Plant imports and exports in a no deal Brexit

New information has been published for UK importers and exporters of plant material to and from the EU in the event of a no deal Brexit. This information includes fact sheets, a number of scenarios and questions answered.

Centres of Expertise meet in Glasgow

All four Centres of Expertise (CREW, EPIC, CxC and PHC), together with SEFARI Gateway, met at the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Glasgow to continue discussions on ways to work more closely together and to ensure a joined up approach to stakeholder engagement and knowledge transfer.

Careers Fair for children in North East Fife

Thanks to the North Fife Rotary Club for inviting the Plant Health Centre to meet Primary 6 and 7 pupils from North East Fife to discuss careers in plant health and the disadvantages of bringing plants home from abroad (as part of the 'Don't Risk It' campaign).

UK Climate Predictions 2018 workshop

Dr Mike Rivington from the James Hutton Institute, through funding from Sefari Gateway, held a workshop with relevant stakeholders across the organisations delivering the Scottish Government research portfolio, including the Centres of Expertise, and wider research community, business, agencies and policy communities to discuss ways to collectively use the UKCP18 climate predictions data most effectively. The aim was to develop a longer-term network of collaboration for knowledge and experience sharing.

The workshop was a knowledge exchange and elicitation opportunity at which stakeholders could learn about the new projections, detail their experience with the UKCP09, and facilitate co-construction of networking and further knowledge sharing on using the UKCP18.

Eelworm threat to key Scots seed potato crops

Read the latest in the Scotsman from Dr John Pickup (SASA) on the threats from Potato Cyst Nematodes (eelworms) following his excellent presentation at the Scottish Society for Crop Research (SSCR) Potato Winter Meeting, March 7th 2019.

Cementing links between the Plant Health Centre and the UK Science Partnership for Animal and Plant Health

Chris Jacobs (secretariat for the UK Science Partnership for Animal and Plant Health) was given a tour of both RBGE and SASA and met leading plant health experts as part of a fact finding and networking visit to Scotland.

Ian Toth gives British Science Association lecture

Ian Toth gives the British Science Association lecture in Dundee 20th February 2019 entitled 'Reducing the burden of global pests and diseases' and introduces the Plant Health Centre and 'Don't Risk It' campaigns.

Growing the Future Report

'Growing the Future' is a report from the UK Plant Sciences Federation (UKPSF), a special advisory committee of the Royal Society of Biology.

Published in January 2019, the report highlights to policymakers and others the excellence of plant science in the UK, and its importance to the biosciences, the economy, and society both at home and around the world.

Plant Health and biosecurity (pages 8-9) is seen as an important priority, with the Plant Health Centre acknowledged as a key mechanism 'to facilitate the mobilisation of plant science expertise to effect coordination of research and response efforts to major disease outbreaks' (page 9).

Impact on Scottish crops if the molluscicide metaldehyde is withdrawn

This report, commissioned by the Plant Health Centre, sets out estimates for the crop loss and value to Scottish crop production should the molluscicide metaldehyde be withdrawn. This would leave ferric phosphate as the only available chemical control option. Short term losses are negligible as the substitution of ferric phosphate carries no additional treatment costs and has equivalent efficacy. Longer term there is some risk should resistance arise to this single site mode of action active, and ferric phosphate (although of lower mammalian toxicity to metaldehyde) has some environmental impacts of its own.

Eight toothed spruce bark beetle found in Kent

Nicola Spence, the UK Chief Plant Health Officer states: "An outbreak of the eight-toothed spruce bark beetle (Ips typographus) in an area of woodland in Kent has been confirmed. It poses no threat to human health but can be a serious pest of the spruce tree species. We are taking swift and robust action to limit the spread of this outbreak as part of our well-established biosecurity protocol used for tree pests and diseases. I encourage anyone who suspects a sighting of the bark beetle to report these to the Forestry Commission on the Tree Alert portal."

Source: Defra in the media 10th December 2018