Research projects archive

Research projects archive

PE 027 - Peppers: Review of options for control of aphid pests

Start Date: 

Integrated pest management (IPM) is commonly used by UK pepper growers to manage a range of pests. Aphids are potentially serious pests causing direct feeding damage and producing honeydew on which sooty moulds may develop. Effective control of aphid pests is difficult due to the pests ability to rapidly reproduce, widespread resistance in some species to important groups of insecticide, limited range of effective insecticide controls currently available to growers and hyperparasitism (secondary parasites attacking biological controls) disrupting biological control programmes.

Guided by practical IPM practitioners, this project will collate current knowledge on aphid biology and controls, including insecticides, biopesticides and biological controls. The review will draw on experiences, products and techniques used in other crops and in other countries. This will highlight opportunities for improving control of aphids in pepper crops specifically and in doing so provide a model that will inform control of aphid pests in other sectors.

PE 028 - Tuta absoluta: Investigating resistance to key insecticides and seeking alternative IPM compatible products

Start Date: 

This proposal has been prepared at the specific request of the TGA TC and the project leader is acting as a representative of that organisation.
Tuta absoluta arrived in the UK in 2009 and by 2012 was causing serious losses for some tomato growers. HDC projects PC302a-d developed a new IPM strategy based on the predator, Macrolophus pygmaeus, integrated with the IPM compatible insecticides, spinosad (Conserve) and chlorantraniliprole (Coragen). This was so successful that UK growers confess to having become complacent about the pest.
However, there have recently been several reports of control failures due to suspected resistance to spinosad. Furthermore, resistance to chlorantraniliprole has been confirmed in southern Europe. This project will investigate the UK control failures to determine whether they have been due to genuine insecticide resistance or to other factors. The project will draw upon the expertise of the Insecticide Resistance Team at Rothamsted Research who are world leaders in this field.
In addition, the team will search published literature and use existing contacts to list insecticides used to control Tuta absoluta and other leaf mining caterpillars in the Americas, Africa, southern Europe, Middle East and Far East, and identify those which could have potential within the UK tomato IPM programme.

PE 026 - A study to review the scientific literature on the environmental risks of releasing non-native species of bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) for crop pollination

Start Date: 

Commercially reared bumblebees of the species Bombus terrestris are used for pollination of a number of UK crops. These commercial supplies of bumblebees are all produced outside of the UK. The sub-species used for commercial pollination include the British native subspecies B t audax, and two non-native subspecies: B t terrestris and Bt dalmatinus.
A recent change in policy from Natural England has resulted in withdrawal of permission to release the non-native sub-species for crop pollination. This has been driven by new evidence from the scientific literature reporting to show risks to wild bumblebees from diseases transmitted by commercial bumblebees.
However, these findings have been disputed by the UK Tomato Growers Association.
The aim of this proposal is to provide an independent review of the scientific literature relevant to the effects of releasing non-native sub-species of bumblebees as pollinators in the UK. This will provide the industry with a “second opinion” on the environmental risks associated with the release of non-native bumblebees. Any new information identified, gaps in knowledge, or concerns about the quality of scientific evidence could be fed into government policy making, helping to ensure that any decisions made by government regulators on the licencing of non-native bumblebees is done on the basis of the best available evidence.

CP 108 - AHDB Farm Scale Resource Use Efficiency Calculator

Start Date: 

AHDB wishes to build awareness and understanding in their stakeholder communities of the way that farm management decisions on the use of resources (including land) determine environmental impacts

PE 001a - Cucumber : Improving Control of Gummy Stem Blight caused by Mycosphaerella melonis (Didymella bryoniae)

Start Date: 

This project aims to improve control of cucumber gummy stem blight through a clearer understanding of the disease biology, better timing of control interventions and the use of effective fungicides, biopesticides and disinfectants, while minimising risk of pesticide residues in fruit at harvest.