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Developing new management options for soil-borne pests of organic system - LK0951

Organic arable systems generally depend upon grass/clover leys in rotations to bould nutrients. This increases exposure to subterranean insect pest such as leatherjackets and vireworms. Current control methods for theses pests rely on insecticide application - an option not open to organic producers. This project will build upon existing knowledge and make a detailed study of those aspects of the pests ecologies that impinge upon the problem. The rotational and environmental factors resulting in field/crop combinations being vulnerable will be identified so that growers can predict when there is a high risk. Within field environmental variation will be linked to the spatial distribution of the pests and recomendations for sampling vulnerable areas will be developed. The project will also quantify the mortality effects of different cultivations on the pest and investigate novel ways of impeding the growth of damaging populations. These results will be integrated into strategies. The outcomes will then be formulated as a set of recommendations for farmers and made available through advisory channels.

1. Determine the factors which influence on-farm pest distribution and population size
2. Formulate intervention strategies to reduce pest problems
3. Produce models to forecast pest occurrence
4. Produce recommendations to enable growers to reduce damage from wireworms and leatherjackets.

The project will build upon an existing knowledge base and use the international expertise in the research team to test and refine hypotheses. The participation of a farmer-led group will ensure that the views of the end-users are a strong focal point. We therefore believe that there is a high probability of achieving all the objectives.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2004

To: 2007

Cost: £151,890
Contractor / Funded Organisations
University - Plymouth
Arable Farming              
LINK Programme              
Sustainable Farming and Food              
Sustainable Production              
Fields of Study
Organic Farming