August 5, 2008

Seed Firm Launches Green Manure

By Anonymous

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, nematodes, 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 Pounds 65/ha.

Copyright Haymarket Business Publications Ltd. Jul 17, 2008

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