• Through nitrogen fixation, pasture legumes can deliver a sustainable input of nitrogen (N) into farming systems.
  • Legumes must be adequately nodulated and these nodules need to contain an ‘effective strain’ of rhizobia.
  • A scoring system can be used to assess legume nodulation for plants growing for a minimum of 12 weeks in paddock situations.
  • An adequately nodulated plant will have a minimum of 20 nodules on the root system and these nodules will be pink in colour if they are effectively fixing nitrogen.
  • Nutrient availability, herbicide use and soil pH all affect nodulation.
  • Improving legume nodulation and nitrogen fixation can increase productivity.

More information

Dr Ron Yates, DPIRD, WA
E: ronald.yates@agric.wa.gov.au

Belinda Hackney, Central West LLS, NSW
E: belinda.hackney@lls.nsw.gov.au

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