Updated pest encyclopaedia is an essential resource for crop monitors

Monday, 15 March 2021

The definitive guide to field crop pests and natural enemies has been updated by AHDB, making it easier to detect and control populations across the rotation.

Get your copy of the Encyclopaedia of pests and natural enemies

The publication revamp forms part of the organisation’s efforts to accelerate the adoption of integrated pest management (IPM) across the UK.

Under the mantra of ‘protect, detect, control’, AHDB aims to establish IPM as the ‘new normal’, when it comes to tackling pests, diseases and weeds.

Charlotte Rowley, who manages pest research at AHDB, said: “The origin of this publication stretches back to a 2012 AHDB survey, which saw a request for clear information on the pest and beneficial organisms found in UK field crops.

“Since then, the industry has moved on. However, the hunger for practical information on all things entomological is stronger than ever. It’s why we continuously review our pest management guidance.”

The landmark publication is the result of collaboration between AHDB’s crop sectors – cereals and oilseeds, horticulture and potatoes – respected crop entomologists and a host of other leading organisations, including BBRO and PGRO.

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

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 a 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.

For many of the major pest species, further information is available on supporting web pages.

To access the AHDB Encyclopaedia of pests and natural enemies in field crops and supporting information, including how to order a hard copy, visit: ahdb.org.uk/pests