It is unclear if additional inoculation with Bradyrhizobia at varying soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] growth stages can impact biological nitrogen fixation (BNF), increase yield and improve seed composition [protein, oil, and amino acid (AA) concentrations]. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the effect of different soybean inoculation strategies (seed coating and additional soil inoculation at V4 or R1) on: (i) seed yield, (ii) seed composition, and (iii) BNF traits [nodule number and relative abundance of ureides (RAU)]. Soybean field trials were conducted in 11 environments (four states of the US) to evaluate four treatments: (i) control without inoculation, (ii) seed inoculation, (iii) seed inoculation + soil inoculation at V4, and (iv) seed inoculation + soil inoculation at R1. Results demonstrated no effect of seed or additional soil inoculation at V4 or R1 on either soybean seed yield or composition. Also, inoculation strategies produced similar values to the non-inoculated control in terms of nodule number and RAU, a reflection of BNF. Therefore, we conclude that in soils with previous history of soybean and under non-severe stress conditions (e.g. high early-season temperature and/or saturated soils), there is no benefit to implementing additional inoculation on soybean yield and seed composition.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The United Soybean Board (USB Project #1820-152-0108), and K-State Research and Extension (KSRE), provided funding to support this field research studies. Researchers thank all the students, technicians and others who helped with the individual studies summarized in this regional soybean project. This is contribution no. 20-112-J from the Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station.