SLU news

Catch crops affect weeds and soil-borne diseases

Published: 21 June 2011

Catch crops are used between two main crops to reduce nutrient losses. But they may have more features; trap crops can also do good by inhibiting weeds and soil-borne pests.

Paula Persson at SLU has been running a three-year R & D project financed by the Board of Agriculture. Along with Anna-Karin Kolseth and Ulla Didon, she has examined how oil radish, white mustard, rye and ryegrass affect weeds and soil-borne diseases under Swedish conditions.

The project results show that the time of incorporation of the catch crop is important as well as what kind of a catch crop that is chosen. The researchers conclude, however, that more and deeper studies on Swedish catch crop varieties are needed if we want to optimize the use in order to suppress soil-borne pathogens and weeds.