|Webber Iii, Charles|
|CHAVES-CORDOBA, BERNARDO - Washington State University|
Submitted to: Journal of Agricultural Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/20/2017
Publication Date: 1/15/2018
Citation: Boydston, R.A., Vaughn, S.F., Webber III, C.L., Chaves-Cordoba, B. 2018. Evaluating mustard seed meal for weed suppression in potato (Solanum tuberosum). Journal of Agricultural Science. 10(2):48-57. https://doi.org/10.5539/jas.v10n2p48.
Interpretive Summary: Producers of organically certified potatoes typically utilize a combination of nonchemical weed control methods such as cover crops, tillage, and cultivation to prevent weeds from reducing potato yield and harvest efficiency. Mustard seed meal (MSM) controlled weeds for several weeks following application to soil in several previous reports, but has not been tested in potato. This research evaluated the response of potatoes and weeds to MSM applied at several rates previously reported to control weeds. MSM applied at 2.2 and 4.5 MT ha-1 just after harrowing and prior to potato emergence reduced the number of early season weeds in potato and reduced late season broadleaf weeds in all three years tested. Little or no injury to potato was observed at the MSM rates tested and potato tuber yields and percentage of US No.1 tubers were not affected. MSM could be a component of an integrated weed management program in organic potato production.
Technical Abstract: Mustard seed meal (MSM) derived from Sinapis alba controls weeds for several weeks following application to soil, but also has potential to injure the planted crop. Producers of certified organic potatoes typically utilize a combination of cover crops, soil hilling, harrowing, and cultivation for weed control. Once the potato canopy nears row closure, most late emerging weeds are suppressed by the dense potato canopy. MSM may have value for early season weed suppression in potato, but has not been previously tested. Our objectives were to determine the weed control efficacy and potato tolerance to MSM. We evaluated response of potatoes and weeds to MSM applied at 1.1, 2.2, and 4.5 MT ha-1 applied in a band on the potato hill just after a shallow harrowing and prior to potato emergence as part of an integrated weed management program in potatoes. MSM applied at 2.2 and 4.5 MT ha-1 reduced early season grass and broadleaf weed density 73 to 99% and 54 to 98%, respectively, in potato and reduced late season broadleaf weed biomass 71 to 94% in all three years tested. Early season grass weed density in potato was reduced by MSM at 2.2 and 4.5 MT ha-1. Late season grass weed biomass was reduced by the highest rate of 4.5 MT ha-1. MSM at 4.5 MT ha-1 caused minor injury to potato (3 to 15%) at 3 weeks after emergence, but did not reduce total tuber yields or percentage of US No.1 tubers. MSM could be a component of an integrated weed control program in potato.