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Pest Encyclopaedia is Essential Tool for Crop Bug Spotters

Pest Encyclopaedia is Essential Tool for Crop Bug Spotters

07 November 2014

UK - The Encyclopaedia of pests and natural enemies in field crops details both the major and minor pests commonly associated with cropping rotations.

The landmark publication is the result of collaboration between AHDB’s crop divisions – cereals and oilseeds (HGCA), horticulture (HDC) and potatoes (Potato Council) – respected crop entomologists and a host of other leading organisations, including PGRO.

Caroline Nicholls, HGCA Research and Knowledge Transfer Manager, said: “The publication owes its origin to a 2012 HGCA survey of growers and agronomists which supported the need to improve knowledge and understanding of pests and beneficial organisms across rotations.

“This thirst for knowledge is likely to have been driven, in part, by the Sustainable Use Directive (SUD) which requires growers to use integrated pest management (IPM) practices to prevent and/or suppress harmful organisms.

“The correct identification of pests underpins most IPM insect control practices – and, if a grower needs to identify a pest in the field or is looking for guidance on pest management, chances are this publication will help.”

The heavily illustrated publication covers hundreds of crop pests (including beetles, bugs, aphids, flies, moths, butterflies and nematodes) known to affect one or more of the following crops – cereals, oilseeds, vegetable brassicas, potatoes, carrots, alliums, peas, field beans, sugar beet and lettuce.

For each pest, the latest information on the importance of the pest to cropping is presented as well as information on identification, risk factors, life cycle, monitoring, control thresholds, non-chemical control and insecticide-resistance status (where known).

Managing pests while encouraging and supporting beneficial insects is seen as a key part of IPM and the publication has an entire section dedicated to natural pest enemies.

The section, which contains descriptions and images of natural enemies, describes ways to farm to help promote a balance between pests and their predators.

Miss Nicholls concluded: “Through this publication, AHDB has painted a picture of the crop-pest landscape in the UK and the picture is diverse.

“Managing this diversity will always be a challenge but the encyclopaedia will provide an essential foundation for any IPM plan.”

The encyclopaedia is the result of a ‘call’ for work issued by AHDB in 2013 which saw ADAS awarded £39,886 to lead its development.

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