Submitted to: Columbia Basin Agricultural Research Annual Report
Publication Type: Experiment Station
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/15/2001
Publication Date: 5/30/2001
Interpretive Summary: There are advantages to growing yellow mustard in rotation with wheat compared to the traditional wheat/fallow rotation in the Inland Pacific Northwest Columbia Plateau Region. Two advantages of the mustard/wheat rotation are less soil erosion and reduced loss of soil organic matter. Crop establishment is a particular problem for yellow mustard production in this region because the seedbed is frequently dry at planting time. Additional nutrients are necessary to maximize yield but placing fertilizer near the seeds at planting may further stress young plants during germination and emergence. A laboratory experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of fertilizer placement, fertilizer amount and soil water content on emergence of yellow mustard. The tests results showed that starter fertilizer at low rates placed with the seeds delayed and reduced emergence. Fertilizer placed two inches below and two inches to the side of seeds eliminated the detrimental effects of fertilizer during mustard germination and emergence.
Technical Abstract: Yellow mustard rotated with cereal grain provides an option for growers in the Pacific Northwest Columbia Plateau region to intensify their cropping systems, and reduce soil erosion and organic carbon loss. Yellow mustard stand establishment is a particular problem in the Columbia Plateau because of required shallow planting and dry periods during planting. Placing fertilizer near the seeds at planting may further exacerbate the stress during germination and emergence. A laboratory experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of fertilizer placement, fertilizer amount and soil water content on emergence of yellow mustard. AC Pennant mustard seeds were planted in Walla Walla silt loam soil in 4 x 4 x 4 inch pots and placed in a growth chamber at 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Emergence observations were made for 17 days following planting. Starter fertilizer placed at rates as low as 25 lb/acre of (16-20-0) with the seeds delayed and reduced emergence. Placing fertilizer two inches below and two inches to the side of seeds at rates as high as 50 lb/acre (16-20-0) plus Urea at 172 lb/acre (46-0- 0) did not significantly reduce or delay yellow mustard emergence. Gravimetric soil water contents that ranged from 18.6 to 14.8 percent did not significantly influence the percentage of seedling emerged or alter the effect of fertilizer placement on mustard emergence.