Soil borne pests and pathogens like Verticillium spp., Rhizoctonia spp., Fusarium spp., Pythium spp., Sclerotinia spp., common scab and a range of nematodes affects the plants in open field cultivations and protected Poly house and green house cultivation.
Fumigation is one of the activity to manage these root related soil borne pests and pathogens.
Even though chemicals may be used as fumigants, but organically bio fumigation has also positive effects to kill above plant enemies. The biofumigant crops can be grown to certain age and height then incorporated in to the soil to the depth of 15 – 20 cm [upper soil profile].
Mustard crop is one of the best option to use as a biofumigant to manage the above mentioned soil diseases and root knot nematodes.Mustard is member of brassica family and produce some secondary metabolites or bio chemicals. Usually the “glucosinolates” are the biochemical molecules produced by brassica family crops and mustard crop. Isothiocynate is the end product formed from the glucosinolates when reacted with the water present in the soil.
Specifically the organic compound produce by mustard crop decomposition is known as “Allyl isothiocynate”. It is said that this compound behaves very much similar to the commercially available soil fumigant organosulfur compound, SODIUM METHYLDITHIOCARBAMATE which is used as a soil fumigant, pesticide, herbicide, and fungicide.
So the mustard crop incorporation in to the soil is an alternate organic fumigant and will kill the soil borne pests and diseases mentioned above. The incorporation of mustard crop as a biofumigant has also shown a decrease in damage caused by wireworm.
Planning for biofumigant crop for incorporation to soil, need to know more about the targeted pests and their life stages for effective control.
Sowing time of mustard crop should be planned accordingly to synch with the crop sowing to achieve maximum biomass and high secondary metabolite production at time of incorporation.
K SANJEEVA REDDY,
Senior Agronomist, BigHaat.
Disclaimer: The performance of the product (s) is subject to usage as per manufacturer guidelines. Read enclosed leaflet of the product(s) carefully before use. The use of this product(s)/ information is at the discretion of user.
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