Mustard/legume cover crop blend

Asked April 28, 2018, 10:48 AM EDT

Hello, I'm looking for information on cover crop blends including a legume and mustard, maybe a third. Primary focus is on surpressing wireworm presence, secondary focus is nitrogen fixation as this will be used in organic system. The plan is to plant the cover crop mid July, then mulch and incorporate by end of Auguest/early September. Would this be feasible? and What would you suggest for legume that provide maximum N? Thank-you

Umatilla County Oregon

1 Response

I am not sure of your rotation or location, so my response may not be as useful as you need. Given what you outline, I am assuming that your primary goal is to go after wire worm. If that is correct, I would only plant mustard as the cover crop. I would not mix with a legume. Glucosinalates are the compounds in mustard that has activity when turned under. You want to have the the maximum amount of glucosinolates to turn under. Planting a mix will only dilute that. Secondarily, a legume planted in July and take out in September will not fix much N. The crop would take up N\ existing soil N , but so will mustard. so I see advantage to a legume. Where biofumagation with mustards is practiced, growing the maximum amount of mustard biomass is the goal. The soil N status for the mustard can be an issue. If it is low after harvest of the previous crop, this may limit the biomass production of the mustard. In non organic systems commercial N is often added to get optimum mustard biomass production. There are options in an organic system, but don't know your budget and what N sources are available to you. I listed a few links below that provide more information.