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Radishes can be used as biofumigants and break up soil

Radishes can be used as biofumigants and break up soil

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Daikon radish cover crop

Daikon radish cover crop emerges after being seeded into standing corn. Radishes help break up soil compaction and use up extra nutrients to reduce runoff. Credit: Ivan Dozier 

February 22, 2021 – Integrating cover crops into a farming system can be beneficial in more ways than one. The February 22nd Sustainable, Secure Food Blog explores the use of radishes as a cover crop and the advantages that come with it.radishes growing between rows of corn

Blogger Ivan A. Dozier explains, “Thick radish roots are an ideal choice for natural drilling into the soil to reduce compaction. When the radish crops are terminated, the radish and roots leave large, open pores in the soil. This increases soil aeration and water infiltration.”

Besides breaking up soil naturally, radishes can “scavenge” and clean up soil as well. They absorb extra nutrients. Radishes also contain natural chemical combatants, called biofumigants, that can deter pests.

Farmers choose the radish variety to plant as a cover crop depending on the job they want to do – just like choosing the right tool for any job. To learn more about radishes as a cover crop, read the entire blog:

Minnesota Farm Guide Weekly Update

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