Should I lime pellet my legume seed?
29 JulBy atadmin
Lime pelleting is a process associated with peat slurry (Nodule N™) and in some circumstances freeze dried (EasyRhiz™) inoculant products. While lime pelleting adds to the tedious process of slurry inoculation it will improve seed handling and inoculant survival in some circumstances.
Lime pelleting is secondary in the slurry inoculation process absorbing excessive slurry moisture after the seed and slurry are mixed. If the slurry is prepared with a seed adhesive (ALOSCA StickA™) the addition of lime* will form a coating on the seed which should hold together and enhance the survival of the inoculant through the seeding process and post-seeding in the soil before germination.
Lime pelleting is of particular value with small seeds (forage species) inoculation as it helps counter clumping following the mixing of the seed and inoculant slurry.
Lime pelleting should also be considered where the seed comes in contact with acidic fertilisers in the furrow or is sown into acidic soils to buffer the rhizobium. This should be considered on a species by species basis as some species, for example serradella inoculant strains, are adapted to acidic environments and the alkaline conditions created with lime pelleting can be counter productive.
*Milled/powered limestone is the most cost effective lime pelleting material. Do not use Hydrated Lime (other names for Hydrated Lime: Marvelime, Hy-Lime, Slaked Lime, Industrial Hydrated Lime, Chemical Hydrated Lime, Brickies Lime – do not use for lime pelleting.