Some would argue that growers have been using integrated pest management (IPM) in crop production for centuries, but with less chemical solutions readily available, increasing issues with resistance and mounting political and consumer pressure, there has never been a greater need for farmers to reduce their reliance on chemistry.
In this episode of Crop It Like It’s Hot, IPM – using biology in the fight against crop pests – Alice looks at how swapping some of that chemistry for biology could help to reduce pests numbers. This includes plant-based solutions with findings from the ASSIST project which looks at encouraging beneficial insects into crops, and crop mixtures – the practice of growing two crops side-by-side to deter pests and aid establishment. Alice also hears how developments in biological control products used by our colleagues in the horticulture sector are likely to have a place in arable production moving forward, as well as the risks associated with relying on Mother Nature and dropping insecticides completely.
Dr Ben Woodcock, entomologist at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
Dr Paul Neve, head of IPM at AHDB
Katie Bliss, agriecologist for Agricology and Organic Research Centre
Dr Roma Gwynn, specialist in bioprotection technologies in crop production
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