Ground Cover Supplement : GC Supplement - New farm products and services
13 NEW FARM PRODUCTS & SERVICES GROUND COVER SOIL BIOLOGY THE NATIONAL RHIZOBIUM Program has researched, identified and matched the most productive rhizobium strain for each legume crop grown in Australia. However, as many of the newer legume crops, such as Adzuki bean and fenugreek or pastures such as biserrula and sulla, are only grown in small areas, the production and quality assurance of the matching rhizobia strain has not been a viable commercial proposition. With support from the GRDC, New-Edge Microbials of Albury NSW has developed formulations of rhizobia that remain viable after being freeze-dried. This new delivery technology provides a range of benefits to growers in terms of availability, storage and application. The major advantage of the freeze-drying process, in comparison to conventional production of rhizobia inoculants, is increased shelf life of the final product. Testing has reported only a small reduction in efficacy for freeze-dried inoculants that have been stored for four years. By comparison, conventional peat-based formulations only have a viable shelf life of 12 to 18 months. This substantially increased shelf life allows commercial quantities of the minor rhizobia strains to be produced and stored cost-effectively. The ability to hold stock long term also means that growers can order products closer to the time of use rather than three to four months in advance, as is necessary for many of the traditional peat-based formulations. New-Edge Microbials produces freeze-dried formulations of the 21 minor rhizobia strains (Table 1). In addition, inoculants for lupin, chickpea, field pea and faba bean are also available. Another major incentive for growers to consider using freeze-dried inoculants is their ease of application. To coat seed, the contents of the vial and protecting agent are mixed together with low volumes of water. There is no need to dry the seed before sowing when using this technique. However, the best nodulation results have been achieved when the inoculum has been applied through a liquid delivery system with approximately 100 litres of good-quality water per hectare. The lack of carrier enables the freeze-dried product to be delivered as a spray through a fine nozzle. A mixture can be produced several hours before use and applied on-the-go, but should be used within five hours of mixing. To ensure the mixture comes in contact with the seed, the delivery system needs to apply a continuous stream of mixture into the furrow on and around the seed. Frozen bugs increase opportunities Freeze-dried rhizobia inoculants are making application easier while also improving the availability of the minor rhizobia strains In Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries' trials with chickpea in northern Queensland, water injection of the freeze-dried inoculant resulted in nearly double the level of nodulation per plant in comparison to a peat-based inoculant. The product was also tested through a farmer- developed 'air-line' injection system. With this system, the mixture was sprayed onto the seed as it passed from the air-seeder bin to the planting tynes. The process used less than 10L/ha of water but produced about 20 per cent less nodules than in-furrow injection. However, the air-line system still out-performed traditional peat-based seed coating. □ GRDC Research Codes NEM00001 More information: Sandy Montague, managing director, New-Edge Microbial Pty Ltd, 02 6025 0044, email@example.com FREEZE- DRIED INOCULANTS CAN BE APPLIED AT SOWING. TABLE 1 MINOR RHIZOBIA STRAINS AVAILABLE AS A FREEZE-DRIED FORMULATION Strain Host plant -- common name EasyRhiz 100TM EasyRhiz 500TM Protecting agent pack size 150g 250g Seed treated per vial kg kg 5G1B Adzuki bean 200 WSM1497 Biserrula 50 SU343 Birdsfoot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus) 25 CB1717 Burgundy bean 100 CC283b Caucasian (Kura) clover 50 CB1923 Centro, Centurion 200 CB3126 Desmanthus 100 Leucaena 200 CB627 Desmodium 50 SU277 Fenugreek 100 CC511 French, common, navy, kidney, dry, Lima bean 250 CB3035 Guar or Cluster bean 250 CB2312 Jointvetch, Aeschynomene 100 CB782 Kenya white clover (Trifolium semipilosum) 50 CB376 Lotononis 25 CIAT3101 Pinto peanut 250 CC1099 Sainfoin 100 CB1650 Stylo -- Caribbean stylo (Stylosanthes hamata) 50 CB3481 Stylo -- Caatinga stylo (Stylosanthes seabrana) 50 CB82 Stylo -- all other stylo (fine stem, shrubby, Townsville) 50 WSM 1592 Sulla 100 CC1502 Tree lucerne or Tagasaste 25 Freeze-dried formulations are supplied as a soluble powder of pure culture in a small glass vial along with 150g of soluble protecting agent. Each vial treats between 50 and 250kg of seed, depending on the numbers of seeds per kilogram.
GC Supplement - Agronomy
GC Supplement - Feedgrains