Biodiversity Based Integrated Pest Management in Field Crops

Time: September 3 2015
Wiiks Castle, Uppsala, Sweden


The aim of the seminar was to increase the interest, knowledge and collaboration in the area of Biodiversity Based Integrated Pest Management in Field Crops. The aim of the seminar was also to stimulate development of methods in agriculture with minimum use of chemicals or no use of chemicals and to increase collaboration between researchers/advisors and PhD students projects. The aim of the seminar was also to give PhD students possibility to present their projects to a broader target group outside university and to inform PhD students about research areas and future work in research or in advisory and to discuss PhD students projects with researchers/advisors etc outside university. To make this possible the seminar was organised together with the PhD course in the area of “Biodiversity Based Integrated Pest Management in Field Crops”. The seminar was held on 3rd September at Wiks Castle about 30 km south-west Uppsala in the province of Uppland. During the last decades there is an increased interest in Integrated Pest Management (IPM). This is partly due to implementation of IPM in EU but there is also increased interest in the importance of biodiversity in agriculture and horticulture. The seminar was organized together with the NOVA PhD course “Biodiversity Based Integrated Pest Management in Field Crops”. The seminar included general presentations by invited speakers on Integrated Pest Management in Europe, presentations concerning implementation of IPM, National Actions Plans for IPM and the role of biodiversity. The seminar also included project presentations by PhD students participating in the PhD course. There were 38 participants at the seminar including PhD students, researchers and advisers.

Professor Per Kudsk, Aarhus University, Denmark gave a presentation on IPM implementation and research in Europe. He mentioned that IPM concept has developed significantly since the introduction of “integrated control” defined as “applied pest control which integrates biological and chemical control”. The concept was initially developed by entomologists but IPM now applies to all pests. IPM was taken up by the EU in the EU Framework Directive 2009/128/EC on the sustainable use of pesticides adopting almost the same definition of IPM as FAO. Professor Per Kudsk also gave examples on research activities in the area and that The EU Commission continues to support IPM research activities now as part of the Horizon 2020 programme.

The next presentation on Implementation of IPM – examples from Sweden was held by the Plant protection specialist, Göran Gustafsson at Swedish Board of Agriculture. He told that Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is nothing new in Sweden. The concept was established in the late 1950s as a result of beginning resistance to some pesticides. The interest for finding other solutions besides chemicals started. He mentioned that IPM can be summarized in: 1) Prevention, 2) Knowledge about field situation, 3) Necessary treatment, not routine 4) Following-up. He also told that aall professional growers in EU must use IPM from January 1, 2014. It will not be any dramatic change. Many farmers already use IPM in some ways.

The role of IPM in plant disease control was presented by Dr Björn Andersson. He told that control of plant diseases in agricultural crops is to a large extent based on the use of fungicides today. In the short time perspective (usually a single crop), fungicides can be applied prophylactically or curatively to control situations were a plant pathogen threatens the crop. This practice has given farmers the possibility to attain high levels of control of many serious and important plant diseases, resulting in increased and more stable yield levels, both quantitatively and qualitatively. He pointed out that the environmental impact and other unwanted effects of fungicide are subject to discussion.

Professor Inara Turka, Latvia University of Agriculture, Latvia gave a presentation on: The first steps of Integrated Plant Management in Latvia.  She mentioned that the first experience with implementation of IPM in Latvia was from year 2009. Part of orchard, berries and starch potato growers, totally about 400 farmers, were registered as integrated growers.

The Change in CAP for Finland for Berry and Fruit Growers and its Implications for Field Crops was presented by Professor Ingeborg Menzler-Hokkanen, Finland. She mentioned that conventional growers, who replace chemical fungicide sprays by entomovectoring of microbial products on their berry and fruit crops for a minimum of 5 years, will receive 500 €/ha/year in environmental support. It is expected that the new subsidy scheme will encourage berry and fruit growers to take up the alternative method.

Professor Heikki M.T. Hokkanen, Finland gave a presentation on Enhanced biodiversity for oilseed rape crop protection and Senior Research Scientist Sari J. Himanen told about: Inspecting the ecological mechanisms operating in spring turnip rape (Brassica rapa ssp. oleifera) intercropping. She mentioned that intercropping is a means of increasing agroecosystem biodiversity to accomplish multiple benefits for the co-crops via ecological interactions.

Associate professor Roland Sigvald, department of Ecology, SLU gave a presentation on: Forecasting pests and diseases of field crops-an important tool in IPM. He pointed out that the economic importance of pests and diseases of agricultural crops, availability of new, highly effective pesticides, and the negative effects of insecticides, fungicides and herbicides have focused attention on methods in crop protection and forecasting pest outbreaks. Effective warning and forecasting systems are important tools to reduce chemical treatments. These systems will require better knowledge of the dynamics of insect population, viruses, and fungal pathogens as well as economic threshold values for the damage they cause to increase profitability and at the same time minimise the negative effects on flora, fauna and ground water. He also gave examples of forecasting methods on aphids (mainly Rhopalosiphum padi); Potato virus Y (PVY), Barley Yellow Dwarf virus (BYDV), frit fly (Oscinella frit) and Sclerotinia stem rot (Sclerotinia sclerotiorum). Most methods have been implemented in Sweden and are commonly used by farmers. Finally Advisor Anna Linnell told about Biodiversity in field scale in Sörmland.

After presentations by invited speakers The PhD students presented their projects. There were a wide range of projects concerning weeds, insects, fungicide treatments and some examples were: IPM in greenhouse, sweet potato virus detection, development of IPM tools for the control of aphids and cereal leaf beetles in grain cultivation,remote plant virus detection and characterization of soil-borne plant pathogens using next generation sequencing. The presentations by PhD students followed by discussion and the invited speakers gave their opinion and comments.

Organizing committee

  • Dr Björn Andersson, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences,      Uppsala, Sweden
  • Senior scientist Irmeli Markula, NJF section Plants, Finland
  • Associate professor Roland Sigvald, SLU
  • Professor Inara Turka, Lativa University of Agriculture, Latvia
  • Associate professor Velemir Ninkovic, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden

Seminar secretary
Roland Sigvald, SLU and NJF (roland.sigvald@slu.se)

The seminar was partly financed by NKJ