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AHDB offers an integrated pest management strategy for fresh carrot production

United Kingdom
7 December 2020

AHDB is working with carrot growers to identify new approaches to IPM

Growers are increasingly being faced with fewer choices of seed treatments to control pests and diseases in carrot crops due to the reduction in the number of plant protection products available. 

AHDB’s Strategic Centre for Field Vegetables – Carrots is based in Nottinghamshire at a site hosted by Freshgro and Tim Hardstaff. The host farm has been running a series of grower-led trials across the 2020 season to look at comparisons between the seed treatments BMox, Wakil and primed seed to identify which has performed best in terms of integrated pest management (IPM).

Results from the trials have shown:

  • BMOX material started into growth fastest.
  • Primed seed material started into growth second fastest and had the highest marketable yield.
  • There were too few replicates to draw firm conclusions

Full trial reports will be made available on the AHDB website in early 2021.  Local carrot growers have already met and put forward areas of concern for grower led trials that will be run in 2021.

Pest monitoring

Pest monitoring is an essential part of IPM that can help control aphids and virus in crops. Aphids damage crops either through direct damage to the plant, by transmitting virus or as a contaminant.

AHDB’s Pest Bulletin, is a weekly e-mail, sent out during the growing season, together with a web page hosted by Syngenta, which provides growers with essential pest forecasts and up-to-date reports on the majority of key field crop pests, flagging up periods when infestations are likely to occur, to help growers make informed pest control decisions. Data is collected from various locations around the UK, giving regional information, as well as historical data to provide year-on-year comparisons of pest numbers. 

AHDB research helps growers combat aphids and virus

AHDB currently funds research to help manage aphids in carrot crops, a situation that is exacerbated by the increasing loss of plant protection products that the industry has previously relied on.  The aim of this research (FV 460) is to identify the timing of transmission of carrot red leaf virus (CtRLV) and carrot yellow leaf virus (CYLV) throughout the growing season and to correlate this to aphid flight data gathered from yellow water pan traps in the field. A further objective of the project is to compare the different methods used for monitoring aphid flights (suction trapping and in-field yellow water traps), and also to see whether this new data can be used to refine the current models used for predicting flights of willow-carrot aphid.

The first year of research has shown that flights of willow-carrot aphid appear to track well with transmission of carrot red leaf virus.

Aphids day supports carrot growers

AHDB recently held a ‘virtual’ Aphids Day which was planned in response to concerns raised by the industry on the loss of key actives for aphid control. The day focused on IPM strategies for aphid pests of horticultural crops. A series of presentations covered issues such as the use of flowers within the crop to attract beneficials such as hoverflies, the larvae of which are voracious predators of aphids.

Bioprotectants can be more challenging to use than conventional plant protection products, so there were also presentations from aphid control product suppliers on conditions necessary to maximise the efficacy of their products.  These included Flipper, Naturalis, Tecbom, Botanigard and Spruzit. The AHDB AMBER research project is identifying practical ways for growers to improve the performance of bioprotectants in their crop protection programmes.The presentations from industry experts given in the AMBER Field Vegetable workshop are available to view

A final break-out discussion gave everyone the chance to discuss the ideas that had been presented and draft IPM strategies for the future.  The discussion on carrots was led by Howard Hinds, Root Crop Consultancy Ltd, He started off the discussions with informative slides, setting the scene with a review of 2020 “the worse year for virus in some regions since 2015” with “yield reductions of up to 30%.”

View the Integrated Pest Management for Field Vegetables webinar held in November.


More solutions from: AHDB - Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board

Website: http://cereals.ahdb.org.uk/

Published: December 8, 2020













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