Biofumigation is a natural approach using plants containing specific biologically active compounds for the control of soil-borne pests and diseases in agricultural crops.
It provides a promising sustainable alternative to the use of noxious chemicals and at the same time will deliver soil and environmental benefits to the farm.
Aware of the benefits of biofumigants, Senova and our sister company Cygnet Potato Breeders are engaged in trial evaluation of pre-selected varieties for this purpose.
How Biofumigation works
The priciple is based on the use of plants with high levels of glucosinolates, naturally occuring plant sulphur compounds providing the plants protection. When the plants are incoporated into the soil these glucosinolates are broken down by the plant enzyme Myrosinase, producing active phytochemicals, Isothiocyanates (ITCs). The most effective plant species have been found to be brassicas, including oil radish and white mustard.
Benefits of Terraprotect seeds for biofumigation
As a results of research and better understanding it has been possible to select specific varieties of the brassica crops, whose key function is to efficiently produce large quantities of isothiocyanates to combat specific soil-borne pests and pathogens and improve the following crop. These varieties will be released under the brand TerraProtect® Seeds.
Bento is the first release under the TerraProtect® Seeds brand. It acts both as a green manure and biofumigant.
Bento is specifically targeted at reducing the capability of specific
nematodes which transmit Tobacco Rattle Virus (TRV) to the
following potato crop by removal of the virus when the nematodes
feed on Bento roots, thereby reducing the incidence of Spraing in
the crop. Spraing, caused by TRV, can result in yellowish mottle on
leaves or brown arcs and spots in tuber flesh and renders tubers
unmarketable for ware.
Trials have shown that Bento:
> Reduces Spraing (TRV transmission) in subsequent crops by targeting specific nematode populations
when they feed on Bento roots.
> Can uplift yields in subsequent potato crops by up to 10%.
> Can improve skin finish on subsequent potato crops.
> Increaes organic matter in soil.
> Enhances the nitrogen balance of the soil.
For more information on biofumigation visit www.phpetersen.com.