Grains Research and Development

Date: 02.09.2013

Inoculating legumes: The Back Pocket Guide

Cover of Inoculating Legumes: The Back Pocket Guide

Getting inoculation right

  • Use quality inoculants (the Green Tick logo is a trademark of AIRG* approval)
  • Match the correct inoculant group to each legume
  • Inoculants contain LIVE bacteria: make sure they are kept in moderate temperatures (less than 30°C, not frozen) away from sunlight and chemicals
  • Sow freshly inoculated seed as soon as possible and definitely within 24 hours of inoculation
  • Use clean potable water for dilution when using liquids or slurries, and make sure holding tanks are free from chemical and fertiliser residues
  • Many pesticides, mineral and organic fertilisers are toxic to rhizobia and should never be mixed with rhizobia
  • Rhizobia can be compatible with seed pickles or dressings for a limited time prior to sowing (see Inoculating legumes: a practical guide (2012) for manufacturer’s guidelines and Table 5.4 in Resource #1). Always apply the seed dressing first and allow it to fully dry before applying the rhizobia as a second process
  • Always use inoculants before their expiry date
  • Reseal opened bags of peat inoculant and use them within 2 weeks of first opening the bag

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