A question that has often arisen in both the Bean and Vegetable Forums has been: "Does the use of bacterial inoculant on beans, peas, and other legumes provide noticeable improvement?"
To this end, has anyone performed a side-by-side comparison? Or know of a study that was done on garden legumes (beans, peas, limas, cowpeas, peanuts, etc.) independent of the inoculant manufacturers?
I have always used the proper inoculant on all my legumes each year... and that is the problem; the bacteria are already present in my soil from previous applications. Any trial by me would only demonstrate the relative advantage of annual application of inoculant, vice plants grown with the residual population alone.
To perform a proper experiment on the relative advantages of inoculant application during planting, both the treated & control would need to be grown on new ground (or where legumes have not been grown previously).