Don Pendergrast explains our prevent, detect and control approach to IPM

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a coordinated strategy to prevent, detect and control crop pests, weeds, and diseases to optimise yield and reduce environmental impacts. IPM is site-specific and will look different in each situation. Still, we can deploy a step by step IPM strategy to prevent, detect and control each threat.


Good management of any pest, weed or disease begins with prevention, starting before the crop is sown or the season begins. The first step in prevention is assessing the risk based on a knowledge of its likely occurrence. With this risk assessment, we can use improved hygiene and biosecurity measures, as well as using cultural and genetic approaches to reduce the risk/incidence of a pest, weed or disease outbreak.


Once the cropping season is underway, monitoring is critical, and alongside crop walking the use of smart tools for sensing and predicting pest presence and abundance can improve responsiveness to an emerging threat. With this knowledge, an informed decision can be made about the need to control a pest, weed or disease occurrence.


When control is necessary, an integrated toolbox of control options both chemical and non-chemical can be deployed to manage a pest, weed or disease epidemic.

Why should I care about IPM?

The need to protect crops and manage the threat from pests, weeds and diseases is an ongoing challenge for farmers and growers. Building resilience against weeds, pests and diseases is critical to successful crop production, as is the challenge of managing resistance to pesticides and biopesticides as our toolbox for control changes.

Using an IPM strategy gives us the best opportunity to maximise crop resilience, reduce resistance risk and maximise the efficacy of pesticides and biopesticides through more targeted use, when combined with other cultural, genetic, and biological approaches.

How are we developing our approach to IPM?

IPM principles have been an integral part of AHDB levy provision across Cereals & Oilseeds, Potato and Horticulture for many years. But now we want to make a step-change in delivering this provision to levy payers and the wider industry.

We recognise that the crop protection landscape is more complex than ever. We need to deliver information to you in a way that brings together the knowledge base on the elements of a good IPM strategy, providing that knowledge in one location, so that you can quickly find up-to-date information on topical issues that relate to crop health and IPM.

This webpage will continue to develop after its launch as we continue to create and bring together content, providing new information on pest management strategies and hosting state of the art monitoring tools.

How we are bringing our IPM approach to life

Cereals Strategic Farms focus on IPM

Cereals Strategic Farms focus on IPM

Harvest 2021 trials at AHDB Strategic Cereal Farms will focus on the prevention, detection and control of pests, weeds and diseases

An IPM approach for Potato Cyst Nematode

An IPM approach for Potato Cyst Nematode

Potato cyst nematode is the most important potato pest in the UK and has the potential to cause substantial yield losses

IPM in horticulture

IPM in horticulture

Case study with Anchor Nurseries on supporting cucumber growing

Don Pendergrast

Head of Crop Health and IPM