More than 90% of legume-based pastures surveyed across NSW and WA have inadequate nodulation in their root systems.*
Poor nodulation may limit nitrogen fixation, impacting dry matter production, soil nitrogen levels and livestock productivity.
Improving legume nodulation and nitrogen fixation can increase productivity.
*In-paddock assessments were carried out by: Janelle Jenkins (Riverina LLS), Belinda Hackney (Central West LLS/Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation), Jo Powells (South-East LLS), Clare Edwards (Central Tablelands LLS), methodology was developed by Ron Yates (DAFWA) and nodule occupancy assessment by Sofie De Meyer (Murdoch University).
Through nitrogen fixation, pasture legumes can deliver a sustainable input of nitrogen (N) into farming systems. This supports high-quality feed for livestock and soil nitrogen for non-legume pasture components or subsequent crops.
To carry out this important function, legumes must be adequately nodulated and these nodules need to contain an ‘effective strain’ of rhizobia (the bacteria responsible for converting atmospheric nitrogen to ammonia within the nodule). Finding out the nodulation status of your pasture legumes is a relatively quick and simple process.