Pulse School: Store those inoculants safely

(Nevin Rosaasen/supplied)

Growing pulses can be tricky at times, and getting proper emergence keeps the crop competitive. Ensuring the crop has the proper amount of nutrients is key to a high and healthy yield, and that means choosing the right type and amount of inoculant.

But inoculants aren’t like other crop production products, as they have a living organism in them called rhizobia, which is key to nitrogen fixation. These rhizobia form symbiotic relationships with pulse plants, providing the crop with nitrogen. Proper inoculation gets the crop off to a solid start, which is both agronomically and economically effective.

On this episode of RealAgriculture’s Pulse School, Allison Friesen, technical marketing manager for seed treatments, inoculants, and insecticides with BASF, joins Kara Oosterhuis to talk about some of the benefits of using inoculants, as well as the importance of properly storing the inoculants if you are getting them ahead of time.

Temperature, as well as avoiding outside environmental conditions is key to safe storage of the products. (Story continues below video)

“Inoculants don’t like to be frozen, but they also don’t like it to be too hot. It’s kind of like ourselves. Depending on the product itself, it likes to be in that zero to 20 degrees Celsius range,” she says.

Farmers should make sure they read product labels and store each product properly. “Because they are living organisms, they also need space to breathe,” Friesen explains, adding that direct sunlight can also cause the bags to heat, and change the moisture temperatures within the bag. “Moisture is another big one. You really want to avoid any changes in moisture. There are very specific moisture ranges that we send those bags out in, and we want to maintain that to ensure you are getting the highest quality product when it comes to them as well.”

Not only is temperature critical, but air movement and proximity to other products matters too.

“Not stacking (packages) is important, because that can create compaction, and limit how the air flows through that packaging,” she explains. When they are bringing in other products, it’s important not to store them butted up close to fertilizer bags. That can have an impact on their survivability, or storing a jug of chemical on top of them which could maybe leak or spill. Storage overall is one of the top things we say to growers when they are starting to bring that product on-farm,” Friesen says.

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