IPPS workshop on “The Effective Use of IPM”
Abi Rayment of Dove Associates focused the workshop on the impact of the sustainable Use Directive.
The Directive includes a number of provisions aimed at achieving the sustainable use of pesticides by reducing risks and impacts on human health and the environment. These include: the establishment of National Action Plans; compulsory testing of application equipment; provision of training for, and arrangements for the certification of, operators, advisor’s and distributors; a ban (subject to limited exceptions) on aerial spraying; provisions to protect water, public spaces and conservation areas; the minimisation of risks from handling, storage and disposal; and the promotion of low input regimes (including Integrated Pest Management (IPM))
The use of pesticides has been regulated in the UK for many years. Many of the measures envisaged in the Directive already feature in existing domestic legislation and the Regulations include obligations that are very similar to obligations under the existing regime. Guidance on the safe use and storage of plant protection products already exists in the DEFRA Codes of Practice book.
For more information on the new obligations visit www.pesticides.gov.uk
In line with the new Directive Abi went on to discuss Plant Health, and the way all growers need to change their approach to the prevention and control of Pest and Diseases. The emphasis is on growers to pre think disease outbreaks; from experience we know the susceptible plants to certain problems. Husbandry and hygiene have got to be the first step in prevention, cultural measures such as ventilation, and not spacing plants too close are also methods of reducing P&D. Growing crops in a commercial market means these areas sometime get overlooked.
The next option should always be biological control. This comes in many forms, insects, parisitoids, fungal and bacterial. We were shown detailed controls of each pest and information regarding what specific biological control was available.
Over the last few years many pesticides have been taken off the market, but there is now a greater choice in bio-chemicals and biological controls which can be very effective. Introduction of biologicals depends on crop monitoring and cannot simply be uniformly applied across the calendar.
The very last resort is going in with a Pesticide product. Abi went through in detail which products to use in which situation, emphasising that the correct use of a product is important to ensure efficacy. Knowing the products mode of action, at what stage in the pest or disease’s life cycle it attacks is also important as is not relying on one product; over use can lead to resistance problems.
A very busy morning with lots of good information taken in, it was time for a site walk at Boningale.
The group of 14 growers, most from the Midlands area, were then shown around the prop unit by Nerys Arch, Propagation Manager. Nerys explained to them the biological control she has in place controlling scarid fly in the prop.
The group were then shown Boningale’s New Bio bed, Penny Fryer, Production Director explained how it had been built. ‘This system allows us to filter the final washings from all spray equipment through a 5m x 5m lined pit filled with compost and straw. The water is pumped from a collecting drain and trickled over the turfed topped pit. Microbial action in the compost and straw cleans the water which is then pumped out, and can be used again.’
(Abi Rayment investigating a disease problem.)
Paul Heywood, Container Manager continued the tour by taking members around the final plant production growing beds and concluded the tour in the potting barn explaining the potting system at Boningale.
The workshop was very informative and I think all members went away from the day with lots of new information and knowledge.
Nerys Arch. (Propagation Manager)