Mycorrhizae Products for Beans 2016-2017

AgTiv is a biological product (Premier Tech Agriculture, Quebec, Canada) that contains mycorrhizae (Glomus intraradices) spores. The product Myconate (Plant Health Care, Raleigh NC) contains the isoflavone formononetin. Both products have a powder formulation applied as a seed treatment, and a liquid formulation applied with a liquid fertilizer at planting.  Product claims include increased plant growth and less disease stress. Myconate claims to increase mycorrhizal fungi colonization of roots.

On-farm studies were conducted in Perth County in 2016 and Middlesex County in 2017 using liquid fertilizer applicators on a commercial planter. One half of the planter applied a liquid fertilizer + a mycorrhizae product while the other half applied the fertilizer alone. No untreated control was present in on-farm studies. At one site, the fertilizer was incompatible with the AgTiv product and may have damaged the spores.

Replicated small plot studies were conducted at the Huron Research Station (Exeter ON) and AAFC (Harrow ON) in 2016 and 2017. At Exeter, each product was tested alone at 1X and 2X rates and combined at 1X rate.  Liquid fertilizer (6-24-6) was applied with each treatment. There was a fertilizer only control as well as an untreated control. Plant emergence, vigour, dry weight and seed yield were measured.  At Harrow, AgTiv at 1X and 2X rates were compared to an untreated control for root rot infection on bean roots.

Figure 1. Bean growth and yield from AgTiv and Myconate products, Huron Research Station 2016-2017. Plant height (cm), plant dry weight (g), root rot (1-5; 1=good), seed yield (bags/acre)

Treatment differences were measured at one on-farm site only. AgTiv had higher plant height, plant weight and yield versus Myconate, but these responses were not compared to an untreated control. For small plot studies, there were no treatment differences for plant emergence, growth or seed yield at Exeter (see Figure 1). At Harrow in 2017, root rot ratings were slightly lower for the AgTiv and Myconate treatments, compared to the untreated control.

By Chris Gillard

Dry Bean Agronomy & Pest Management, University of Guelph-Ridgetown