Plantwise Factsheets for Farmers
Bacteria inoculants for more nitrogen in soybean
Recognize the problem
Soyabeans provide a cheap source of protein for humans and animals.
However, yields in Zambia are low due to limited nitrogen in the soils.
Nitrogen deficiency in the field causes yellowing of many leaves per plant
and on many plants more or less equally over a field. In contrast, yellowing
due to diseases would be clustered in a field. Nutrient deficiency leads to
is an important crop in almost all the provinces of Zambia. Bacteria called Rhizobium can help
improving the nitrogen in poor soils, because the bacterium fixes nitrogen
from the air into the soil. Increased nitrogen in the soil will improve
soybean growth and yield. The bacteria
can be applied via seed dressing. The bacteria inoculant can be in liquid or
powder form put onto the seeds. After the crop has germinated, the inoculant
penetrates the root hairs where it will begin to multiply. Root hairs with
this bacterium will develop balloon like sacs called nodules. The inoculants
only need to be applied to soil that is virgin, meaning that it has not been
planted with soybean for 5 years, and that is acidic.
Buy certified soybean seed
from any recognised outlet to assure disease free seeds.
- Buy the bacterial
inoculant from recognised supplier such as from Mount Makulu Research
Station, Private bag 7, Chilanga, Zambia
- Mix thoroughly 125 grams
of inoculants with 50kg of seed (for 0.5ha)
- Mixing of the inoculant is
done as follows;
- Dissolve 1 tablespoon
sugar in 250ml water
- Mix 250 inoculant in 250g
sugar solution (sugar acts as a sticker)
- Sprinkle on 50kg soyabean
seed and mix thoroughly
- Plant inoculated seed
within two days
- Leftover seed should
be stored in a cool place for a period of less than 3 days
The recommendations in this factsheet are relevant to:
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