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What is Inoculant? 5 Surprising Facts About Them

Inoculants are important for fixing nitrogen in soil and for higher yield of legumes.

Shipra Singh
enriching the soil with inoculants
Enriching the soil with inoculants

Inoculants are substances that possess living microbes that benefit the growth and development of plants and nourish it. People who do seed treatments often consider inoculants. This is because inoculants trigger a silent symbiotic process underground.  

And because it is not seen, many people underestimate the importance of inoculants. But your plants, especially legumes, can see what is happening at the root zone.  

Here are 5 facts about inoculants that would surprise you 

 1.Inoculants contain rhizobia that provide more than 50% of the required Nitrogen for soybean crop and other legumes. So, if you are thinking of growing legumes and protein-rich crops, you ought to have lots of healthy rhizobia in the soil. 

2. You must use inoculants more than once. Just inoculating the soil once will not do because, at some point, the rhizobia will cease to help your crops and will only survive for themselves. So, it’s smart to inoculate the soil every time you grow legumes to help in better yield and in good Nitrogen fixation. 

3. Not all inoculants are the same. Many people think they are all same and often choose the cheapest one. You mustn’t choose an inoculant based only on the price. Research properly and ask questions to the provider of inoculants. Is the inoculant fresh? Do they know the colony counts? Is the inoculant competitive? 

4. Rhizobia species vary. Not every rhizobium helps every legume. Do you know there is a chickpea group of rhizobia, a soybean group, a peanut group, and so on? You must get the right inoculant for the legume you are growing.  

5. Rhizobia die, so you must care for them. Rhizobia are living things. So, obviously, they will die one day. Also, if Mother Nature wants, she can kill your rhizobia through natural calamities like flood or drought. That’s why you must take care for these thriving microbes. Also, make sure the soil has enough organic matter. Before using insecticides and fungicides, remember you have living microbes in soil. So, take care. 

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