The Rhizobium bacteria are embedded in a polymer matrix around each Yellow Jacket seed. Preservatives and nutrients are added to this matrix to increase shelf-life and protect the Rhizobium bacteria from stress. That is why the Rhizobium content in Yellow Jacket seeds is much higher than in normal pre-inoculated ones.
There is a close relationship between the Rhizobium content in the seeds sown and nodulation and nitrogen fixation in the resulting lucerne crops. High Rhizobium content leads to more active nodules and better nitrogen fixation.
The coated seeds are heavier after sowing and contact with the soil is better. The seed coating absorbs and retains water, which leads to better germination and establishment. Yellow Jacket seeds have a nutrient supplement content that stimulates both the seedlings and the effectiveness of the Rhizobium bacteria. And finally, the calcium carbonate released from the coating maintains the pH in the root zone, which leads to better establishment and increased crop production.
Rhizobium bacteria are essential for the nitrogen supply to lucerne plants. Sufficient Rhizobium bacteria in the soil make applying nitrogen fertilizer unnecessary. Land where no lucerne has been grown, will, by its nature, not have any Rhizobium bacteria. Rhizobium bacteria may still be active in soil where alfalfa has been cultivated recently, but the population declines rapidly in land under crop rotation. Using inoculated seeds ensures a high Rhizobium-bacteria content in the soil. In addition to that, Yellow Jacket Rhizobium-coated seeds have the Rhizobium bacteria close to the seed itself, which ensures maximum effectiveness.