Enabling the uptake of integrated pest management (IPM) in UK arable rotations (a review of the evidence)
Integrated pest management (IPM) methods are an integral part of the production of cereals, oilseeds and potatoes in the UK. However, there is considerable scope for increased uptake.
IPM uses non-chemical control methods (for example, through choice of resistant varieties and appropriate agronomy) to reduce the need for pesticides (preventative measures). Following this, IPM targets pesticide inputs according to need (for example, through use of decision support tools, such as treatment thresholds or pest forecasts).
In this review, ‘pests’ include weeds, invertebrate pests and diseases. For the major pests of each crop considered – cereals (wheat and barley), oilseeds and potatoes – this review identified the IPM methods growers have at their disposal. Non-chemical approaches to control lodging were also considered.
The review identified and considered 40 IPM control strategies and 80 of the most significant crop pests. In total, 642 situations were identified where IPM control strategies could have a role. 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 with increased scope for further adoption were also identified. As the implementation of some strategies have undesirable consequences in other ways, the ‘trade-offs’ of advantages and disadvantages were also considered and tabulated.
A review of hundreds of sources of information revealed inadequate evidence on the efficacy and/or implementation of many IPM methods. For such methods, scores were assigned by ADAS specialists in pathology, entomology, weed science and crop physiology.
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).
- IPM is a priority within AHDB’s strategy, with a ‘prevent, detect, control’ approach at its core.
- In line with the approach, this review focused on how to enable IPM uptake.
- How IPM actions could be supported under Defra’s Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme is the subject of a Defra-funded project, which sees NFU work with ADAS and SRUC, and is supported by AHDB.
- All projects will deliver evidence to support the uptake of IPM in the UK.