Brassica crops are an important crop on diversified vegetable farms in Vermont and the Northeast. Brassicas are becoming more popular as a cover crop due to their unique benefits to soil health. They can provide ground cover and cover crop biomass quickly in the fall, and brassicas with long taproots further break up compaction in the soil. Brassicas on vegetable farms include rutabaga, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, collards, and mustard greens. Despite the benefits, not all vegetables producers are quick to add brassicas or brassica cover crops to their rotation due to pest and disease management concerns. Increased use of high tunnels has created a “green bridge” for disease and pests in the winter months. To identify the prevalence of brassicas on Vermont vegetable farms, cover cropping practices, and pest and disease concerns of producers, UVM Extension conducted a survey in the winter of 2019. Responses were collected in-person at the Vermont Vegetable and Berry Growers Association (VVBGA) meeting, the NOFA-VT Winter Conference, a UVM Extension nutrient workshop, and online. Fifty-three producers responded. This article summarizes the results of this survey.
Vermont, University of Vermont, brassica
Darby, Heather, "Brassica Production Practices and Concerns in Vermont and the Northeast" (2020). Northwest Crops & Soils Program. 433.