunlight.
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