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Getting to the root cause of poor nodulation

Legume pastures across the Murray region have poor root nodulation according to a recent survey conducted by Murray Local Land Services and the Holbrook Landcare Network.

The survey of 60 irrigated and dryland pastures found that only eight (13 per cent) had adequate nodulation.

Root nodules enable nitrogen-fixing bacteria, rhizobia, to convert atmospheric nitrogen into a form that is directly available for plant growth, providing a built-in supply of nitrogen fertiliser to the plant.

Inadequate nodulation over time results in a decline in the amount of nitrogen in the soil, leading in turn to a decline in productivity.

The survey results will be discussed in-depth at two local field days later this month.

Western Australian rhizobium researcher Dr Sophie De Meyer will be in attendance to lead the discussion about the possible cause of, and solutions to, the poor results.

Details of the field days are as follows:

Field day 1 – Wednesday 21 February, 8.30 am to 11.30 am at Holbrook Community Technology Centre. To RSVP, please contact Holbrook Landcare Network on (02) 6036 3181.

Field day 2 – Thursday 22 February, 9.30am, at Blighty Recreation Reserve. For further details, contact John Fowler on (03) 5881 9933.

Media contact: Matt Lane, Communications, (02) 6051 2252, 0427 459 755