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André Snyder, Matthew J. Morra, Jodi Johnson-Maynard and Donald C. Thill

Brassicaceae seed meals (BSMs) average 6% nitrogen (N) by weight and contain glucosinolates (GLSs) that produce biologically active compounds. A two-season field study was initiated to determine how Brassica juncea L., Brassica napus L., and Sinapis alba L. seed meals, each with different glucosinolate profiles, alter carrot (Daucus carota L. subsp. sativus) growth, microbial biomass N (MBN), and soil N mineralization. BSM applications of 1 and 2 t·ha−1 36 days before planting did not influence carrot emergence, whereas carrot emergence decreased up to 40% in S. alba treatments seeded 15 days after BSM application. Crop quality was unaffected by BSM treatments and total fresh market yields were equal to or higher than the unamended controls in both years. At 4 and 8 days after seed meal application, MBN in the high-GLS B. juncea and S. alba treatments was 48% to 67% lower than in the low-GLS B. napus treatment. Seasonal apparent net N mineralized expressed as a percentage of the total N applied in the seed meals was unaffected by glucosinolate concentration and ranged from 30% to 81% across both years. BSMs can be used to increase soil inorganic N and carrot yields, but crop phytotoxicity is possible depending on the meal and its respective glucosinolate content. GLS degradation products inhibit microbial N uptake in the short term, but longer-term N availability is not compromised.