The continuous development of soybean cultivars aiming at higher yields can result in a demand of N supply higher than the standard inoculation with Bradyrhizobium species. In this context, Azospirillum species, a nitrogen-fixing microorganism found in the rhizosphere of various plant species, may be studied as a way of providing soybean crop with the part of the N it needs. Employing a completely randomized design with four replicates, this study aimed to evaluate the agronomic performance of two different methods of standard inoculation of Bradyrhizobium spp. associated with the co-inoculation with Azospirillum spp. The tested treatments consisted of the absence of N fertilizer and inoculant, full N recommendation, two single inoculations with Bradyrhizobium spp. (in-furrow and seed-applied) combined with an in-furrow application of Azospirillum spp. At R2 growth stage, the nodule number, nodule dry weight, shoot dry biomass and shoot N content were the variables evaluated, whereas at R8 the grain yield, thousand seed weight and grain N content were assessed. The results demonstrated that the co-inoculation of Bradyrhizobium spp. with Azospirillum brasilense is beneficial to soybean yield, mainly using the in-furrow method of application for Bradyrhizobium spp., associated to the in-furrow co-inoculation with Azospirillum spp.
Key words: Glycine max, inoculation, nitrogen content, yield.
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