Review of non-chemical preventative measures against weeds, pests and diseases for non-broadacre crops
Integrated pest management (IPM) methods are already an integral part of growing crops in the UK, but there is considerable scope for increased uptake. IPM includes combining non-chemical control methods (for example, through choice of resistant varieties and appropriate agronomy) to reduce the need for pesticides, and then targeting pesticide inputs according to need (including the use of decision support such as treatment thresholds or pest forecasts). This review identified the different IPM control methods growers have at their disposal for the major pests of a number of non broad acre crops. ‘Pests’ here includes weeds, invertebrate pests and diseases.
A total of 61 IPM control strategies and 150 of the most significant crop pests affecting field vegetables (carrot, onion, leafy and root brassicas, endive and lettuce), non ‘broad acre’ arable crops (rye triticale, fodder crops, linseed, peas and beans) Top fruit (apples and pears) and soft fruit (strawberry, raspberry and grape vine) were considered in this review. These were scored (on a 1 to 5 scale) for effectiveness of control, the economic importance of the pest, and aspects related to practicality of implementation. IPM methods where there is scope for increased adoption were identified.
Despite reviewing hundreds of sources of information, there were still many IPM control methods for which there is inadequate evidence on efficacy or implementation. Scores were therefore assigned by ADAS and SRUC specialists in pathology, entomology, and weed science. The scores were used to identify priorities for research (where the current strength of evidence was poor) or knowledge exchange (where there is already sufficient evidence that implementing the control methods would be effective).
About this project
To provide better information on the effectiveness of non-chemical measures in major UK crops (not covered by the previous review) to reduce pests and ranking them so they can be prioritised for knowledge exchange and research to fill knowledge gaps.
- Establish the baseline evidence for non-chemical interventions in non-broadacre crops against the most economically significant pests (and where applicable, lodging) for each crop.
- Rank each control measure based on its effectiveness, strength of evidence, cost, economic importance, ease of implementation, and speed of impact following adoption. Both current and potential use of each measure will also be scored to determine where increased uptake could occur.
- Summarise recommendations for each crop in terms of the most effective measures and identify where both KT and research should be prioritised to support uptake.