Can legumes make the soil more fertile?

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Offline thedoc

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Can legumes make the soil more fertile?
« on: 20/08/2013 12:41:52 »
Are nitrogen fixing legumes the solution to Western
Australia's soil fertility problems?
Read a transcript of the interview by clicking here

or [chapter podcast=1000466 track=13.08.15/Naked_Scientists_Show_13.08.15_1001209.mp3] Listen to it now[/chapter] or [download as MP3]
« Last Edit: 20/08/2013 12:41:52 by _system »

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Offline CliffordK

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Re: Can legumes make the soil more fertile?
« Reply #1 on: 20/08/2013 19:17:24 »
Great program, worth listening to.  Hopefully the transcript will be put up soon.  I think we do need to consider better Nitrogen capture.  Undoubtedly tilling bio matter into the soil will also help improve the soil beyond just adding Nitrogen.

I thought a little about the wheat production in Eastern Washington when listening to the program.  Moisture is a problem.  I'm not sure exactly what they do, but I think they grow wheat one year.  Then leave the fallow one year in which the soil is supposed to soak up some moisture, and then grow a wheat crop again the third year.  I think the program mentioned a legume that took about 2 years to mature.  It would seem as if there would be a lot of time growing secondary crops. 

Last year I did an experiment planting peas and corn in the same row.  I should probably try the experiment again, but it seemed as if neither the peas, nor the corn grew well.  So co-planting peas and corn didn't work well. 

Thus, I presume the legumes would have to be part of a crop rotation.