[dropcap]O[/dropcap]ne small peanut seed contains all of the potential for a top-yielding crop of healthy, delicious and nutritious peanuts. However, planting the seed is not enough to achieve all of that potential. Producers must make sound planting decisions prior to putting the seed in the ground. At planting, the seed must be surrounded with inputs that allow for quick, uniform germination and robust early growth. Just after germination, the seedling should be protected and nurtured to move it quickly along with the goal of vigorous growth leading to canopy closure. This is the way to keep every bit of the potential that seed has to offer.
Because it is a legume, the peanut seed is unique in that, given the right conditions, it can provide its own nitrogen. More accurately, it needs a little help and that’s where the “right conditions” come into play.
Rhizobia bacteria enter the roots and begin multiplying; this bacteria colony takes in nitrogen from the atmosphere and makes it available to the plant. The “right conditions” are when the seed comes into contact with the bacteria from the start and that happens with the application of fresh, high-quality, peanut-specific inoculant product, which is applied in a concentrated area around the peanut seed. Applying an inoculant at planting is the only way to make certain the bacteria needed by the seed are available in sufficient quantity and quality to get the seed off to a good start.
One of the biggest benefits of using an inoculant is that, by putting the rhizobia into the soil, it benefits the plant’s health from the time it is planted. Inoculants are more cost effective – it’s a natural way to do things, it’s more cost effective and the plants benefit from day one from the inoculant.
Plus, with a product like Vault Liquid with Integral bio-fungicide, plants are also protected by suppression of seedling diseases such as Rhizoctonia and Fusarium. With extended protection against these diseases, nodulation is enhanced and the result is more vigorous roots and greater nutrient uptake.
In this 2015 Peanut Inoculant Guide presented by The Peanut Grower and BASF, producers can learn more about the return on investment inoculants offer, plus the new Grow Smart approach to crop production management being offered by BASF. Together, the 2016 crop can be one of the best, but it all starts with the potential of a seed.