‘Biofumigation’ describes the suppression of soilborne pests, pathogens and weeds by toxic gases emitted from organic material. In the UK, biofumigation typically involves growing brassica green manure crops. The most common species are Indian mustard (Brassica juncea), rocket (Eruca sativa) and oil radish (Raphanus sativus). The usual growing period is 8–14 weeks within a mid-July to early November window.
Of all pests and diseases of potatoes in Great Britain, infestation by potato cyst nematodes (PCN), or eelworms, is the most damaging. Yield losses depend on pest populations, soil type and potato variety, with a range of 1–35% in trials, with infestations at 10–20 eggs per gram of soil.
Sampling and lab testing for PCN are vital, as, at low levels of infestation, no symptoms are seen in the field. This document provides a step-by-step guide to the sampling and testing process. If you have any further questions please contact your agronomist/advisor or your AHDB Knowledge Exchange Manager.
The encyclopaedia provides information on the identification, risk factors, life cycle, monitoring, control thresholds, non-chemical control and insecticide resistance (where known) of major and minor pests commonly associated with cropping systems.