Sahara Mustard Consortium

... a UC resource for managing Sahara Mustard, Brassica tournefortii

Biological control is the use of an organism to manage or reduce the presence of another organism. Biocontrol has been used for centuries as a method of managing vegetation. When biological control is most successful the biocontrol agent preys upon only the target organism and not others.

Biological control programs take years to implement from searching for candidate organisms, rearing and testing those organisms, importing successful organisms, testing those organisms again obtaining permits for realease and then finally introduction. The entire process can take 10 year or longer.

There is renewed optimism for using biological control to manage Sahara mustard. Although Sahara mustard is related to some crop species (broccoli, radishes, kale, cauliflower, brussels sprouts) there are other weedy plants that are also related to these crops for which preliminary results suggest good biocontrol candidates have been found.

The best news about biocontrol is that when an agent is very successful the weed problem manages itself. In less successful circumstances the agent needs a little help or is found to have little impact on the weed population.

The consortium is currently looking to begin funding a biocontrol program and find an agent that will help us reduce Sahara mustard.

Please talk to Chris McDonald if you would like more information or how to donate to this program.

The Sahara mustard Consortium is brought to you by Chris McDonald, Natural Resource Advisor with the University of California, Cooperative Extension.

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Bagrada bug on Sahara mustard. Although Bagrada bug is a pest of mustards it is NOT a good biocontrol candidate, it also eats many other plants.

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