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Review of literature non chemical pest control for comparative assessment - PS2809

Plant protection products (PPPs) are used widely in agriculture and horticulture to protect crops against pests, diseases and weeds. Prior to authorising the introduction of new PPPs or the renewal of existing PPPs, the availability of control methods that are safer from a human or environmental perspective is considered. In the European Union, Comparative Assessment (CA) is required for authorisation or renewal of PPPs, which contain an active substance that has been identified as a candidate for substitution with a safer alternative (Regulation (EC) No1107/2009, Articles 24 and 50). Within the proposed CA process, candidates will be compared with both chemical methods (i.e. other PPPs) and non-chemical methods (e.g. mechanical weeders, use of disease resistant cultivars etc.). For non-chemical methods it is recognised by the European Plant Protection Organisation (EPPO) that the information required to assess their viability as effective alternatives may not be readily available or may not exist (draft EPPO Guidance on Comparative Assessment, 10-16027). The aim of the proposed work is to summarise the evidence available on the viability of specific non-chemical methods as alternatives to PPPs for controlling pests, diseases, weeds and lodging. The proposed work will therefore provide evidence to support CRD’s regulatory decisions within the CA process.

This project will provide a detailed review of the non-chemical crop protection strategies that are used in growing agricultural and horticultural crops in the UK. It will establish their performance and consider any limitations to their use in order to inform the CA process. A wide range of non-chemical strategies exist and are practised by growers of different crops to varying degrees. These strategies can be employed (i) as part of crop rotation planning across years (e.g. decreasing the frequency of a crop in the rotation to reduce pest build-up over growing seasons), (ii) at the start of the season before the crop is planted (e.g. selecting resistant varieties which can affect pest and disease control requirements, delaying planting to enable early season weed control), and (iii) within the crop growing season (e.g. using mechanical weeders or hand weeding). The review will consider non-chemical control methods at these three time points as this allows for suitable comparisons between strategies to be made.

Published information on non-chemical control methods will be searched for by keyword within large databases of peer-reviewed scientific papers. Additional information will be obtained from appropriate, independent papers such as government reports. The evidence for the performance of the different control methods will be evaluated by a panel of ADAS experts in the control of weeds, pests, diseases and crop lodging. Performance will be based on efficacy, consistency, reliability, spectrum of use and economic viability of each control method. Where the published information on a particular control method is considered insufficient or unsuitable, expert judgement will be used to evaluate performance.

The project deliverable will be a report on non-chemical control methods and their performance (efficacy, consistency and reliability), which will include expert analysis and look-up tables that summarise the information in a convenient form for CRD technical specialists. Potential Health and Safety implications will also be identified. The published information used for the report will be cited in the text and listed at the end of the report.
1. To identify and review published information on non-chemical control methods and their performance in terms of efficacy, consistency, reliability, spectrum of use and economic viability.
2. To summarise the review findings in the form of convenient look-up tables.
3. To list evidence in the literature of where Health and Safety implications have been associated with non-chemical control measures, to inform the next phase of the review process (which will be conducted by HSE).
Project Documents
• FRP - Final Report : EVID4 PS2809   (1638k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2011

To: 2012

Cost: £28,856
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Fields of Study
Pesticide Safety