Forecasting systems for pest control
Objectives of the project
The overall objective is to demonstrate how methods of pest control developed for conventional vegetable production can be adapted for use by organic growers. The project is concentrating on the pests of umbelliferous and cruciferous crops and the overall aim is to produce a user-friendly format for disseminating crop protection information to organic growers.
In the case of carrot fly the project aims to:
- Adapt the existing carrot fly forecast to quantify how the date the crop is drilled influences the subsequent fly pressure.
- Produce a model to quantify how crop damage can be reduced by altering the harvest date.
- Identify times at which crops should be covered to reduce carrot fly damage.
- Quantify the contribution possible from host-plants with various levels of resistance.
- Verify the carrot fly control strategies produced from work done in Objectives 1-4
In the case of brassica pests (major beetle, fly, aphid and caterpillar pests) the project aims to:
- Adapt the existing pest forecasts to quantify how the judicious choice of planting and harvesting dates can be used to reduce crop damage.
- Identify the crop/pest situations where it would be an advantage to apply crop covers.
- Evaluate simple methods of inspecting crops to determine the presence or absence of any given pest species.
- Identify accurately the critical periods during which control measures should be applied.
- Verify the pest control strategies produced in Objectives 6-9.
Summary of results:
Cultural techniques to exclude or avoid pests can be extremely effective and accurate timing is necessary to optimise their effects. This depends on a sound understanding of pest biology used in conjunction with monitoring and forecasting techniques. Forecasting models can be used to indicate the optimum times to plant, protect and harvest a specific crop to minimise pest insect damage. The project indicates optimum methods of pest control available to growers at the moment and shows how it should be possible to remove some of the constraints to organic production imposed by pests. Some pests may still be difficult to control and there are areas where further work will be required in the future.
- Farming to Manage Pests
and Diseases (PDF 206Kb)
- the latest developments for organic brassicas and carrots
Held at Ryton Organic Gardens - November 1st 2001
- Carrot Fly Control Workshop
Held at Ryton Organic Gardens - 23rd January 2002
Other Reports and publications:
- Anon. (1997) HDRA Factsheet no PC17 Carrot
- Collier RH; Finch S (2000). Strategies for controlling carrot fly (Psila
rosae) in organic crops.
Mededelingen Faculteit Landbouwkundige en Toegepaste Biologische Wetenschapen 65, (2a), 227-233.
- Davies, G (2001). Taking control.
Grower, 22 March 2001, pp. 18-20
- Collier, RH (2001). Whats up doc?
Organic Farming. Winter 2001. p 22-23
- HDC factsheets will be published using information gathered in this project.
Regional forecasts of the timing of activity of the cabbage root fly, carrot fly and pollen beetles are available from HRI. They are sent to growers each week by post, fax or e-mail. There is charge to cover the cost of the weather data (supplied by the Met Office) and forecast production.
Further details can be obtained from Rosemary Collier (Tel: 01789 470382; e-mail email@example.com )