Grains Research and Development

Date: 18.01.2013

Rhizobial Inoculants

Rhizobial Inoculants Fact Sheet

Rhizobial Inoculants fact sheet

Inoculating legumes with rhizobia can achieve substantial increases in legume nodulation, grain and biomass yield, nitrogen fixation and post-crop soil nitrate levels.

Key Points

  • The benefits of inoculating legumes with rhizobia (soil bacteria that fix nitrogen) have been recognised in Australian agriculture for more than 100 years.
  • Inoculation can result in increases in legume nodulation, grain and biomass yield, nitrogen fixation and post-crop soil nitrate levels.
  • These gains are highest when the legume is grown in nil-rhizobia or low-rhizobia soil.
  • Benefits can be marginal in soils already containing high numbers of compatible rhizobia.
  • Legumes have specific requirements for rhizobia: there are 39 different inoculant groups produced commercially in Australia.
  • Formulations for inoculants include peat, clay and peat granules, freeze-dried cultures and liquid cultures.
  • Inoculant quality is underpinned by commercial in-house testing and the National Code of Practice and Quality Trademark (Green Tick Logo).

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GRDC Project Code UMU00032

Region National, North, South, West