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Integrated control for PCN - LK0918

Main Theme: Lessening adverse environmental impacts of arable agriculture.

The problem and the researchable constraint: Potato cyst nematodes (PCN), Globodera pallida and G. rostochiensis, cause substantial damage to the potato crop in the UK, estimated to cost the industry £50 million annually. They are persistent soil-borne pests and their incidence in potato land is increasing - a recent survey showed that 64% of potato land is now infested. Of this, some two thirds of infestations are pure G. pallida and 92% consist at least partly of this species. Since G. pallida (to which even the best resistance is only partial) is more difficult to control than G. rostochiensis, growers are using increasing amounts of nematicides for PCN control, sometimes using a fumigant and a granular nematicide on a single potato crop. Close to 30,000 ha are treated with granular nematicides each year, at a cost of more than £10 million. New approaches to the management of PCN population densities in soil and lessening the damage they cause are required in order to keep the UK potato industry competitive. These include the exploitation of precision agriculture (PA) technology to place nematicides only where they are required, and encouragement of growers to use procedures such as trap cropping, by identifying alternative trap crop species and providing a more scientific base for trap crop management. Enlightened management procedures are particularly important in the longer term since it must be a prime objective to protect potato land as yet uninfested with PCN.
1. Improved diagnostics for PCN and other cyst nematode species
2. Understanding PCN dynamics and patch development within fields
3. Field scale testing of spatial applications of nematicides and fertilisers
4. Identification, characterisation and exploitation of the spectral reflectance signature of PCN-stressed crops and development of GIS systems
5. A population model for the dynamics of natural infestations of PCN
6. Assessment of the feasibility of alternative control strategies for PCN
(i) Hatch induction by bacteria and vesicular arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi
(ii) Trap cropping
(iii) Microwave radiation and high energy electrical fields
7. A comprehensive databank of information on PCN distribution in the UK
Project Documents
• Abstract : LK0918 Integrated Management Strategies for Potato Cyst Nematodes - PCN Control Project Abstract   (10k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2001

To: 2004

Cost: £467,803
Contractor / Funded Organisations
University - Harper Adams Agricultural College, Rothamsted Research (BBSRC), Scottish Crop Research Institute
LINK Programme              
Organic Farming              
Pest Control              
Sustainable Farming and Food              
Sustainable Production              
Fields of Study