Knowledge Bank - Agriculture

The purpose of this page is to signpost plant health information from across sectors that is relevant to food production systems.

About This Page

Plant health information in these pages is aimed at practitioners in large scale food production systems such as grains, oilseeds, pulses, potatoes and other vegetables and fruit grown as a crop. Much information is available online and in print to help identify disease symptoms, the organisms that cause them, and to provide guidance on management and biosecurity. Here we have collected sources we judge to be generally reliable for information on these topics. You can use the Resource Type button to filter, search by keyword, or scroll through all together. The information on these webpages concerns the many common pathogens that are regularly encountered in food production systems as well as invasive non-native species (INNS) or those which have recently become problematic, possibly due to climate change. See Getting Started for good places to begin in identifying both common and INN organisms.

Getting Started

Good resources for identifying disease causing organisms include the AHDB Encyclopedia of Pests and Natural Enemies, AHDB The Encyclopedia of Cereal Diseases, AHDB Crop Walkers Guides and CABI Plantwise Diagnostic Field Guide. Detailed information on most disease causing organisms can also be found on the Plantwise Knowledge Bank Database (Plantwise fact sheets). Websites which provide searchable information to help identify disease causing organisms and provide information on management are listed under Treatment and Management or Field Guides and Self Diagnostics. For help identifying insects contact the a href="" target="_blank">Royal Entomological Society or SASA. Discussion forums can also be useful for advice from other practitioners. Whether the organisms are INNS or common pests and diseases, be sure to practice good biosecurity.

Reporting Notifiable Pests

Most plant health problems you come across will not be notifiable, but if you think you may have encountered a notifiable pest or disease it is important to report it quickly. In Scotland notify the Horticulture and Marketing Unit at SASA. Outwith Scotland, consult the Plant Health Information Portal for other UK reporting contacts.

Resource Details Edit Content

Agrifood and Biosciences Institute provides diagnostic services and has some disease and crop protection information


Organic farming website with plant disease and crop protection information

Agronomist and Arable Farmer news

Recent articles related to crop protection

AHDB advice sheets

Information sheets for pests and diseases of allium, cane fruitcarrots/parsnips and brasscias (pests and diseases)

AHDB Crop Walkers App

App version of the Horticulture Crop Walkers Guides for diagnosis and monitoring

AHDB Crop Walkers Guides

Crop walkers guides showing disease symptoms for many horticultural and agricultural crops are available by searching for 'guide' on the AHDB website

AHDB Encyclopedia of Cereal Diseases

AHDB Encyclopedia of Cereal Diseases

AHDB Encyclopedia of Pests

AHDB Encyclopedia of Pests and Natural Enemies in field crops


Animal and Plant Health Agency - UK Government plant health controls and reporting of pests and diseases; information on certification schemes

APS advice pages

American Phytopathological Society directory of very comprehensive plant disease information pages


Provides crop protection courses and has role in the training and certification for pesticides and fertilisers

BBSRC food security news

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council - current crop protection issues  and research in food security news


British Crop Protection Council - UK Pesticides Guide Online, subscription guides to the pesticides and biocontrol agents registered for use in the UK


British Society for Plant Pathology - news, events, and scientific publications related to plant pathology including new disease reports

CABI Plantwise

CABI Plantwise is an international organisation dedicated to reducing crop loss

CABI Plantwise field guide

Plantwise Diagnostic Field Guide a good guide for learning how to carry out disease diagnosis caused by pests and pathogens

CABI Plantwise knowledge bank

Comprehensive resource with searchable knowledge bank and diagnostic tool

CABI Plantwise pest alerts

Plantwise Knowledge Bank Pest Alerts are emails containing recent literature reports for a specified area

CABI Plantwise Toolkit

Plant disease advisory and diagnostic resources with UK and international capacity

CFE guidance

Championing the Farmed Environment guidance for crop protection while minimising environmental impacts

Crop Production Magazine

Crop Production Magazine provides some information on diseases and crop protection

DAERA Plant and Tree Health

Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs in Northern Ireland Government guidance for pests and diseases, pesticides, plant passporting, imports and exports, surveys and compliance

DEFRA factsheets

Detailed information pages on notifiable and non-notifiable pests and diseases

DEFRA reporting

UK-wide contact information for reporting notifiable diseases to authorities

DEFRA smarter rules for safer food

Government guidance on SRSF - a package of EU regulations to protect against plant and animal pests and pathogens

EPPO Don't Risk It kits

Downloadable posters from the EPPO Don't Risk It biosecurity campaign for plant movement with travel


Commercial provider of plant diagnostic services focussing on molecular detection (DNA and proteins)

Farm Advisory Service

FAS is part of the Scottish Rural Development Programme and webpages provide crop health information

Farmers Guardian

Weekly subscription magazine with some crop protection information

Farmers Guide

Magazine with some current disease and crop protection information

Farmers Weekly

Weekly magazine and website with 'Know How' section with crop protection information

Farming Forum

A discussion group with some crop disease and crop protection threads

FERA diagnostics

Fera provides diagnostic services for plant diseases including viruses

HSE Chemicals Regulation Division

The Health and Safety Executive Chemicals Regulation Division is responsible for regulation of chemicals such as biocides and pesticides in the UK.

HSE codes of practice

Government codes of practice for using plant protection products

HSE pesticides

Comprehensive information on the use and regulation of pesticides including the register of authorised pesticides from within the UK Health and Safety Executive Chemical Regulations Division

ISPI advice page

International Society for Pest Information - Pest Information Wiki listing many plant pests and pathogens

James Hutton Institute

Information about Integrated Pest Management (IPM) research carried out at JHI

James Hutton Institute diagnostics

Molecular (DNA and proteins) diagnostics for soft fruit, potato, barley and soil


National Farmers Union (England and Wales) - reports on current Crop protection information


National Farmers Union of Scotland - crop protection and policy information for members


NIAB is a crop science organisation which carries out research into plant pathology and entomology

NIAB diagnostics

Clinic with disease diagnostic services for agriculture and horticulture

Pest Risk Register

A searchable or downloadable database which records risks from plant pests and pathogens, and can be searched by host as well as pest


Processors and Growers Research Organisation - monitoring and information on diseases and weeds affecting beans and peas

Plant Health Centre newsletter

The Plant Health Centre produces regular downloadable newsletters

Plant Health Solutions

Commercial provider of plant health research and diagnostic services for crops and horticulture

Plant passporting - DAERA

Government guidance on issuing plant passports in Northern Ireland

Plant passporting - DEFRA

Government guidance on issuing plant passports in England and Wales

Plant passporting - EU

New EU plant health rules with information on plant passporting

Plant passporting - SASA

Government guidance on issuing plant passports in Scotland 


An app for identification and treatment of plant diseases

Rothamsted Research

Non-profit research centre with crop protection section, that produces the free CROPROTECT app.


A division of the Scottish Government providing scientific services and advice in support of agriculture and the wider environment, including plant pests and diseases, crop protection, and diagnostic services

SASA diagnostics

SASA provides diagnostic services in Scotland including of viruses and insect pests

Scottish Government pesticides guidance

Government guidance on the use of plant protection products in Scotland

Scottish Government pesticides restrictions

Statutory management requirements providing guidance on the use of plant protection products

Scottish Government Plant Health

Overview of Scottish Government plant health policy, strategy and guidance

Scottish Government Plant Health Strategy

The Scottish Plant Health Strategy

SEARS biosecurity guidance

Scotland’s Environmental and Rural Services comprehensive biosecurity guidance

SRUC Crop Clinic

Excellent website with disease and crop protection information, advice, and some testing services

Stockbridge Technology Centre

Commercial diagnostic services for crop plants

The National Libraries for Agri-Food (NLAF)

Formerly known as Food and Farming Futures.  News and information for farming and food production. Useful 'browse' feature for searching pest and disease control items. 

The Scottish Farmer

Magazine with some information about plant diseases and crop protection

The Voluntary Initiative - IPM plan

Integrated Pest Management plan for all farm or nursery enterprises using professional pesticides

UK Government biosecurity strategy

Policy paper (2014) with overview of the measures that UK administrations are implementing to improve plant biosecurity

UK Government topical issues

UK Government updated news on issues relating to plant health

UK Plant Health Portal

The UK Government (DEFRA) Plant Health Portal is an online hub for plant health information, data and resources. It links to the Pest Risk Register which records and rates risks from plant pests and pathogens