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Visual indicators of soil condition

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Indicator 10 – few or white nodules

What do you see and when?

  • Few or whitish nodules on legume roots
  • Observed 12 weeks after germination to early spring.

What could this indicate?

Inadequate nodulation. There could be many reasons for poor nodulation including:

  • Soil acidity and high soil aluminium.
  • Insufficient rhizobia in the soil as a result of cropping for many years.
  • Residual herbicide damage.
  • Molybdenum deficiency.
  • Sulphur deficiency.


What test can I do to confirm?

  • Inspect nodules. Look for many big pinkish coloured nodules rather than small white nodules.
  • Conduct nodulation score.
  • Examine cropping history as soil rhizobia declines after three years without a host.
  • Tissue test clover leaves with reference to molybdenum.
  • Test strips of sulphur and molybdenum fertiliser.

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