Submitted to: Agricultural Research Service Publication
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/15/2004
Publication Date: 10/1/2004
Citation: Boydston, R.A., Collins, H.P., Alva, A.K. 2004. Mustard for pest control, not for your sandwich. USDA Agricultural Research Service Publication. October:14-15.
Technical Abstract: Cover crops provide many benefits to producers including reduced soil erosion and compaction, increased soil tilth and water infiltration, and reduced incidence of pests and diseases. Research evaluating the cumulative effects of fall-planted cover crops including mustards, sorghum-sudangrass, an oat-hairy vetch mix, and wheat in a four-year crop rotation of potato-winter wheat-sweet corn-sweet corn is being conducted in Washington State. The response of weeds, nematodes, disease incidence, soil microbial communities, and nitrogen cycling is being evaluated. Seed meal of several mustard species suppressed chickweed and prickly lettuce germination and emergence and root knot nematodes in green house trials. Yields of potato, sweet corn and winter wheat following cover crops have been similar to that where fumigation and no cover crop was used.