Ants & Termites increase crop yield

Ant hole

Source: T. Evans et al. 2010

There has been great
emphasis on the impact
earthworms have on soil
structure, but over the
summer months many
dryland agricultural areas
are indeed too dry for
earthworm populations.

As the winter cropped
paddocks have been on
break over the summer,
 the ants and termites have been working away underground to keep your soil cycling over the summer. The direct effects include improved structure, increased aeration and water infiltration from the vast network of burrowing.

However further research has shown that these insects, namely termites, have nitrogen fixing bacteria in their gut, similar to the bacteria in legume root nodules, which when processed adds to the soil N pool.
Research conducted by the CSIRO concluded soils with ants and termite activity showed an average 36 per cent higher wheat crop yield under low tillage but otherwise conventional agricultural management.
There are significant advantages in utilizing soil biology and biodiversity to suit agricultural productivity.


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