M.S Research: Root vegetable pathogens and cover crop susceptibility
- B.S., Biotechnology, Ferris State University
Root vegetable crops play an increasingly important role in Michigan’s crop repertoire. However, a large number and variety of soil-borne pathogens prevent plant stand establishment and overall productivity. In between growing seasons, many farmers utilize cover cropping to improve the quality of the soil by recycling key nutrients and reducing the pressure of weeds. This practice, on the other hand, may be contributing to the increase in the number of soil-borne pathogens. The cover crops used may actually be susceptible to the very pathogens that are also impacting Michigan’s root vegetables. The focus of my project will be discovering the most prevalent soil-borne pathogens associated with reduced stand establishment and root rot in Michigan’s root vegetable crops. In addition, the susceptibility of commonly used cover crops to the identified pathogens will be assessed to provide Michigan growers with information on how to increase stand establishment and productivity.