Within each tiny peanut seed is the potential to produce a big healthy plant capable of setting hundreds of pegs per plant that become pods containing multiple kernels inside. Reaching that maximum yield potential is only possible by providing that seed with everything it needs to germinate quickly and grow vigorously from the start. One component added in-furrow with the seed that will help the peanut plant from the beginning is an inoculant.
A peanut inoculant is a concentration of specially selected, fresh rhizobia bacteria. Placed in just the right place, when the seed germinates and a seedling begins to grow and form roots, the bacteria enter the root and colonize, which forms the nodules found on the roots. The colonies of bacteria take in nitrogen from the air and turn it into a form the plant can use.
The whole process is natural to legumes and the most efficient and economical way to supply the crop with nitrogen. But, it all depends on whether the bacteria are in the right place at the right time. That’s why adding an inoculant at planting — a fresh, newly made inoculant product containing vigorous bacteria — is the only cost-effective way to ensure the needed bacteria are present in the soil and in close proximity to the seed.
In This Guide
This issue of The Inoculant Guide, sponsored by Verdesian Life Sciences, offers a look at how inoculants fit into a step-by-step countdown to a successful peanut crop. Nitrogen made available to the plant maximizes yield, as research has shown that peanut plants do not respond in the same fashion to nitrogen fertilizer and can even be adversely affected.
Case studies from 2016 further amplify the need for an added inoculant based on weather and field conditions the previous year and at planting. Plus, application insights and care and handling of inoculant products are always a good reminder.
In the end, peanut planning can begin in earnest with the knowledge and understanding that an inoculant application at planting is simply giving the natural process of this amazing legume a head start toward maximum yields.