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April 9, 2013

New Soy Inoculant in Brazil May be Used 15 Days Prior to Planting

The Brazilian Agricultural Research Agency, Embrapa, announced last week the release of a new liquid soybean inoculant that can be applied to soybean seeds as much as 15 days prior to planting. The potential for early application of the inoculant instead of just prior to planting offers additional flexibility for the farmers during the busy planting time when labor may be in short supply. Normally, bacterial inoculant is applied to soybean seeds as they are being planted because the bacteria has a limited period of viability. The new inoculant was developed in conjunction with a private company for specific regions of Brazil.

The soybean plant works in conjunction with soil bacteria to forms nodules on the soybean roots that can take nitrogen from the atmosphere (which is 78% nitrogen) and convert it into a form of nitrogen fertilizer that the plant can utilize. This means that farmers do not need to apply any nitrogen fertilizer to produce soybeans.

As soybean production moves into regions of Brazil where soybeans have never been grown before, farmers need to introduce the specific bacteria to insure adequate nitrogen fixation for normal soybean production. After many years of soybean production in a region, there are generally enough residual bacteria in the soil to insure nitrogen fixation.

In addition to the introduction of the new inoculant at the ExpoLondrina in Parana last week, Embrapa also introduced a new soybean variety developed for northern and western Parana, southern Sao Paulo, and south-central and southeastern Mato Grosso do Sul. The new variety was tested fist hand by farmers and technicians in 22 field trials in the areas where the variety is recommended.