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Gap Analysis

The purpose of the Gap analysis was to provide a comprehensive review of priorities for crop protection research for the short and medium term. 

 

Crop protection solutions are of high priority for AHDB Horticulture levy payers. Recent and ongoing legislative changes have and will continue to impact on the availability of products, leaving existing programmes and practices vulnerable. New solutions such as the development of Biopesticides are expected to positively impact commercial production, while changes such as the development of resistance as well as the threat of new pests/diseases results are likely to lead to the breakdown of crop protection strategies. Future AHDB-funded crop protection research will be structured to address priority gaps anticipated to arise as a result of all the above changes. 

 

The aims of the work were to:

  • Build on the outcomes of previous gap analysis work where available (eg the 2010 Defra-funded: ‘Impact of changing pesticide availability on horticulture’ report)
  • Survey and document the range of crop protection strategies in active use within the major crop sectors. These included cultural control methods as well as the use of conventional and biological products and covered all existing targets (pests, diseases and weeds), as well as targets considered a potential future risk
  • Create a ranked list of gaps for each crop/target combination where weaknesses were identified.

 

Each Table was compiled by a lead contractor with expertise in the field for a particular crop or crop grouping and split by weed, pest and diseases. Each table contains details of the frequency and financial impact of a particular pest, disease or weed, the cultural control options available and in use, biological controls, Biopesticide products and conventional plant protection products.  Contractors were asked to add information with regard to specific issues constraining control (such as limited products/actives available for control or harvest intervals for short growing seasons) and also to add information regarding priority issues (for example, increased resistance or loss of actives with different modes of action). The Gap analysis documented potential issues with product renewal, including when the renewal time frame was, candidates for substitution and also if a product was likely to be classed as an Endocrine Disruptor. The compatibility of conventional products with macrobiologicals was also included, where relevant. The analysis gives information why a product may not be used in a commercial programme, for example, lack of efficacy.

 

An article entitled 'Gaps and priorities in crop protection' was recently published in the September edition of the AHDB Grower. Click on the image below to read the full article. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sections of the gap analysis contain the following information:

If you would like a copy of each individual crop analysis please contact hort.info@ahdb.org.uk

Section 1

 

Crop

This range was defined by AHDB and covers all 6 sectors with a total of 45 crops or crop groups

Target Problem

This was a top level description

Frequency of problem

The problem was described as infrequent/frequent

Financial impact to UK production

The purpose of this was to help with ranking of the priorities, based on the likely impact of either losing the control measure or loss of control of the target problem

Section 2

 

Cultural control

This area gives details of non-chemical control methods

Section 3

 

Biopesticides products

This details lead products to strain level where appropriate and those products in use in commercial systems

Reason for not using approved product

A number of reasons including financial, harvest interval, etc.

Mode of Action

Although this may not be known; if it was, this information was included, eg competition and/or elicitor

Renewal date

This was aimed at determining timing of risk to losing programmes/identifying where there may be several products dropping out over a short period

Compatibility with macrobiologicals

Looking at impact to biological control options

Section 4

 

Plant protection products – Active substance

This area focuses on actives as this drives the approval process.  Products included in commercial programmes are included

Lead product

This area would help discussion between sectors and Grower Associations

Mode of action

FRAC/IRAC/HRAC codes are included here

Approval status risk

Endocrine Disruptors and candidates for substitution are included here when information becomes available about specific actives

Section 5

 

Notes about specific constraining control

This gives a range of information not available elsewhere in the analysis

Overall risk to control/priority

This is grouped into low, medium or high priority for the sector, with supporting comments added

The detail is broken down into crop or crop sectors where gaps in control of a particular pest/disease or weed have been noted. After each crop group, there are some specific examples where gaps have been identified.  

 

Weed control

With a decreasing number of herbicides available to the Horticultural Industry, weed control has become critical. Withdrawal of key herbicide products across many horticultural crops has left many gaps in herbicides available to growers (for example, the loss of glufosinate ammonium in many crops, the loss of residual herbicides such as propachlor and the potential loss of other pre-emergence herbicides such as linuron). One of the biggest challenges growers face is overcoming reliance on herbicides as the number of available conventional weed control products continues to decline.

 

In untreated situations, the loss of herbicide control for weeds would increase costs due to hand weeding, difficulties in harvest and could result in full crop losses due to outcompeting crops. Contamination of produce with seeds could affect marketability. Weed control, therefore, has the potential to cause one of the largest losses in yield and quality compared to pest and disease control in certain crops and cropping situations.

 

The gap analysis identified weed control as a high priority area for future research and knowledge exchange in the majority of crops, including field vegetables, fruit and ornamentals. In total, weed control was determined as a high priority in the gap analysis in 38 crop or crop groups.

 

Click on each sector to view a table of the summarised priorities for Weed control:

 

 

 

 

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please note: Information for both Bulbs and Outdoor Flowers and Protected Ornamentals can be viewed by clicking on the PO sector icon. 

 

Pest Control 

A number of issues impact the ability for growers to control a range of pests, including the lack of control options for specific pests, resistance build-up against a number of different actives, lack of confidence in Biopesticide products, the impact that conventional products have on biological control methods, ongoing legislation such as the Endocrine Disruptor (ED) review and Restrictions on Neonicotinoids.  As products go through the re-registration process, there is potential for loss of use or restriction on use (for example, reductions in the number of applications). The potential for invasion by new pest species previously unseen in the UK is also an important area for many growers when importing plants from outside of the UK. 

For many crops, complete control is required to prevent product rejection as the pest or pest damage can lead to unmarketable produce and, therefore, pest control is an important area of crop protection for many growers.

 

Click on each sector to view a table of the summarised priorities for pests:

 

 

 

 

      

        

                                                                                           

 

 

 

 

 

Please note: Information for both Bulbs and Outdoor Flowers and Protected Ornamentals can be viewed by clicking on the PO sector icon. 

 

The table below identifies the number of crop or crop groups where a particular type of pest is a medium or high priority. Taken into consideration when classing a pest as a medium or high priority, include the frequency of the pest, the current available options including cultural and biological control, use of Biopesticides and availability of conventional pesticides including different modes of action. The effect of legislation and potential loss in the future has also been used in deciding the level of priority.

 

Number of medium and high priorities by pest type 

Pest Grouping or type

Examples of a pest within the pest grouping

No of crops where a gap has been identified with a priority rating

 

Medium

High

Aphids

Peach potato aphid
Cabbage aphid

6

37

Beetles

Asparagus beetle
Bruchid beetle
Wireworm

3

13

Capsids

Common green capsid

2

3

Caterpillars/Moths/
Butterflies

Silver Y Moth
Diamond Back Moth
Codling Moth
Plum fruit moth

12

28

Flies

Carrot fly
Narcissus fly

5

13

Leaf Hoppers

Leaf Hoppers

5

1

Leaf Miners

Leaf Miners

1

6

Midges

Pea Midge
Blackcurrant leaf curling midge

5

3

Mites

Bulb mites
Two spotted spider mites

11

14

Nematodes

Free living nematodes
 

6

6

Sawfly

Blackcurrant sawfly

2

2

Slugs and/or snails

Slugs and/or snails

4

9

Spotted Wing Drosophila

Spotted Wing Drosophila

0

5

Thrips

Onion thrips
Western Flower thrips

7

15

Weevils

Pea and bean weevil
Vine weevil

2

11

Whitefly

Glasshouse whitefly
Brassica whitefly

5

8

Other

Other

Leather Jackets – 1
Tuta absoluta – 1

Leather Jackets – 1
Psyllids – 1
Scale insects – 1
Western Rootworm -1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                          

Diseases

There is a large number of different diseases which affect horticultural crops including oomycete fungi which can cause root and stem base rots, damping-off diseases in seedling propagation to cankers and root-rots in fruit trees.  Downy mildew is the common name for infection caused by several economically damaging genera within the Peronosporaceae, with the genera Peronospora, Plasmopara, Hyaloperonospora, Pseudoperonospora and Bremia being particularly important in horticulture. Albugo species cause the development of white rust-like pustules on the undersides of leaves on a range of crops including spinach and lettuce, brassica crops and ornamentals. Phytophthora species affect a number of crops including leeks and fruit crops. Fusarium is primarily soil-borne and many plants have at least one Fusarium-associated disease with symptoms such as crown and root rots occurring. Control of Fusarium can be challenging due to the long-living spores that survive in soil for many years.  As well as those families of disease, there can be a number specific to individual crops as detailed in the tables below.

 

Significant economic losses can occur when control options, including resistant varieties, crop protection products or other cultural control methods break down. Fungicide treatments can often be considered as the first option of control. Pressures on production and land use can mean that control approaches rely on application methods including soil sterilisation, fumigation, drenches, seed treatment or frequent multiple applications of foliar applied products, which have differing levels of success.

 

Recent EU reviews have eliminated over 60% of active substance, and minor crops have been particularly affected with further losses anticipated in the future. This also leads to increased resistance risks when growers do not have the range of products with different modes of actions for effective resistance management. The future for disease control will require IPM best practice with the use of Biopesticides along with conventional pesticides, cultural methods including using rotations, clean plant material, resistant varieties, biocontrols, diagnostics and disease forecasting in a true IPM approach.

 

Click on each sector to view a table of the summarised priorities for disease:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please note: Information for both Bulbs and Outdoor Flowers and Protected Ornamentals can be viewed by clicking on the PO sector icon. 

 

Number of medium and high priorities by disease type

Disease Grouping or type

Examples of a disease within the grouping

No of crops where a gap has been identified with a priority rating

Medium

High

Agrobacterium

HNS – Crown gall 

-

4

Albugo

Brassica – White blister

2

1

Alternaria

Outdoor Herbs – Leaf spot

8

2

Anthracnose

Blueberry – Anthracnose

-

1

Aphanomyces

Beetroot – Black root

1

-

Ascochyta

Pea – Leaf and pod spot

-

2

Bacterial diseases

Cherry – Bacterial canker

2

11

Botrytis

Bulb Onion – Neck/base rot

5

11

Cercospora

Beetroot – Cercospora

1

-

Didymella

Cucumber – Black stem rot

2

2

Downy mildew

Fresh Bean – Downy mildew

3

16

Elsinoe

Blackberry – Cane spot

2

-

Erwinia

Apple – Fireblight

1

4

Fusarium

Cucurbit – Fusarium

2

10

Gloeosporium

Apple – Gloeosporium

1

-

Itersonilia

Parsnip – Itersonilia

-

1

Microdochium

Outdoor Lettuce – Ring spot

1

-

Monilinia

Pear – Brown rot

1

2

Mycosphaerella

Brassica – Ring spot

1

3

Nectria

Pear – Canker

-

2

Passalora

Tomato – Leaf mould

-

1

Phoma

Root Brassica – Stem canker

1

1

Phomopsis

Blueberry – Cane canker

1

2

Phytophthora

Leeks – White tip

2

5

Plasmodiophora brassicae

Brassicas – Club root

4

-

Powdery mildew

Pepper – Powdery mildew

8

8

Pseudomonas

Cucurbit – Angular leaf spot

1

-

Pyrenopeziza

Leafy Brassicas – Light leaf spot

2

-

Pythium

Carrot – Cavity spot

5

12

Ramularia

Rhubarb – Leaf spot

2

1

Rhizoctonia

Radish – Wirestem

4

1

Rust

Sweetcorn – Rust

3

6

Sclerotinia

Fresh Bean – Sclerotinia

4

4

Septocyta

Blackberry – Purple blotch

1

-

Septoria

Outdoor Celery – Late blight

-

1

Stemphylium

Spinach – Leaf spot

2

1

Streptomyces

Asparagus – Stemphylium

1

2

Taphrina

Cherry – Leaf curl

1

-

Ustilago

Sweetcorn – Smut

1

-

Venturia

Scab – Apple

2

-

Verticillium

Field Grown HNS - Wilt

4

6

Virus

Head Brassicas – Turnip Mosaic virus

-

4