Attack microbes to spell stubble trouble

ACCELERATED decomposition of stubble through application of carefully selected microbes is an exciting prospect currently under the research microscope.

As part of cooperative research into the management of soil and stubble in southern Australia, researchers are testing and will ultimately breed microbes that decompose stubble and set up optimum soil conditions in time for the next sowing.

"Bio-control has a lot of potential but it is not as if any old microbe will do," said research leader Clive Kirkby of CSIRO Land and Water, Griffith.

"We need to make sure that the microbes under consideration will decompose the stubble in the available time and that they will not become a pest down the track."

Use of a biological agent is just one method of stubble management under consideration through a project supported by growers and the Federal Government through the GRDC.

Program 3.4.2 Contact: Dr Clive Kirkby 02 6960 1596