• Plant Health Centre

     

    To mark UK Plant Health Week (part of the UN’s International Year of Plant Health), we launched a set of 5 Key Principles, which outline important steps to protect Scotland’s plant resources.  We put together an information booklet that details these principles and our Directorate filmed a conversation to introduce the principles and furnish them with examples.  During the UK Plant Health Week we also brought these principles to life through a series of blogs or short YouTube videos, each highlighting the importance of plant health to some of Scotland’s iconic plant-based assets.

Sectors

With plentiful rain and long summer day lengths, Scotland produces some of the highest yielding and best quality crops in the world. But conditions that promote good crop growth are often good for pests and pathogens too and in Scotland 15-20% of our crops are lost to pests and diseases annually.
Scotland has a remarkable assemblage of species and habitats with Atlantic, montane, boreal, arctic-alpine, and oceanic habitats in close proximity. However, pests and pathogens represent an increasing threat to these natural assets, and a particular challenge is the sheer complexity of the diversity of the natural environment in terms of the number of species that may be impacted.
The sector represents a major component of Scotland’s rural economy – providing significant employment and raw materials for wood processing industries. Sustainable forest management seeks to deliver these economic benefits alongside important ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration and flood mitigation, provision of wildlife habitat and opportunities for recreation and a range of leisure activities. Pests and diseases threaten the continued long-term delivery of these benefits.
Scotland is renowned for the quality of its private and public horticultural collections, and its rich cultural history of plant collecting, allotments and gardening. Horticultural plantings are of significant economic value, as well as providing amenity, health and well-being, cultural and conservation resources. However, pest and pathogens represent a major threat to this highly diverse set of plantings.

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Pesticide Withdrawal Presentation given by Prof. Fiona Burnett to Ministerial Workshop

The Plant Health Centre's Sector Lead for Agriculture, Prof. Fiona Burnett, delivered a presentation and led discussions on the potential impacts of pesticide withdrawals for Scotland's plant-based industries (and natural environment) at a ministerial workshop. [presentation slides attached to this article]

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New IPM Planning Tool

A new IPM Planning Tool for Scottish growers

Integrated pest management (IPM) is a holistic approach to managing harmful organisms which maximizes profitability and minimises negative impacts on the environment. IPM aims to reduce reliance on pesticides and promoting IPM is identified as a key action in support of a National Action Plan. To promote IPM practices and improve on-farm uptake, it is essential to understand current uptake levels and better understand what motivates farmers to further adopt IPM. A new integrated pest management planning tool for Scottish growers has been launched, replacing a previous IPM plan. The new plan uses stakeholder derived metrics to value how important different interventions, such as rotations or varieties, are in achieving sustainable reductions in invertebrate pest, weed and disease risk.

 

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Our Highlighted Event

3 Jun 2021, 9am - 11am

Online: Registration for this free event is via Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/plant-health-centre-online-event-tickets-150692618679

Over the course of two hours, speakers from the Plant Health Centre will update you on our recent, current and potential projects - including recently completed research that assessed large-scale biosecurity risks to Scotland from landscaping and infra-structure plantings, non-specialist and online