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BCPC News

Minister points to IPM and innovation as post-Brexit priorities for agriculture

14th November 2017

Delegates at this year’s BCPC Congress heard first-hand what the key pillars of post-Brexit policy would be, when the Rt. Honourable George Eustice, Minister for Agriculture, opened proceedings. 

“Defra must do what is right for UK farming,” said Mr Eustice. “With companies reluctant to invest in new products because of the uncertainty about financial returns, there are likely to be fewer products and increasing problems with pesticide resistance. It is vital that we put Integrated Pest Management (IPM) at the heart of our strategy, use pesticides more carefully and look to improve crop husbandry and soil health with better crop rotations.”

“Genetic technology may be contentious, but the UK argues strongly for applying new genetic technologies in crop production. We need to support this and other more innovative approaches to supplement our chemical pesticides. By summer 2018, a White Paper will be introduced on a new Agricultural Bill, with R&D and innovation at the heart of the approach,” advised the Minister.

Among the many leading industry figures speaking at the event, Dr Jon Knight, AHDB pointed out that few farmers had adopted IPM and most relied on conventional pesticides to be profitable, but he supported the move to biologically based IPM alongside chemical pesticides. Resistance to pesticides was difficult to combat since the range of actives had reduced. The rising costs of bringing a new active to market, compounded by the regulatory uncertainties, was a disincentive to do R&D for European markets and Dr Knight highlighted the need for a less stringent interpretation of hazard-based policies and a move to risk-based assessment.

Other speakers also strongly criticised aspects of the EU hazard-based approach to agrochemical regulation; Dr John Doe, Parker Doe partnership, showed clearly how EU classification of carcinogenicity based on hazard identification is outmoded and fails to serve society’s needs. Prof Steve Bradbury, Iowa State University, reviewed the US EPA experience where science-based risk assessment, supported by legislation, had proved acceptable to the wide range of US stakeholders in food production, consumption and the environment.

Prof. Lin Field, Rothamsted Research, highlighted worldwide concerns about bee decline and how easy it was to blame insecticides for this, despite the many interacting factors such as Varroa mites, diseases, weather and bee food availability. She outlined the ways in which misleading research findings – and associated press releases – had been used to blame neonicotinoids when the evidence was not there. Dr Peter Campbell, Syngenta and Mike Coulson, Exponent also evidenced misinterpretations of the data leading to contradictory and damaging scientific, press and regulatory responses.

As Dr Colin Ruscoe, Chairman, BCPC explained, “This year’s Congress takes place at a time of unprecedented pressure by well-funded lobby groups, some seeking a ban of all agrochemicals – despite good scientific evidence and the negative impact of such action on food production and the environment. This is evidenced by the unprecedented campaign against glyphosate, the most important and arguably the most benign of our agrochemicals. We need to support our UK government agencies in steering a difficult course, often in the face of public opinion against agricultural technologies, fuelled by misuse of science by malevolent pressure groups.”

Day Two of the Congress offered that opportunity, with the inclusion of a CRD Workshop providing delegates with the chance to discuss how an effective UK pesticide regulatory scheme post-Brexit, fully integrated with Defra’s future strategy could be structured and benefit UK agriculture. This workshop stimulated many constructive inputs for Dave Bench (CRD) and Gabrielle Edwards (Defra) to take away to help shape future regulation.

“Our industry needs to take the initiative to drive radical change, based on new technology and innovation as part of IPM – including sensing, robotics, targeted application, “smart” formulations and biopesticides,” concluded Dr Ruscoe.

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Integrated Pest Management USDA Agricultural Research Service

Why integrated pest management is sustainable agriculture

For farmers, IPM is good business. They don’t want to pay for pesticide applications if they won’t do any good.

 

John Hart | Nov 21, 2017

After World War II and prior to the advent of integrated pest management that began in the 1970s and increased in the 1980s, farmers may have known what pests they had but they didn’t know the populations numbers, they didn’t know the stage of development and they didn’t understand how weather impacts pest populations.

As David Epstein, senior entomologist for USDA’s Office of Pest Management, puts it, prior to IPM, most farmers would use a spray program where their dealer brought them a list and said spray this pesticide at this time of year throughout the year. “IPM took us away from that,” Epstein said at a sustainability symposium sponsored by the Biological Products Industry Association in Orlando in October.

 In IPM, everything is based on monitoring. IPM is about knowing the pests, knowing the plant and knowing the barriers of control. “It also takes into account that farmers are running a business so there are socio and economic conditions that fit into this problem,” Epstein says.

For farmers, IPM is good business. They don’t want to pay for pesticide applications if they won’t do any good. But if a pest is there that will nibble away the bottom line, it certainly is a must to have choices to control those pests and that includes pesticides.

IPM acknowledges that famers use pesticides. Conventional producers use them and organic farmers use them as well, turning to products that are not synthetic but naturally sourced. “Farms are not natural ecosystems, and pests are going to have to be managed. We need pesticides to do it,” Epstein said.

The USDA entomologist laments that IPM is not lauded far and wide as sustainable agriculture. He says the systems-thinking approach that IPM promotes is certainly sustainable agriculture. IPM is all about the informed, wise use of crop protection products. It takes into account the financial, physical and human aspects of farm operations.

“The major consideration in sustainability is keeping the farmer in business to provide a safe and affordable supply of food,” Epstein said.

Scouting and the use of such tools as sweep nets isn’t really that fun, but it is a practice entomologists emphasize as key for integrated pest management. You need to know what pests you have and control them accordingly.

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Plantwise_Logo

Suspected pesticide poisoning in India highlights importance of PPE

On 5th October, the BBC reported that at least 50 farmers have died in the western state of Maharashtra, India, since July, due to suspected accidental pesticide poisoning (see the full article on the BBC website).

Nineteen of these deaths were reported from Yavatmal district, a major cotton growing area, where farmers use a variety of cotton which is meant to be resistant to bollworms. However, this year, despite use of this variety, crop damage caused by bollworm has been highly significant, leading to an increase in the use of pesticides.

Without the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), such as gloves, overalls, goggles, boots and a mask, pesticides can be extremely harmful, causing symptoms such as vomiting, dizziness, respiratory problems, visual impairment and disorientation.

How can we help?

The Plantwise Knowledge Bank hosts variety of relevant resources that you may find useful, such as a factsheet on reducing exposure the agrochemicals, written by the Ministry of Agriculture in Barbados, which includes the following management information:

  • Spray at cool times of the day (evening or morning) so that wearing protective equipment is bearable in the heat.
  • The concentrated chemical is especially hazardous and additional equipment may be required when handling these chemicals.
  • Wear a specially produced spray suit or at least a long-sleeved shirt and full length pants.
    • Wear long rubber gloves and rubber boots
    • Your pants should go on the outside of the boots
    • Your sleeves should be on the inside of the gloves
    • Wear a hat to keep the chemical out of your hair
    • Wear a mask, preferably with a filter; if not available, use a bandanna (A bandanna may not give good protection and could make you think you are protected when you are not)
    • Wear protective glasses/sunglasses
  • Maintain the spraying equipment and check for leaks, replace the filter in the mask often. Make sure the mask is suitable for agrochemicals use.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We believe it is  important to take an Integrated Pest Management approach to controlling pests, which improves effectiveness and is environmentally sensitive. For advice on how to prevent, monitor and control bollworm on cotton using non-chemical control, please see our cotton bollworm green list which mentions practices such as reducing planting density, using trap crops and using natural enemies.

There is also a pest management decision guide specific to India, which emphasises non-chemical cotton bollworm management practices, and details pesticides that can be used along with their restriction information.

When developing and delivering content for farmers, we take the use of PPE very seriously, which is why we ensure that it is included in plant doctor training and highlighted in our content on the Plantwise Knowledge Bank.

If you would like to raise awareness of the importance of wearing protective clothing when spraying agrochemicals, then please print our Stay Safe poster.

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8th International Symposium

Plant Protection and Plant Health in Europe

Efficacy and risks of biorational products in IPM strategies – acceptable?

13-14 December 2017 – Braunschweig, Germany

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8TH PPPHE SYMPOSIUM ON “EFFICACY AND RISKS OF BIORATIONALS IN ORGANIC AND INTEGRATED PLANT PROTECTION STRATEGIES – ACCEPTABLE?

The German Scientific Society for Plant Protection and Plant Health r.S. (Deutsche Phytomedizinische Gesellschaft e.V. , DPG), the Julius Kühn-Institut (JKI) and the Humboldt-University Berlin (HU) invite you to be part of the upcoming 8th International Symposium on Plant Protection and Plant Health in Europe (PPPHE) on „Efficacy and risks of biorationals in organic and integrated plant protection strategies – acceptable?”.  The symposium will be held December 13 and 14, 2017 at the Julius Kühn-Institut in Braunschweig, Germany.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Plant Protection in Organic Agriculture (PPOA) should be science-based decision- making processes that identify and reduce risks from pests and pest management related strategies. They coordinate the consideration of pest biological factors, environmental conditions, and all available instruments to prevent unacceptable levels of pest damage, while concurrently combining economical means with the least possible risk to people, property, resources, and the environment.

We use the widely known term »biorationals« as an operative expression to speak about certain kinds of components of plant protection strategies, which are assumed to have advantages concerning risk characteristics on the one hand while at the same time provide acceptable efficacy in reducing pest impact. Nevertheless it is not our intention to propose a new legal category!

The products we want to speak about are often materials that are biologically-derived or, if synthetic, structurally similar and functionally identical to a biologically occurring material. Micro-organism, plant extracts, basic substances, semiochemicals, as well as non-pesticidal products like biostimulants, biological yield enhancers, plant health promoters, and soil conditioners are a matter of discussion.

Such »biorationals« alone do not reveal sufficient efficacy against pests, but are useful to be integrated in plant protection strategies. In addition, the risk-evaluation requirements under national and European regulatory frameworks of these diverse »biorationals« are very different from each other or there is even a lack of regulatory infrastructure to ensure that »biorationals« get a targeted risk assessment and approval procedure.

On this background, the symposium wants to work out

  • a critical perspective on the risk and efficacy evaluation of »biorationals«
  • an overview of agricultural and socio- economic experiences with »acceptable« instead of »sufficient« efficacy in pest managment strategies
  • impediments to introduce »biorationals« under the existing Sustainable Use Directive 2009/128
  • a conclusive statement to promote »biorationals« for use in agriculture

For registration and updated information please visit our homepage http://www.ppphe.phytomedizin.org/.

For more details:

Dr. Falko Feldmann Dr. Christian Carstensen
Email: Feldmann@phytomedizin.org Email: Carstensen@phytomedizin.org
Email2: falko.feldmann@julius-kuehn.de

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tuta larva on tomato (2)

A report of the symposium on the ‘Global Spread and Management of the South American Tomato leafminer, Tuta absoluta’ held on 27 September 2016 at the International Congress of Entomology in Orlando, Florida, USA.

CURRENT SCIENCE, VOL. 113, NO. 5, 10 SEPTEMBER 2017

To see the article go to:  http://www.currentscience.ac.in/Volumes/113/05/0844.pdf

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To see video go to:

https://shop.bdspublishing.com/checkout/Store/bds/Detail/WorkGroup/3-190-9781786761965

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  • International Conference on Emerging Trends in Integrated Pest Management for Quality Food Production
  • 25-27 July 2017
  • The Waterfront Hotel, Kuching, Malaysia

To register go  to:

https://www.cvent.com/events/international-conference-on-emerging-trends-in-integrated-pest-and-disease-management-for-quality-fo/registration-3a4013628d8947bdbd69c34bc96f2a35.aspx?fqp=true

 

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