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Biomass Production of Biofumigant Cover Crops - 'Caliente' Mustard and Oilseed Radish

By: Ryan A. Pekarek, Greg Hoyt, David Monks, Katie Jennings

A new group of cover crops for winter and summer use include mustards, oilseed radishes and turnips. When young, these plants resemble turnip greens, are very succulent and have a low C:N ratio, resulting in rapid decomposition when incorporated into the soil. However, if allowed to mature, bolt and flower, they produce a large amount of biomass in a short period of time and become woody, resulting in slower decomposition than when killed at an immature stage.