Vault Past Nitrogen-Drained Soils

Fresh rhizobial inoculants are recommended for soybeans planted into continuous corn acres this spring.

With soybean production expected to approach a record 80-million acres in 2009, many growers will be rotating land back into soybeans after several years of continuous corn. When doing so, university experts say, growers should expect significantly depleted populations of nitrogen-fixing Rhizobia bacteria in these soils. To avoid the performance losses typically associated with inadequate nitrogen, these experts are recommending that producers inoculate their soybean seed with fresh rhizobial inoculants.

These naturally occurring Rhizobium bacteria release compounds that cause legumes, such as soybeans, to develop nodules on their roots. The bacteria move into these nodules where they grow and multiply. In this protected environment, they also extract environmental nitrogen from the air and turn it into a nitrogen form the plant can use to grow and produce a crop. Commercial inoculants — such as VAULT from Becker Underwood — use Rhizobia strains that are selected for their ability to fix nitrogen, and, ultimately, increase the yield of the soybean plant. Without adequate numbers of these highly active fresh Rhizobia, crop performance suffers.

“Typically, fields that have been in continuous corn for several years will have Rhizobium cells, but the populations are very low and they don’t generate enough nodules to supply adequate nitrogen for a high-yielding soybean crop,” explains Jim Beuerlein, professor of agronomy and soybean research and extension specialist for The Ohio State University. “In this type of situation, it is very likely that a grower will see a large yield response from inoculation.”

University studies show that growers normally can expect an average yield benefit of 2.5 bushels per acre from the use of inoculants in fields that are rotated to soybeans every other year. However, the yield benefit often is significantly greater in fields where soybeans have not been planted in several years, such as continuous corn or Conservation Reserve Program acres.

Charlie Hale, U.S. inoculant product manager for Becker Underwood, says there is evidence that Rhizobia become less productive, or “lazy,” when exposed to high nitrogen levels, as is typically the case on ground planted to corn. Rhizobia that survive in the soil from one year to the next are not necessarily the best strains when it comes to fixing nitrogen for the soybean plant.

“As farmers look to reestablish their regular crop rotations and think about planting more soybeans in 2009, they really need to make sure they inoculate their soybeans with a fresh, high-quality rhizobial inoculant,” he says. “This will help ensure that Rhizobia populations are present in the numbers and strains needed for maximum nitrogen fixation and, ultimately, greater yield.”

Inoculants offer additional benefits, Hale notes. Well-nodulated soybeans, for instance, are capable of producing a nitrogen credit of as much as 120 pounds per acre, although around 40 pounds per acre is more typical. This nitrogen is in the soil, in a highly stable form, and available for use by the next year’s corn or small grains crop. This nitrogen also reduces the amount of costly synthetic nitrogen fertilizer the producer must purchase in order to produce the following year’s crop, he says.

There is an environmental benefit, too. “The production of synthetic nitrogen fertilizers generates large volumes of carbon emissions,” Hale says. “Reducing the need for synthetic nitrogen fertilizer decreases greenhouse gas emissions. Also, by applying less nitrogen to their fields, growers lower the risk of nitrogen leaching into the groundwater.”

Becker Underwood produces three VAULT brand soybean inoculants. These include VAULT LVL, a low-volume liquid inoculant system that also includes a biological fungicide for increased disease protection. Initially introduced as a professionally applied product, VAULT LVL has recently received approval for on-farm application by growers. Additional VAULT formulations include VAULT NP (formerly known as NOD+) and VAULT SP (sterile peat).

Leave a Reply

Featured Stories

CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis To Relocate Agribusiness Division To Denver
July 16, 2014
The move Eastward will allow Wilbur-Ellis’ Agribusiness Division to be more accessible to relevant geographies and is expected to enhance communication and collaboration among the division’s nearly 3,000 employees. Read More
Soybean field
FungicidesValent Launches New Seed Protection Fungicide For Soybeans
July 16, 2014
The INTEGO SUITE System contains the first new, novel seed protection fungicide chemistry registered in 30 years by the EPA for protection against Pythium and Phytophthora. Read More
LegislationUSDA: Quick Implementation Of Disaster Assistance Programs A ‘Top Priority’
July 9, 2014
USDA has processed 106,000 payments to farmers in 40 states across the country who suffered livestock and grazing losses between Oct. 2011 and passage of the 2014 Farm Bill. Read More
Eric SfiligojDoes Biotech Crop Labeling Really Matter?
July 7, 2014
Initiatives to label products made with biotech crops are intensifying. But should the industry continue to fight them? Read More

Trending Articles

EquipmentSummer Show Preview 2014: Superior Sprayers Take The Field
July 3, 2014
In this final installment of our coverage of the major categories of Big IRON that retailers can expect to test-drive at this summer’s events, here is a look at 19 sprayers. Read More
Scouting a soybean patch at Green Valley Ag.
EmployeesCropLife Compensation Survey: Battling Talent Drain
July 2, 2014
Retailers too often lose employees to companies outside of agriculture, while recruiting efforts are most often limited to competitors and other ag-focused organizations. Read More
HerbicidesDow AgroSciences Introduces SureStart II Herbicide
June 16, 2014
The enhanced formulation has improved viscosity and increased stability under heat and controls more than 60 high-anxiety grasses and broadleaf weeds found in corn fields. Read More
HerbicidesBASF Investing $270 Million To Expand U.S. Herbicide Production
June 11, 2014
BASF has invested more than $270 million to expand herbicide production capacities in the U.S., including more than 20 new products to be launched over next two years. Read More
EquipmentGPS: 25 Years And Still Growing
June 2, 2014
The evolution of global positioning systems applications in agriculture remains ongoing as the technology hits a notable milestone. Read More
CropLife 10013 Key Acquisitions Pinnacle Has Made In The First Half Of 2014
May 29, 2014
The only thing that has reached a more frenzied pace than #plant14 might be the multiple acquisitions that Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings has made in the first half of the year. Read More

Latest News

EquipmentPrecisionAg.com Relaunches With Responsive Design For M…
July 22, 2014
PrecisionAg, the worldwide leader in precision agriculture information and analysis, announces the launch of its completely redesigned website, PrecisionAg.com. Read More
FungicidesEPA OKs Two Willowood Fungicides
July 21, 2014
The EPA has approved Willowood Azoxy 2SC and Willowood AzoxyProp Xtra. two widely used broad spectrum, preventative fungicides with systemic and curative properties. Read More
Precision AgFarmers Learning Fast As UAVs Take Off
July 17, 2014
Farmers and others interested in how UAVs can be used in agricultural applications were able to learn more about the technology during the recent Precision Aerial Ag Show. Read More
CropLife 100Bobby Knight, Richard Petty To Highlight Ag PhD Field D…
July 17, 2014
Attendees at the July 24 Ag PhD Field Day at Hefty Farms will learn about the latest agricultural technologies, and get a chance to meet legendary sports figures Bobby Knight and Richard Petty. Read More
WebinarsUpcoming Webinars
July 17, 2014
Register for one of our upcoming Webinars or access our archive of past Webinars to view recordings of presentations that may be of interest to you. Read More
A finished Willmar 16-ton side-shooting tender.
TendersNew Production Facility Helps Willmar
July 17, 2014
In 1963, a group of businessmen started Willmar. Today, a half-century later, the company is one of the ag industry’s longest-running brands. Read More
FertilizerCF Industries Sells Carbon Credits To Chevrolet, Donate…
July 17, 2014
CF Industries has completed the sale of a large block of carbon reduction credits to Chevrolet, and will donate the net proceeds of $600,000 to the National FFA Foundation. Read More
CropLife 100Grainland Cooperative, Minier Cooperative Grain To Merg…
July 17, 2014
The shareholders of Grainland Cooperative and Minier Cooperative Grain Co. approved a merger of company operations effective August 1, 2014. Read More
ManagementStudy: Drought Costing California Billions
July 17, 2014
A new study has found the drought has cost the state $2.2 billion, primarily in lost farm revenue and wages. Read More
FertilizerCF Industries Resumes Production At Oklahoma Nitrogen C…
July 17, 2014
The company had shut down production at the Woodward, OK, facility in April to address an issue in one of the site’s boilers. Read More
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis To Relocate Agribusiness Division To Denve…
July 16, 2014
The move Eastward will allow Wilbur-Ellis’ Agribusiness Division to be more accessible to relevant geographies and is expected to enhance communication and collaboration among the division’s nearly 3,000 employees. Read More
Soybean field
FungicidesValent Launches New Seed Protection Fungicide For Soybe…
July 16, 2014
The INTEGO SUITE System contains the first new, novel seed protection fungicide chemistry registered in 30 years by the EPA for protection against Pythium and Phytophthora. Read More
Crop InputsSyngenta Drive To Thrive 10 Finalists Announced
July 15, 2014
Finalists are chosen based on the quality of their essays and photos depicting what makes them thrive. Read More
FertilizerHow To Minimize Phosphorus Losses In Runoff
July 15, 2014
Phosphorus losses from agricultural fields can be divided into three categories: flash losses of soluble phosphorus, slow leak losses and erosion events. Here's how to minimize losses in each instance. Read More
ManagementCalifornia Drought Threatens To Dry Up Farm Wells
July 15, 2014
Farmers hit hardest by California's drought could begin to see wells run dry next year, according to a new study by The Center for Watershed Sciences at the University of California, Davis. Read More
Precision AgPoll: Do you plan to attend this year’s InfoAg Co…
July 14, 2014
This year’s InfoAg Conference is just two weeks away. The premier event in precision agriculture takes place July 29-31 at Read More
LegislationFarm Bill Implementation Continues
July 14, 2014
The bill provides $28 billion over the next five years for conservation on private lands while streamlining several old programs and creating new ones like the Regional Conservation Partnership Program. Read More
MicronutrientsH.J. Baker Continues Expansion Of Atmore Facility
July 14, 2014
The company has improved its molten sulphur unloading system to help meet increased sulphur demand at Tiger-Sul’s Atmore, AL, facility. Read More