Mighty Mustard® Cropping/Rotation Plans for Potatoes:
- After potato harvest, seed a Mighty Mustard® fall cover crop. Mustards are day-length sensitive and will winter-kill at sustained temperatures of 26 degrees Fahrenheit or colder. Prior to planting, check herbicide plant-back restrictions.
- At the first sign of flowering, typically 30-35 days after emergence, chop mustard as finely as possible.
- Immediately incorporate into soil.
- Immediately water and roll soil to activate and seal glucosinolates. **The incorporation process is time-sensitive, so it’s crucial to complete all the actions in one day.** PLEASE NOTE that moisture is key, as the glucosinolates are short-lived, so you need to release them into the soil ASAP to improve biofumigation potential. To learn more, read “How Mighty Mustard® biofumigation works.”
- Allow three weeks between time of incorporation and the planting of your next crop.
Planting & Termination Guidelines
Nematode Suppression Protocol
In potato cropping rotations, Mighty Mustard® is proven to:
Suppress Columbia root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne chitwoodi) and other types of nematodes
Suppress soilborne pathogens: Verticillium wilt, Verticillium dahlia, Rhizoctonia and sclerotina
Reduce broadleaf weeds
Scavenge excess nutrients
Increase active Soil Organic Matter
Reduce soil compaction
Prevent soil erosion
Retain soil moisture
Reduce nutrient runoff
Improve overall soil health
How to help Mighty Mustard® succeed in your potato cropping system:
1. Determine your primary objective:
Do you want to reduce nematodes? Suppress weeds? Increase soil organic matter?
2. Choose the Mighty Mustard® that targets your objective:
Picking the right primary glucosinolates makes all the difference.
- For a 3-in-1 punch that reduces weeds, soilborne pathogens and nematodes, plant Trifecta Power Blend™.
- If suppression of nematodes and soilborne pathogens is your primary goal, choose Kodiak, Pacific Gold or Trifecta Power Blend.
- If weed suppression if your objective, choose White Gold.
|Trifecta Power Blend||Kodiak||White Gold||Pacific Gold|
|Suppresses soilborne pathogens|
|Targets broadleaf weeds|
|Tests negative for black rot and blackleg|
|Produces high biomass|
|Builds soil organic matter|
|Reduces nutrient runoff|
|Improves soil aeration|
|Improves water penetration|
|Reduces wind & water erosion|
Time the seeding to ensure maximum biomass production, preferably in early spring or late fall. Mustards are day-length sensitive and will winter-kill at sustained temperatures of 26 degrees Fahrenheit or colder.
4. Chop and incorporate:
Chop, incorporate and irrigate in one day to ensure speedy release of short-lived glucosinolates into soil.
Wait three weeks before planting next crop.
How-to Video: Maximizing mustard cover crop biofumigation potential.
Video courtesy of Michigan State University
Targeted tips for potato production:
- According to Washington State University, fall incorporation is most effective for suppressing nematodes and soilborne diseases.
- Choose the right glucosinolates for the job: White Gold for weed suppression; Kodiak or Pacific Gold to suppress some nematodes and soilborne pathogens.
- Researchers recommend using mustard cover crops to enhance, not replace chemical treatments for nematodes.
- Time the planting to ensure maximum biomass production, preferably in early spring or late fall when daylight hours are shorter. Increased biomass is key to improving biofumigation results through increased availability of glucosinolates and organic matter.
- The biofumigation action of glucosinolates is short-lived, so it’s crucial to chop, incorporate and irrigate the Mighty Mustard® green material in one day. Leaving a trash layer of dried mustard on top of the soil will diminish biofumigation impact and decrease effectiveness of nematode suppression.
New to cover cropping?
Cover Crops Research Library
Helpful research links for cover crop management in potato cropping systems: