23 November 2001

Lupins gain organic role

CHOPPED lupins might offer organic growers a novel form of non-pesticide weed control, work at the University of Wales suggests.

The idea comes after field trials of 10 organic break crops on three UK sites. "We found there were significantly fewer weeds in the lupins," said Malcolm Leitch, who speculates that antagonistic root exudates may be involved.

Pot experiments confirmed that chopped lupins incorporated into a peat/perlite mix growing corn spurry, dock and fat hen had a useful suppressive effect. But as yet field scale use is questionable, he acknowledged. &#42