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Inoculation, why the fuss?

Well developed plant roots

The shorter days are a reminder for many it is time to organise sowing winter cereals and pastures or perhaps multispecies crops. Having a good inoculation program is critically important, as it provides your plant with optimal conditions to reach its potential.

Research into the relationship between plant roots, soil biology, nutrient availability and soil health continues to emerge, but what has become overwhelmingly evident is that big root systems are key to accessing available nutrients and further flow-on benefits.

What is more interesting is the role earthworms play in establishing beneficial relationships with microbes, in addition to producing (secreting) products for healthy plant growth and suppressing plant root disease.

Helping plants establish a big healthy root system below the surface is the most important step in setting up your plant (and crop) for success. These root systems will be key to feeding the biology in the soil around the plant roots, and in exchange for the sugars which leak out of the roots, the microbes will feed nutrients to the plant.

We now know that soil biology, particularly microbes and worms produce important compounds called secondary metabolites (including amino acids, enzymes, hormones), which are critical to the functioning of plant cells and therefore plants. Healthy, fully functioning plants are better equipped to handle environmental pressures such as pests, disease, temperature and moisture stress.

So, how do you set up your seeds to develop these big root systems (which will help improve soil structure, increasing water infiltration and aeration)? Adding biology at sowing is one way to begin the process.

NutriSoil’s vermiwash concentrate contains many different compounds, including very high numbers of bacteria (particularly bacterial decomposers), fungi, bioavailable minerals, hormones, enzymes, antimicrobial peptides, mucus from worms, proteins and vitamins to list a few, and all play a role in creating an environment for healthy plant growth and in turn healthy soils.

Along with containing plant-available nutrients, a vermiwash also contains insecticidal, antifungal and pesticidal compounds with qualities to help protect plants and enhance crop productivity.

White papers have revealed that a vermiwash such as NutriSoil, helps suppress disease and pest pressure on plants. Using NutriSoil as a seed inoculant at sowing at just 5 litres to the tonne of seed can provide a supportive environment for seeds at germination.

Many of NutriSoil’s farmers are now using liquid inject systems at sowing to provide seeds with a carbon source, a microbial source and a nutrient source. As well as adding 5L to the hectare of NutriSoil (as a microbial source), some farmers are incorporating their own compost extracts and trace elements down the tube.

Activating soil biology, improving soil and plant health takes time and requires more than just the addition of biological stimulants. There are many simple steps that can be taken to begin the journey, and not all of them have to be addressed at once.

If you only want to take one step this year, then inoculating your seeds with NutriSoil would be a simple and cost effective step to take. Our team are here to not only provide support for your NutriSoil needs, but are able to point you in the right direction to seek the whole of system support you may require.

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