Testing Combined Multiple Sustainable Production Methods in Asparagus for Symbiosis between Irrigation, Biofumigation, Advanced Cultivars, and Soil Amendments

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2012: $7,500.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2013
Region: North Central
State: Michigan
Project Coordinator:

Annual Reports


  • Vegetables: asparagus


  • Crop Production: biological inoculants, continuous cropping, cover crops, irrigation, no-till, organic fertilizers
  • Education and Training: on-farm/ranch research
  • Pest Management: allelopathy, chemical control, integrated pest management
  • Production Systems: permaculture
  • Soil Management: organic matter


    The asparagus stand of both experimental and control treatments is acceptable but large gains from the combined new grower practices has not yet shown substantial benefits. A high weed seed bank remained and caused substantial challenges during both growing seasons. Pre-plant fumigation would have likely controlled this problem to a large extent. May of 2014 will be the first real harvest of this plot and further data could be gleaned at that time however the offical data collection portion of this trial has come to a conclusion.


    Soil fumigation has been recognized as a best grower practice in asparagus production to counteract the negatives of replanting asparagus several times in the same soil. Over the past several years due to environmental dangers of soil fumigation, it has become increasingly regulated so alternative practices have to be investigated. A number of these lower impact practices were combined for this trial to see if synergystic results occur.

    Project objectives:

    The goal of this trial was to see if by including compost at planting, mustard cover cropping, buried trickle irrigation, and use of registered anti-fungal agents with modern asparagus varieties better plant health and ultimately higher yields and revenues would be achieved.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.