Cropping Soil Microbes
Cropping Information Sheet – Soil Microbes
12 Microbes & MicroSTIX2 Handy Hints - 21 Mar 2012a.pdf
09 WMF Microbe Application & Seed Coating - 21 Mar 2012.pdf
The addition of Beneficial soil microbes in all cropping situations can have a strong impact on root development and an improvement overall quality and yield. The combination of soil bacteria and fungi has differing impacts depending on the crop type.
Cereals, pulses and summer crops receive benefits from mycorrhizal fungi, which improves the plants ability to source nutrients (including phosphorus) from the soil. The bacterium in the soil improves the conversion of nitrogen and other nutrients from organic matter. Trichoderma will reduce the level of non-beneficial fungal spores and help to reduce the impact on the crop.
The soil microbes work together and will have an overall positive impact to improve nutrients available to plants.
Lupins operate differently in that a citric acid is released to solubilise the phosphorus in the soil resulting in less dependence on the mycorrhizal fungi. The benefits gained from the soil microbes are the important result of applying soil microbes. The need for microbes in the soil is well documented for lupins to set seed and fix nitrogen for following crops. Certain soil bacteria produce plant growth hormones (Cytokinins), which are essential for seed pod development.
Canola is one of the plant families that suppress fungal activity. Research has shown that fungal activity (including mycorrhiza) is significantly reduced following a canola crop.
Recent farmer trials have shown that while the fungal activity is reduced following canola, the bacterial activity is significantly increased. This means that an increase in bacterial activity will help to protect the plant and increase the conversion of canola stubble to plant available nutrients for the following crop.
Following a canola crop with a cereal crop highlights the need to replenish the mycorrhiza fungi (for sourcing nutrients) and Trichoderma fungi (to reduce non-beneficial pathogens) to improve cereal performance... (see WMF's Post Lupin/Canola blend of beneficial soil microbes).
The application of in furrow fungicide can have a dramatic impact on the soils fungal populations and impact on the soils biological balance. The result can be a reduction in root size and a reduction in the plants ability to source nutrients from the soil. Reduction of root mass can also have a serious impact on plant yield potential if there is a dry period during the growing season.
The application of beneficial soil microbes to seed for cropping is relatively easy (see WMF Tech Sheet - 09 WMF Microbe Application & Seed Coating - 21 Mar 2012.pdf).
Beneficial Soil microbes are available from Western Mineral Fertilisers. For a comprehensive list of Microbes available contact WMF or follow the following link (WMF Microbe Catalogue - 1 Sept 11.pdf ).