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  • Author or Editor: Gary S. Bañuelos x
  • HortScience x
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New plant-based products can be produced from seed harvested from Brassica species used for phytomanaging selenium (Se) in the west side of central California. Se-enriched seed meals produced from canola (Brassica napus) and mustard (Sinapis alba) plants were tested as potential bioherbicides and green fertilizers in strawberry production under controlled and field conditions for two seasons. Treatments consisted of adding each meal (containing 2.2 mg Se/kg dry mass) to the soil at rates equivalent to 0, 2, and 6 t/acre, respectively, 7 days before planting. In growth chamber studies, the highest rates of either meal lowered berry yields by a high of 30% compared with no application (control). Among the nutrient accumulation, berry Se, calcium (Ca), manganese (Mn), and zinc consistently increased with most Brassica meal treatments and most significantly with the mustard meal. In the field studies, mustard treatments lowered the emergence of summer-germinating and resident winter annual weeds more than canola and control treatments. Strawberry fruit yields increased with all Brassica treatments, except a 42% fruit yield reduction was observed at a 6 t/acre rate of mustard meal. Increases in fruit Se concentrations and increases in Ca, phosphorus, and Mn were often observed for all Brassica treatments. Amending soils with Brassica seed meals may have more practical viability in organic agriculture as a potential bioherbicide and green fertilizer.

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