Ames, Iowa– Becker Underwood, Inc. has announced a new, higher performance standard for rhizobia survivability on soybean seed treated with the VAULT® HP multi-component, growth-enhancing system.
“The new on-seed survival rating of 125 days for the rhizobial inoculant component of VAULT HP in our 2x100-unit and new 4x50-unit case sizes is the longest such rating in the industry,” says Eda Reinot, Becker Underwood director of research and development. “As a result of continued product testing over the past year, we have now substantiated this increase from our previous days-on-seed rating for VAULT HP.”
The benefits of a longer days-on-seed rhizobia survival rating include extending the planting and seed treatment window for retailers, treaters and growers. This longer window allows for greater planting season and work-flow flexibility.
“Breathable” packaging provides the key
“Our exclusive, patent-pending, ‘breathable’ packaging helps provide an optimal environment for extending the viability of the rhizobia before use,” says Russ Berndt, Becker Underwood product manager for inoculants. Special nutrients and the composition of the rhizobia performance-enhancing component of the VAULT HP treatment system then work to extend the on-seed survivability once the product is applied by commercial treaters to the seed. “The new 125 days-on-seed rating for properly handled VAULT HP-treated seed provides retailers and growers with additional confidence, options and flexibility,” Berndt says.
Minimum standards an important consideration
Since the United States has no required minimum standard for live rhizobia on-seed survival claims, Becker Underwood has chosen to apply the standards used by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Those standards require a minimum of 100,000 live rhizobia per soybean seed to be present for the time claimed. “We believe it’s important to provide U.S. growers a high standard of product quality and viability that will help ensure proper nodulation and improved performance,” says Reinot.
“It’s very important for seed treaters and growers to accurately compare and evaluate days-on-seed ratings of seed treatment products,” Berndt notes. “Some products may base their rhizobial days-on-seed rating on the presence of any measurable live rhizobia cells. Becker Underwood believes a days-on-seed claim, with or without other compatible fungicide/insecticide treatments, should be based on the 100,000-rhizobia-per-seed minimum. We encourage other inoculant providers to voluntarily adopt and report their claims using this standard so that customers can compare products on an apples-to-apples basis,” Berndt says.
Improved nodulation with maximum nitrogen fixation is the goal
Along with high numbers of robust rhizobia, another key component in the VAULT HP system is the patented growth-enhancer that stimulates the rhizobia provided by VAULT HP, as well as any existing native soil rhizobia, to produce more Nod factors. “These chemical signals are picked up by the soybean plant and increase its ability to develop more nitrogen-fixing nodules. This can lead to more robust root structure, better nitrogen fixation and more yield potential,” Reinot explains.
In addition to the new days-on-seed standard, VAULT HP also contains Integral®, an EPA-registered biofungicide to enhance and extend protection from key soil-borne diseases. “Another benefit of VAULT HP is its total application rate of just 2.0 fluid ounces per hundredweight, the lowest rate in the industry,” Berndt points out. “This ultra-low rate allows for more flexible use with other seed treatment active ingredients.”
All Becker Underwood soybean inoculant products, including VAULT HP, are also made fresh for each growing season to ensure delivery of the highest quality product for maximum performance in treatment systems and soybean growers’ fields.