Improving vine weevil control in HNS
Benefits to Industry:
- Growers of HNS will benefit from being provided with improved best-practice IPM programmes, together with key information on vine weevil biology and monitoring to support practical implementation.
- Some of the information and proposed IPM methods to be developed for HNS in this project could also be relevant to control of other soil-dwelling pests of HNS and will also be of benefit to growers of other vine-weevil susceptible horticultural crops such as soft fruit and protected ornamentals.
- More reliable IPM programmes using novel strategies to be developed in the proposed project will give growers improved confidence that they can control the pest in order to meet retail demands for high quality ornamentals and to meet the demands of the EC Sustainable Use Directive (SUD).
- The value of the UK HNS industry is estimated at £796 million per year (Defra National Statistics ‘Agriculture in the UK 2014’). Crop damage and crop rejections due to the presence of vine weevil larvae can cause up to 100% losses if control measures give inadequate control. Most of the growers of HNS interviewed in CP 111 reported that vine weevil caused significant crop losses, although only one grower estimated the losses, at 3-5%. Even at a conservative estimate of 3% losses due to vine weevil leading to crop damage or crop rejections, if improved control of vine weevil were achieved, this could be worth an extra £24 million per year to the industry.
- The proposed knowledge transfer methods will give growers and consultants easy access to new project results and enable rapid adoption of new IPM methods. The methods of communication used will reflect grower opinions from CP 111 and in more recent discussions during the preparation of this bid on how they prefer to receive new knowledge and information.
Aims and objectives
Aim: The overall aims are to improve vine weevil control within IPM programmes in hardy nursery stock production and to disseminate best practice to growers and other members of the industry.
- Improve understanding of the impact of environmental conditions on vine weevil biology and behaviour in order to optimise application of plant protection products
- Develop practical methods for monitoring adults in order to detect early infestations and inform control methods
- Improve best-practice IPM approaches including the use of entomopathogenic nematodes, fungi and IPM-compatible insecticides
- Develop novel approaches to control including the use of attractants, traps, botanical and microbial biopesticides
- Disseminate new knowledge and updated best-practice control methods to growers and other industry members