this would be a good year to be sure to inoculate soybeans because of the drought last summer. Many soils were so baked out that microbial life was driven deep into the soil to find moisture and suitable temperatures. Many Universities are even recommending farmers to inoculate their soybeans in 2013 because of the conditions in 2012.
We have talked about inoculating legumes since my first writings in this blog 4 years ago. Whenever I see a post like this farmer made, I wonder if they understand the new inoculants? I don't think so.
Even though I have tried to make it clear that the "new bugs" that have been introduced to the market place are different. In 1994, when the new USDA Strain was introduced by Dr. David Kuykendall, these new strains do not repopulate like the older "lazyier" strains before. They need to be reintroduced each year and compete for a site to live on the nodules of legumes to do their extra work. Their extra work brings increased plant health, nitrogen production and yield.
We still find that old mentality that once you inoculate a legume field, you are good for years and do not need to inoculate each year. In all my tests and all my reading, I find that reintroducing these new strains each year insures I have a good chance for increased yield and Return On Investment over not inoculating every time I plant.
I picked up over 3 bushels more soybeans per acre in the few strip trials I performed. I have to make myself do this just to get data each year because someone always asks this questions. I have no doubt it pays since I started using that USDA Strain in 1994 and would never want to plant a soybean crop without one of the new inoculants.
The best I have found is those marketed by Advanced Biological Management in Van Wert, who feature Dr. Kuykendall's work. The are sold as Excalibre, GraphEx in every form a farmer could need from humus to liquid sealed on the seed. GraphEx has a very high farmer acceptance and rating has a planter box treatment.
Once again I recommend farmers to not speculate whether it works, inoculate your legumes, particularly soybeans, the number one oilseed in the world.