Granulated Inoculant

A seedbox upgrade this season has improved efficiencies during the planting operation of chickpeas and fababeans.  Trading the old Gason 1890 for the new 2120RT2 air cart,  going from 9000 to 12000 litres has lifted planting capacity, but the real increase in productivity comes from using granulated inoculant,  through the 600 litre small seeds box.
A messy operation on Morvenvale for the last 22 years, inoculating legume seed was a dirty job and always bound by the problems of time. Treated seed had to be planted within  six hours, by this time 90% of the live bacteria was lost, so it was important to treat the seed and plant it asap. This meant we never treated more seed than was needed for the next  six hours, and we couldn’t finish a planting shift without treating more seed.  This also meant if there was a breakdown or rain event at planting, the seedbox had to be emptied, and remaining seed re-inoculated.  The convenience of granulated inoculant solves the problem of time, and with a shelf life of years, if its not used this year, it can sit in the shed till next season.
I hear you ask “Whats the cost of this innovation”.  How do the economics stack up for granulated inoculant versus the peat based or freeze dried products?  Prices are comparable because of our farming system and row spacing configuration. To treat seed with peat based inoculant cost around $55 per ton for the inoculant (freeze dried slightly more).  Planting 100kg/ha fababeans equals $5.50/ha, and 70kg/ha chickpeas equals $3.85/ha.  I am not allowing for it here, but add to these the cost of the actual operation of treating the seed – somewhere between $20 – $30 /per ton.
Compare these numbers to the cost of granulated inoculant at $1.50/kg. This is where row spacing is important. For a solid plant spacing at 15cm,  the recommended rate is 10 kg/ha.  Our row spacing at 60cm has meant we could cut the rate back to 3kg/ha or $4.50/ha
The big question of course is about results in the field. How are the chickpeas and fababeans nodulating. Early signs are showing significant nodule development over much of the root area, not just around the seed. More detail and pictures in coming crop updates…… Stay tuned. Subscribe to posts.  Click here for the ALOSCA granulated inoculant website

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