Henry Creissen

Scotland’s Rural College

Projects

Project Lead: Elliot Meador
Pesticide use remains an important tool in managing pest, weed and disease risks to crops and maintaining profitable production. There are several drivers, including pesticide withdrawals and the biodiversity and climate crises, for reducing reliance on pesticides and promoting the uptake of more sustainable practices through Integrated Pest Management (IPM). This project looks to understand where growers and agronomists currently gather information to form their impression of pest and disease risk and inform their decision making on the need for interventions, pesticide or otherwise. It will interrogate whether perceived risk and pesticide application made match the actual risk to crops.

Impact: Identify accurate, efficient and trusted sources and test whether these sources are influential in appropriate usage of control options across key arable regions and crop types, plus intervention tools or methods that might be needed to manipulate or change how information flows; bespoke to the needs of the Scottish stakeholder network.
Early scoping of plant health priorities with key Scottish stakeholders and discussions at the PHC launch event indicate a complex landscape of plant health information sources, confusion amongst stakeholders and a perception of information overload. To inform future KE methods and priorities, a network analysis is required to identify the sources of information and the strength of their effect on Scottish stakeholder communities.

Impact: Improved understanding of concepts and options amongst the Scottish stakeholder community; a basis for gap analysis by the PHC.

Publications

Agriculture | Policy Document

A new IPM Planning Tool for Scottish growers

March 2021

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.