Researchers agree that peanuts respond better to the nitrogen fixation provided by Rhizobia bacteria than they do to direct application of nitrogen fertilizer. A lack of peanut-specific Rhizobia in the soil and in close proximity to the emerging seed can slow the availability of nitrogen to the growing plant, which allows for other problems, such as disease, to occur.
An inoculant should be bought fresh each year for maximum viability. Inoculants should be kept completely away from direct sunlight, and are best stored at temperatures from 40 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not freeze the product. Once a package has been opened, use it within 24 hours.
At application, make sure the inoculant is placed in direct contact with the seed for maximum uptake. If planting conditions are less than ideal, consider using a little more than the recommended rate. If water is used as a carrier for the inoculant, chlorine-free water, such as well or rain water, should be used. Refer to the product label for further care and handling instructions and for application rates.
Other conditions that may affect Rhizobia are soil pH, organic matter, drought conditions and plant stress.
Add Nodules To The Scouting List
Whether or not you applied an inoculant at planting, always scout for nodulation anyway. It is the most efficient way to be assured nitrogen fixation is occurring. If poor nodulation is found, additional nitrogen fertilizer may need to be applied, plus you will know to use an inoculant when next planting a peanut crop to that field.
Applying an inoculant and then scouting to make sure the nodulation process is occurring provides assurance that you have given your peanuts an opportunity to achieve maximum yields and quality.
— Amanda Huber