Can mustard oil be used as a soil fumigant?

A.T.MissouriAnswer: A search of the Internet reveals a good deal of ongoing research on this subject in the U.S., Bangladesh, and Australia. Oil of yellow mustard is being proposed as a replacement for the soil fumigant methyl bromide. A 1997 patent application for one broad-spectrum formulation lists mustard oil, natural capsaicin sources, and lemon extracts as ingredients (see Resources). It does not appear that this method is in wide use yet.In a joint project involving American researchers but carried out in Bangladesh, mustard oil cake was used in suppression of soil-borne diseases in vegetable crops. (Cake is a by-product of the edible mustard oil industry, as the oil is widely used for cooking in South Asia.) The Resources section lists reports on research involving tomatoes, cucumbers, and okra.Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, the University of Idaho Cooperative Extension is conducting a comprehensive investigation of mustard oils as biofuel and as an organic pesticide to displace chemicals such as methyl bromide. The project Web site lists their goals for The Mustard Project, which began in March 2002, as:? To produce at least 6 billion gallons of mustard oil biodiesel? At a cost of about $1.00/gal. (using 10 cent per lb. mustard oil) and ? To displace synthetic pesticide chemicals with safer organic compoundsField trials of oil from the improved varieties began in 2003 on potatoes, strawberries, foliage, and nursery trees. The pesticide registration process was begun in 2002. Varieties of yellow mustard were selected for high glucosinolate content, high yield, good agronomic character (including drought tolerance), and character consistent with biodiesel use. For more information, see Also see John H. Bowers and James C. Locke. 2004. Effects of formulated plant extracts and oils on population density of Phytophthora nicotianae. Soil Plant Disease. January. p. 11?16. Materials tested by Bowers and Locke were active against a wide range of greenhouse fungi, depending on how treatments were formulated.The Pesticide Action Network (PAN) has a useful on-line pesticide database. This provides statistics on California use of oil of mustard and shows that the first field trials were beginning in 2003 as a soil pre-plant treatment and in nursery (landscape) production. Additional research on mustard oil as a nematicide is being carried out at Auburn University in Alabama. Reports from the Auburn Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology are listed under Resources.For additional information on mustard oil as a methyl bromide replacement, see, Louis S., and John H. Oltman. 1998. International Application under the Patent Cooperation Agreement. Images, Description. 9 p., Anwar, S.A. Khan, A. Rahman, Mahbubur Rahman, A.N.M. Rezaul Karim, A. Baltazar, S. Miller, and S.K. De Datta. 2002. Integrated Management of Soil-borne Diseases and Weeds in Okra. 2 p.McGuire, Andy. 2003. Mustard. Washington State University Cooperative Extension. 3 p. Pesticides Database. 2003. California Pesticide Use?Oil of Mustard. 4, M.A., Iqbal Faruk, M.A. Kader, H.S. Jasmine, A.N.M. R. Karim, L. Black, and S. Miller. 2002. Management of Soil-borne Pathogens in Tomato and Cucumber. 3 2000. Abstract: Nematicidal and Herbicidal Properties of Furfural-based Biofumigants. Auburn University, Auburn, AL. 1 p. 2000. Abstract: Comparative Study on the Nematicidal Activities of Garlic and Mustard Oils. Auburn University, Auburn, AL. 1