Seed firm launches green manure

Lincolnshire-based Boston Seeds has introduced a green manure product onto the UK market that can be used as both a natural fumigant and soil conditioner.

Named Vittasso brown mustard, the product is already popular in the US and some parts of Europe. It works as a biofumigant - meaning that it contains volatile, plant-derived chemicals that can suppress soil-borne pathogens, nem- atodes, insects and weeds - on potato, soft fruit and salad crops.

The plant is grown as a crop and then ploughed into the ground where it breaks down and releases isothiocyanates into the soil.

These isothiocyanates work in a similar way to other chemical fumigants, such as methyl bromide.

According to Boston Seeds, the product is best used as a green manure, potato disease suppressant or organic catch crop.

Boston Seeds representative Andrew Wallis said: "We are just beginning to advise the wider industry through contractors, packers and agronomists about the natural benefits of biofumigation. Initial response is very positive and I expect to see Vittasso being used extensively - especially by potato growers and organic farmers."

Vittasso costs £65/ha.


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Horticulture education update - staying on course

Horticulture education update - staying on course

Raised levels of investment in horticulture education and increased student take-up is welcome news for the industry, says Rachel Anderson.

How will reduced apple and pear harvests hit the industry?

How will reduced apple and pear harvests hit the industry?

This spring, many top-fruit growers in the UK and across Europe were dismayed to discover that swathes of their orchards had been hit by frost.

How should fruit growers prepare for water abstraction reform?

How should fruit growers prepare for water abstraction reform?

Upcoming reforms to water abstraction licensing will for the first time cap the amount of water that fruit growers can take for trickle irrigation.