Checking for nodulation in this year’s legume crops and pastures could pay dividends for South Australian growers.
Checking for nodulation in this year’s legume crops and pastures could pay dividends for South Australian growers. The State’s pulse and pasture producers are being encouraged to enter the “Show Us Ya Nods” challenge being conducted by FREE Eyre and the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), along with Agbyte and Profarmer Australia.
The challenge sets out to find SA’s best nodulating legume crop or pasture and provides free, expert feedback from GRDC-funded researchers to all participants. The overall winner will receive a GRDC-sponsored subsurface soil moisture probe, coupled with an Adcom telemetry data logging unit and solar panel. In addition, Agbyte agronomist Leighton Wilksch will install, collect data and provide 12 months of moisture monitoring and interpretation of results to the winner. Annual Profarmer Australia subscriptions will be awarded to individual category winners.
GRDC Southern Manager Grower Services, Craig Ruchs, says legume crops and pastures provide an alternative source of nitrogen to that applied ‘out of a spreader’. In addition, these crops provide greater diversity in weed control options and offer a break for some diseases infesting cereal crops, thus generating income and enterprise diversity benefits for growers. “The importance of adequate nodulation is well recognised by the GRDC. In fact, improving the survival and viability of rhizobia in current systems was one of the issues recently identified as a high priority by the GRDC’s Southern Regional Cropping Solutions Networks,” Mr Ruchs said.
“GRDC-funded research, development and extension has delivered a wealth of insights and information on inoculating legumes and nodulation, and we encourage initiatives, such as this challenge, that better inform growers and advisers around how to ensure we realise the benefits of N fixation by legume crops as an alternative source of N.” Guidance on inoculation for improved nodulation is contained in the GRDC publication Inoculating Legumes: A Practical Guide.
To enter the Show Us Ya Nods challenge, participants apply online at www.freeeyre.com.au and are then sent a competition instruction pack. Entries close on October 16.
Sharon Watt, Porter Novelli