Southern SARE Project Report
Biofumigation for soil health in organic high tunnel and conventional field vegetable production systems
Biofumigation and solarization were tested as possible organic controls of white mold (Sclerotinia sclerotiorum), a soil-borne pathogen of cool-season vegetable crops commonly found in high tunnels. Biofumigation was also tested as a possible control of the warm season vegetable pathogen Phytophthora capsici. Pacific Gold mustard was identified as a potential biofumigant crop with a combination of high biomass production and glucosinolate concentration. Laboratory studies showed both pathogens to be susceptible to glucosinolates extracted from the mustard, but soil incorporation of field-grown biomass did not introduce sufficient glucosinolate to reduce disease pressure. Summer solarization in high tunnels destroyed white mold sclerotia.
The purpose of this project was to develop sustainable soil-borne disease management tactics suitable for use in organic or conventional vegetable production systems. We aimed to develop tactics that build healthy soils and promote microbial ecosystems that challenge these potentially devastating, broad spectrum pathogens.
Want more information? See the related SARE grant(s) LS06-185, Biofumigation for soil health in organic high tunnel and conventional field vegetable production systems.
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These products were developed with support from the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture-National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA). Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed within these products do not necessarily reflect the view of the SARE program or the U.S. Department of Agriculture. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.