Industry representative: Robert James, Thanet Earth
AHDB Horticulture Cost: £1,153,472
Summary: The AMBER project will enable UK growers of PE, PO and HNS crops to adopt new practices that improve the performance of biopesticide products within commercial integrated pest and disease management (IPDM) programmes. It will develop a practical system for improving the performance of currently-available biopesticides that can be applied to other biopesticide products in the future.
The project will be based on case studies using economically important pests and diseases affecting a range of PE, PO and HNS crops. The performance of biopesticides will be benchmarked in growers’ IPDM programmes on commercial nurseries. Research will then be done to develop practices that optimise biopesticide performance (e.g. improved spray applications; relating timing and frequency of application to biopesticide persistence and environmental conditions; compatibility with pesticides and natural enemies). These will be tested on commercial nurseries for their ability to improve biopesticide performance. The findings will then be extrapolated to a wider range of crops, pests and diseases. We will also include targeted work on specific crops that has been requested by some industry sectors.
There will be a strong emphasis on exchanging knowledge and experience with growers, biopesticide companies and others to provide improved best-practice guidelines for optimum use of biopesticides within more robust IPDM.
Aims and Objectives:
- The aim of this work is to have UK growers adopting new practices that have been demonstrated to improve the performance of individual biopesticide products within commercial integrated pest and disease management (IPDM) programmes.
- We will develop a system for improving the performance of biopesticides based on an understanding of different factors that affect their effectiveness. The system will be developed and demonstrated using approved biopesticide products. Once in place, the system can be applied to other biopesticide products that become approved in the future.
- The work will be driven by the practical needs of growers. Most of the research will be conducted on nurseries, backed up with laboratory and controlled-environment experiments where required.
- AMBER will be a systematic work programme rather than a set of unconnected trials. By addressing biopesticide performance in a systematic way, we have a much better chance of developing core principles on which to base best practice guidelines, and for producing improved practices for individual crop-biopesticide-P/D combinations.
- Identify gaps in knowledge that might be causing biopesticides to be used sub-optimally.
- Develop and demonstrate management practices that can improve biopesticide performance.
- Exchange knowledge and share experience with growers, biopesticide companies and other industry members in order to provide improved best-practice guidelines for optimum use of biopesticides within more robust IPDM