AHDB's crop protection programme enters final year

The programme's final year will look at the tomato crop's mirid bug challenge
The programme's final year will look at the tomato crop's mirid bug challenge

Control options for fifteen new pest and disease targets will be reviewed and tested as part of the final year of a major crop protection programme.

The research trials for AHDB's four-year research programme, SCEPTREplus, have been announced following consultation with industry.

The initiative was set up to deliver new options for plant protection products for the horticultural sector.

It has so far secured extensions of authorisations of minor use for thirteen products.

The programme helps speed up the process of testing and bringing new crop protection products to market

Trials in the fourth year of the project will include control options for flea beetle in brassica crops and ways to manage Mussel scale in apple and pear.

For tomato crops, trials will take place on the mirid bug, and macrolophus and spidermite control will be tested in hardy nursery crops.

There will also be a review of Leafhopper control for outdoor herb crops.

Following the loss of thiram and metalaxyl-M, new seed treatments for different crops to control diseases such as spinach leaf spot, leek damping-off and onion neck rot will also be trialled.

Joe Martin, Crop Protection Senior Scientist at AHDB, said: “We are only testing plant protection products that we understand have a high chance of becoming available to growers following the authorisation process.

“Each of the products is considered with integrated control options in mind, to support a sustainable long-term future for UK horticulture crop protection.”

Calls are out to tender for any research organisation interested in submitting a proposal to deliver the work.