Agronomists will meet to future-proof pest management

AHDB has called agronomists to meet and join the development of an integrated strategy to help the industry tackle the increasing challenge of managing pests, weeds and diseases.

The latest research on crops in an arable rotation will be shared at a two-day technical conference in Leicester, from 3 to 4 December, which will provide a platform for agronomists to hear from scientists, researchers and PhD students to influence the development of a strategy and build relationships with the wider industry. The farming sectors covered will be: cereals, oilseeds and potatoes

An integrated approach to pest management (IPM) is becoming increasingly important because of a growing population, changing regulatory environment and increasing resistance to crop protection measures.

Head of AHDB’s Arable Knowledge Exchange team Tim Isaac said:

“This year’s Agronomists’ Conference will provide an opportunity for agronomists and growers to hear about and discuss the latest developments in IPM. It will also be a great networking opportunity for all those involved in the crop sector”.

Pressure to find alternatives methods to protect crops, has increased following the withdrawal of key actives. The morning sessions of both days of the conference will focus on crop protection.

Cereals and oilseeds growers will hear from experts on fungicide performance, slug control and managing Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus (BYDV). Potato growers will learn about the latest research on blight, as well as lessons from the continent: Leendert Molendijk from Wageningen University and Graeme Byers from Tayto Group will discuss PCN management in the Netherlands and potential lessons for British growers.

The afternoon sessions will focus on crop nutrients and resource use. Talks will explore soil health and testing for micro-nutrients for cereals and oilseeds, as well recommendations on cost effective phosphate use. Potato growers will learn about organic amendments and soil health. Desiccation, nitrogen and bio-stimulants will also be explored.

Workshops on both days will cover IPM strategies across cereals, oilseeds, potatoes, sugar beet, field vegetables, peas and beans. The sessions will explore using crop varieties as a foundation of IPM, use of bio-pesticides, irrigation and the latest research on potato storage options following the loss of CIPC.

The Agronomists’ Conference takes place from 3 to 4 December. For a full programme and how to register, please visit the event page on the AHDB website.

For more information, please contact Heather.McLean@ahdb.org.uk or telephone 02476 935729.