Trials, Tribulations and Successes of Integrated Pest Management – BCPC 7th Annual Pests and Beneficials Review

15 Jun 2022
Ladybird on a leaf
In February this year, the BCPC Pests and Beneficials group met for its 7th annual meeting, this time focusing on Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The meeting’s objective was to better understand how to deliver practical IPM solutions to farmers.

The message coming from this review, is that there is already a large uptake of IPM in the UK, with improvements each year. A report presented in the review by Dr Henry Creissen, Research Fellow in Crop Protection Scotland’s Rural College, showed that there were nearly 5,000 IPM assessments completed in the UK to date. This shows a good uptake in the industry, with growers using IPM strategies on an increasing basis.

‘We wanted to get over the message that IPM isn’t all on the farmer.’ said Dr Jon Knight, Chair of the BCPC Pests and Beneficials Working Group. ‘There are lots of people involved, and everyone in the farming sector needs to work together, from governments providing a policy framework, to researchers providing the science to support the farmer or advisor in the field.’

‘IPM is a knowledge intensive process, but we believe we’re heading in the right direction, and everyone involved is gaining more appreciation of what’s required’.

‘It’s something that everyone is going to have to do more of.’ Jon explains: ‘When farm payments change in 2027, farmers will need to be doing IPM do access ELMS money and other payments.’

There is increasing support for growers from research organisations, but it isn’t easy – it will require some hard work and significant funding, I’m afraid. The policy is still developing, and we’re going to have to wait to see what that looks like.’

The review itself featured seven reports, including those on a ‘Review of IPM related policy and hoped for outcomes’, ‘Integrated Pest Management strategies for cabbage stem flea beetle (CSFB)’ and ‘The Quest for Effective IPM – the farmer’s perspective.’ You can read a full report, watch all these presentations and more, plus read the presentation slides from the meeting on the BCPC website.

The BCPC Pests and Beneficials Group meets three times a year with the purpose of providing a forum for discussion of relevant research results and new legislation and new legislation, and impact on integrated pest management.