Optimising the use of integrated pest and disease management in cane fruit production systems: 2015-2020
Summary: The cane fruit industry in the UK is worth in excess of £90 million, combined pest and disease damage leads to an average annual yield losses of 5 - 20 % through direct damage to fruit, leading to wastage but also loss of plant vigour and therefore yield. Reducing losses through improved crop protection of common pests and diseases could potentially increase the value of the industry by £4.5 to £13.5 million. With the threat of losing key pesticides under the ongoing review under EC directive 1107/2009 and endocrine disruptor definition, integrated approaches will become increasingly important. However, the occurrence of spotted wing drosophila (SWD) calls the future of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and non pesticidal approaches into question particularly as cane fruit are some of the most susceptible crops to SWD damage. The development of approaches which can enable the continued decrease in reliance on pesticides in spite of SWD, and other yet to be identified new pests or diseases, is critical in order to maintain minimal residues and sustainable management of pests and diseases.
About this project
Aims and Objectives: To advance and optimise on-farm integrated management of key pests and diseases of cane fruit. In years one and two the specific objectives and aligned tasks are:
Objective 1: To investigate the infection process of Phytophthora rubi to inform the use of alternative or supplementary means to the use of chemical plant protection products for reducing the level of root rot in raspberries.
Task 1.1: To elucidate whether more-susceptible varieties cause greater attraction of P. rubi zoospores than more-resistant varieties;
Task 1.2: To determine if selected elicitors and nutrients have a detrimental effect on P. rubi infection;
Task 1.3: To determine if or how selected fungal and bacterial supplements or microbial plant protection products have a detrimental effect on P. rubi infection;
Task 1.4: To determine whether chemical and biological products used in a programme can have a more detrimental effect on P. rubi zoospore attraction or plant infestation than multiple applications of a single product;
Objective 2: To develop and maintain IPM approaches to successfully control two spotted spider mite whilst controlling spotted winged drosophila (SWD) and capsids with insecticides.
Task 2.1: To investigate consequences of SWD control strategies on two spotted spider mite populations on a commercial holding already dealing with the pest;
Task 2.2: To develop compatibility strategies for biocontrol of two spotted spider mite by predatory mites with insecticide sprays for SWD and capsids;
Objective 3: To develop and combine novel and current IPM approaches to successfully control blackberry leaf midge;
Objective 4: To investigate strains of Verticillium spp. and thresholds for infection in cane fruit crops
Objective 5: To disseminate research results to growers and translate research outputs into practical ‘ready to use’ techniques for immediate uptake on farms.
Development of these themes and further priority targets will be selected and objectives set for later years of the project in consultation with the programme management group (PMG)