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A Best practice Guide for UK Narcissus Production - HH3810SBU

Description
The project will produce and distribute a Best Practice Guide for UK Narcissus Production. The Guide will bring together scientific and technical knowledge on narcissus production, and present it as a high-quality guide for UK narcissus growers that will encourage efficient, sustainable and integrated crop, pest and disease management satisfying the requirements of consumers, retailers and policy makers.
Objective
To bring together scientific and technical knowledge on narcissus production, and present it as a high-quality ‘Best Practice’ guide for growing narcissus in the UK that will encourage efficient, sustainable and integrated crop, pest and disease management satisfying the requirements of consumers, retailers and policy makers.

The bulb sector continues to be an important part of UK horticulture because of the increasing demand for high quality narcissus bulbs, flowers and pot-plants for export to Europe and North America, and for multiple retailer and traditional markets at home. Narcissus growing is a key component of a much larger UK bulb industry involved in import, export, packaging and selling ornamental bulbs for wholesale and retail customers. Narcissus growing is an important element in the local economies of West Cornwall and rural eastern England, areas of some economic disadvantage. As is the case with other ornamental crops, narcissus production also contributes to ‘quality of life’ issues, particularly so because of the enduring popularity of the flower in homes and gardens, its association with the countryside, and the substantial area of production (over 4,000 ha). Although not yet fully exploited in the UK, large-scale bulb growing can stimulate visits to the countryside and tourism generally.

The rational behind the Defra Best Practice Guides has been well described in the CSG7s for other projects in the series, so need not be repeated here in detail. The bulb industry is important to the UK for the reasons outlined above, and a specific case can be made for producing The Best Practice Guide for UK Narcissus Production, as follows. Bulb production is strongly reliant on the control of pests and diseases by chemical means, but this cannot continue for long. In the Netherlands, bulb growing accounted for a highly disproportionate pesticide use in comparison with other crop sectors, resulting in severe curbs on pesticide usage being imposed. In the UK, where bulb production largely involves one crop – narcissus – it has been shown that ‘physical’ methods (how bulbs are treated in the storage or dry phase) and cultural methods (how they are grown in the field) can add greatly to pest and disease management. Many key aspects of bulb handling – drying, inspection, storage and hot-water treatment – are critical in this ‘physical’ control of pests, diseases and bulb quality. These methods considerably augment chemical control, giving something approaching an integrated management system that will be consolidated for the first time in the Guide. As well as bulb and cut-flower production in the field, narcissus production involves ‘forcing’ bulbs under protection to obtain cut-flowers and pot-plants over an extended season. In bulb forcing the issues of energy and peat usage are important, and this aspect of narcissus growing will be another major aspect of the Guide. Despite these important emphases, however, the Guide will attempt to bring the whole process of narcissus bulb and flower production together in an ‘holistic’ way.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2003

To: 2004

Cost: £54,961
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Horticulture Research International
Keywords
Farming              
Horticulture              
Narcissus              
Ornamentals              
Technology Transfer              
Fields of Study
Horticulture
Horticulture