As well as generating useful income, pulses provide significant benefits to following crops, including nitrogen (N) fixation boosting N supplies to following crops. Pulses are estimated to fix about 120kg N/ha, or more than 220,000 tonnes N across Australia, worth about $220 million each year.
However, not all pulses are well nodulated and fix N to their potential, especially on acidic soils and it was recently estimated that N fixation could be increased by 25%. Several past and present GRDC funded projects have been designed to help reach this target, and their outputs require further extension and communication.
This GRDC project investment aims to improve N fixation of winter pulse crops and to promote their wider adaptation and adoption by promoting best management inoculation and pulse management practices, raising awareness and knowledge around pulse nodulation and N fixation as well as the impact of soil acidity, especially subsoil acidity.
A number of groups across the GRDC southern region are involved in the project including: Mallee Sustainable Farming (lead organisation), AgCommunicators, Bates Ag, Rural Directions, Southern Farming Systems, Birchip Cropping Group, Ryder Ryan Research Pty Ltd, Moodie Agronomy, Riverine Plains Inc, Southern Pulse Extension, SARDI and Tregove Consulting.
Results from the 2019 trial have been published in Research for the Riverine Plains, 2020, and are available via the following link: Demonstrating opportunities for increased pulse nodulation.
To learn more about this project, please contact Kate Coffey, Riverine Plains Inc on 5744 1713 or email email@example.com