Scottish IPM Assessment Plan

Scottish IPM Assessment Plan for arable crops, field-scale vegetables, forage crops  (including grass)

Completing an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan annually will help ensure that opportunities to improve productivity are not missed and also help meet the market demand to see more sustainable practices and reduced reliance on pesticides.  It may also be necessary for compliance with farm assurance schemes.

There is now a new and refreshed IPM for use by Scottish businesses. Numbers completing the previous  Scottish IPM Plan have risen to nearly 3000 businesses, and the new plan improves on the previous version by allowing the industry’s progress in adopting IPM to be measured. The new plan uses a metric for measuring IPM adoption that was derived with stakeholder input (farmers, researchers, regulators, merchants). The metric developed assigns weightings to the different pest management options and scores farms on a 0-100 scale for IPM adoption.  You can use it annually to baseline your farm and then track improvements. The need to evaluate IPM measures adopted on farm regularly is a key aspect of IPM.  The revised plan, now entitled the Scottish IPM Assessment Plan, allows the increasing uptake of IPM by the sector to be demonstrated to the industry’s customers and to Government and its agencies.

 

Background

IPM is a whole farm approach to pest management that maximises productivity whilst minimising negative impacts on the environment (https://europa.eu/european-union/topics/environment_en).  Individual businesses can take many different but totally appropriate approaches to adopting IPM practices.  The VI IPM Assessment Plan provides scores for the different components of IPM so enabling improvements to be measured.  Creissen et al. (2019) outline a validated scoring system, developed and refined by agricultural and social science specialists and field tested throughout the UK and Ireland. This system has statistical validity and has been subjected to peer review.  We have adopted it for our IPM Assessment Plan and on-line completion of the form enables automatic collation. In answering individual questions and sub-questions, scores are provided for individual farm or grower businesses as well as national scores or scores according to farm size and farming system. It will let individual businesses evaluate their practices and continue to improve and develop IPM planning. It will also let the Scottish Plant Health Centre of Expertise target knowledge exchange strategies to the areas of most impact for farming businesses. 

The plan has been based on “Measuring the unmeasurable? A method to quantify adoption of integrated pest management practices in temperate arable farming systems” by Creissen et al., 2019, Pest Management Science, 75, 3144-3152 with funding from Scottish Government Strategic Research programme,Rural Business Research (England), Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Ireland) and Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (Northern Ireland). (https://doi.org/10.1002/ps.5428). This was led by Henry Creissen and Fiona Burnett of SRUC and Philip Jones of University of Reading and thanks go to all who collaborated.

 

Completing the plan

The Scottish IPM Assessment Plan has been designed to be straight-forward and easy to complete on an annual basis. The aim is to give you a simple tool to baseline your practices and track the impact of changes. Data collected from individual businesses will be securely held and will not be published except in aggregated summary, and it will not allow individual businesses to be identified even by inference. 

The Scottish IPM Assessment Plan does not collect data relating to farm assurance schemes, farm support payments, Cross Compliance activities or Agri-Environment schemes. All data supplied will be treated in the strictest confidence, will be used solely for the purposes of measuring the uptake of IPM by the industry and will not be passed on to third parties.  See our Privacy Notice for more information.