8th International Symposium on Nitrogen Fixation with Non-legumes

The brave new world of biofertilisers will be revealed at an international symposium in Sydney in early December.

And in a special event during this symposium, which will centre on nitrogen fixation and plant growth promotion with non-legumes, an interactive farmer-adviser-scientist workshop has been scheduled for Monday, 4 December, considered as Farmer's Day.

According to conference organiser, Ivan Kennedy, biofertilisers in the form of microorganisms inoculated onto cereal and other non-legume crops have the potential to add significant amounts of nitrogen to the soil and to unlock huge banks of phosphorus when they are properly matched to particular crops and environments.

Professor Kennedy wants as many farmers and their advisers as possible to attend and contribute to the workshop.

"The main theme of the symposium, which is supported by the Grains Research and Development Corporation, is how to develop reliable ways to reduce the reliance farmers have on chemical fertilisers by the use of special microorganisms," he said.

"These microorganisms can mobilise nutrients such as phosphorus and Mtrogen in the soil and make them more available to crops and pastures.

"Successful case studies for crops will be presented and we will examine the pros and cons for success with crops like wheat and maize.

"The workshop will provide an excellent chance for interaction between producers and researchers because farmers' needs will be discussed along with how reliable plant production can be achieved using inoculant biofertilisers.

"As well, there will be discussion about ways to monitor their effectiveness and the strategies needed to successfully market the technology to primary industry."

Further details about it and the workshop can be obtained by contacting:

Professor Kennedy on i.kennedy@acss.usyd.edu.au or int.symp@acss.usyd.edu.au — fax 02 9351 5108. The day rate is $220 including meals but more information about registration and the conference is on the symposium web site at http://www.usyd.edu.au/su/agric/SUNFixy Sunfixhtm