Understanding and integrating a novel technique to promote depletion of weed seed banks: How biofumigation affects different types of seed dormancy and weed ecology

Maryse Leblanc

Researcher, agr., Ph.D.

Contact Maryse Leblanc

Description

Weed control methods to reduce the number of viable seeds in the soil are limited in organic production. Biofumigation could be an attractive option for increasing the mortality of dormant seeds. Biofumigation uses plants naturally rich in glucosinolates (especially the cabbage family), which release toxic volatile compounds (thiocyanates and isothiocyanates) as they decompose. The aim of this project was to explore the potential of biofumigation for reducing weed seed banks and its long-term impact on weed communities. Two experiments were set up at the Organic Agriculture Innovation Platform in Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, Québec. The first was a greenhouse study on four generations of weeds and the second was a three-year field trial.

Objective(s)

  • Determine the impact of biofumigation on seed dormancy and the reproductive capacity of successive generations of weeds
  • Determine the long-term impact of biofumigation on weed communities

From 2014 to 2018

Project duration

Market gardening

Activity areas

Pest, weed, and disease control, Organic farming

Services

This technique being tested at IRDA could compensate for the lack of weed control options available to organic growers.

Partners

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada | Organic Science Cluster II

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