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Fertiliser requirements for mungbean

Inoculate mungbeans to save money on fertiliser.


15 December, 2021


Inoculate mungbeans to save on fertiliser costs

by Paul McIntosh, Pulse Australia


Fertiliser costs are rising, and supplies are limited, ahead of the summer cropping season in the northern grain growing season. While most summer crop options require sizable nitrogen fertiliser inputs to support yield potential, one crop stands out as a means to cut fertiliser costs.

Mungbeans are the clear winner when it comes to saving money on nitrogen fertiliser this season.

Many of the questions that been coming my way in recent weeks have been in relation to planting mungbeans and how much fertiliser the crop needs.

As a grain legume plant, mungbeans don’t need nitrogen fertiliser when they have healthy, active rhizobia nodules on their roots to provide the plant with its nitrogen requirement.

To grow a 1 t/ha crop of mungbeans, you need to have 70 kg/ha of plant available nitrogen. To supply this as pre-plant nitrogen fertiliser you would need to apply 150 kg/ha of urea. Multiply this by 2 or 3 if you want to have the possibility of growing a 2 to 3 t/ha mungbean crop, and this becomes an expensive proposition.

The standard and the best practice for your mungbeans is to get the planting seed inoculated correctly and effectively with rhizobia so the plants can meet their nitrogen requirement with nitrogen fixed from the atmosphere.

Millions of these microscopic bacteria form a symbiotic relationship with the small and developing mungbean root system and they can access atmospheric nitrogen, converting it into useable plant nitrogen. This is much cheaper and certainly more effective than applying big heaps of nitrogen, as I am sure you will agree.

The live rhizobia bacteria in the inoculant, be it peat or freeze dried, product must be applied to your planting seed in a cool shaded area, just prior to planting.

While many have said it is too much trouble inoculating legume planting seed, I would suggest most strongly that this year is the year that growers really need to develop a successful process to apply inoculant.

No excuses here, the facts speak for themselves – good inoculation will save you money on expensive fertiliser and make you money on the beans.


More information

Inoculating mungbeans


Contact for more details

Email Paul McIntosh
Pulse Australia
0429 566 198