What is Biofumigation?

Biofumigation is the suppression of various soil borne pests and diseases by naturally occurring compounds. Certain plants, including What is biofumigation imagemustards, produce isothiocyanate (ITC), a natural gas, released from plant tissues.

It is believed that this mechanism was originally developed by the plant as a defence against sucking and chewing insects, but over time many of the glucosinolates (the compounds that make certain brassicas ‘hot’ e.g. radishes) have been bred out of brassica crops to make them more palatable for human and animal consumption e.g. cabbage and cauliflower, or to produce better quality oil e.g. oil seed rape.

Our non-GMO certified, mustard varieties have been bred specifically with bio-fumigation in mind, maximising the glucosinilate content.

 

How do they work?

The ITC gas is produced when plant cells are damaged (by crushing or chopping) and the glucosinolates (present in all brassicas) come into contact with an enzyme (myrosinase) in the presence of water. This natural fumigation process can attack pesticide resistant weeds such as blackgrass, suppresses pests such as nematodes and deters soil borne diseases.  Furthermore, the action of green manuring improves soil structure, health and fertility and prevents expensive nutrients freely leaching away.

What are the benefits?

General to all following crops, mustards will act as “nitrogen holders” preventing this valuable nutrient from leaching away. The cost of a mustard crop can be virtually offset by the value of nitrogen is holds.
More specifically, in cereals, effective bio-fumigation can reduce weed burdens, including resistant blackgrass and ryegrass. Associated soil borne diseases would also be inhibited such as fusarium, take all etc.
In potatoes, most interest lies in the mustard ability to naturally reduce potato cyst nematode levels, particularly topical with uncertain future of chemical nematicides.  Improvements in skin finish are also well documented.
Sugar beet and vegetable crops also benefit from pest and disease reduction.

For cereals – TACKLE image

For cereals – TACKLE

The Tackle blend is formulated to inhibit the growth of invasive and herbicide-resistant weeds. Repeated application of Tackle will 'clean' the soil since the invasive and herbicide-resistant weed growth will be inhibited, with each repetition limiting their ability to set seed.

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For Potatoes – SPUDGUARD image

For Potatoes – SPUDGUARD

The SpudGuard blend is formulated to produce required levels of allyl isothiocyanates in the plant and root biomass at concentrations that are suited to controlling potato pests, parasites and nematodes. In addition, SpudGuard will help inhibit invasive weed growth.

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For Sugar Beet – ROOTGUARD image

For Sugar Beet – ROOTGUARD

The RootGuard blend is formulated to produce required levels of allyl isothiocyanates in the plant and root biomass at concentrations that are suited to controlling soil-borne diseases affecting sugarbeet and other root crops. In addition, RootGuard will help inhibit invasive weed growth.

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For Field Vegetables – VEGEGUARD image

For Field Vegetables – VEGEGUARD

The VegeGuard blend is formulated to produce required levels of allyl isothiocyanates in the plant and root biomass at concentrations that are suited controlling soil-borne diseases affecting open field vegetables and annual and perennial soft fruits crops. In addition, VegeGuard will help inhibit invasive weed growth.

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If you would like more information regarding the price, availability or agronomy of our mustard varieties, please contact us or complete the form below.