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Innovative Granular legume inoculant provides solutions

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article image Innovative Granular legume inoculant

Established in 2004, Australian company Alosca Technologies has seen a rapid adoption of their inoculant delivery technology in WA and is now supplying product across southern Australia as well as seeing growth in their overseas development projects.

Alosca’s dry, clay based, in-furrow granular formulation has provided many new application options not afforded to the traditional peat slurry method of legume inoculation. Peat based formulations rely on cool, moist seeding conditions to prevail in order to maintain viability and provide passage for the nitrogen fixing bacteria to colonise the emerging legume root system. Alosca’s granular formulation has been developed to withstand variable moisture conditions and has the unique ability to activate on the same seasonal moisture triggers as the sown legume making it adaptive to the season.

Alosca’s Operations Manager Chris Poole said “The development of the Alosca dry formulation was initially aimed at solving the problem of how to successfully inoculate the new generation small seeded pastures species such as Biserrula, Bladder and Gland clovers. These species have a shallow seeding (less than 15mm) requirement and the soil surface commonly dries out following seeding which has made the Alosca formulation highly compatible with their establishment.”

Mr Poole said “From a cropping perspective growers have identified the advantages of our range which offers ease of use and flexibility with the opportunity to sow the legume program ahead of rain, leaving the cereal seeding window clear. With the granule’s many operational efficiencies over the more tedious slurry application method, it has made inoculation a more feasible option again at a busy time of the year” he said.

Independent evaluation at Murdoch University’s Centre for Rhizobium Studies has shown the favourable environment for Rhizobium in Alosca’s inoculant carrier system to provide enhanced bacterial survival when seeding to dry or marginal conditions and/or delays in germinating rainfall occur.

Alosca granules can be mixed with seed or fertiliser, sown to moist or dry seeding conditions and the buffering properties of the carrier formulation provide the opportunity to apply pesticide seed dressings typically harmful to legume inoculants.

Mr Poole said a frequent enquiry made by growers is how to on-farm blend or mix with seed or fertiliser “I’ve been suggesting to growers that simplicity is the key, not to over-mix the product before transferring it to the seeder. Grower experience has reported adequate mixing can be achieved through the regular transfers of seed or fertiliser from the shed or silo to the 5-in-1/compartment bin and then onto the seeder. Alosca-fertiliser mixes should then be delivered single shoot and not be banded separately from the seed”.

Alosca Technologies’ has met many of the limitations of peat based microbe delivery and further usage options are being observed and developed.

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