A biological inoculant for enhancing the growth of plants is disclosed. The inoculant includes the bacterial strains Herbaspirillum seropedicae 2A, Pantoea agglomerans P101, Pantoea agglomerans P102, Klebsiella pneumoniae 342, Klebsiella pneumoniae zmvsy, Herbaspirillum seropedicae Z152, Gluconacetobacter diazotrophicus PA15, with or without a carrier. The inoculant also includes strains of the bacterium Pantoea agglomerans and K. pneumoniae which are able to enhance the growth of cereal grasses. Also disclosed are the novel bacterial strains Herbaspirillum seropedicae 2A, Pantoea agglomerans P101 and P102, and Klebsiella pneumoniae 342 and zmvsy.
 The disclosed invention was made with United States government support awarded under contract DE-FC05-92OR22072 by the Unites States Department of Energy. The United States Government has certain right to this invention.