Agricultural scientists of the James Hutton Institute have been awarded £220,000 by Horizon 2020, the European Union’s research and innovation programme, to find ways to promote the adoption of integrated pest management strategies among an EU-wide network of farmers, and help achieve enhanced profitability with low reliance on pesticides and better pest control.
Integrated pest management, or IPM as it is known, is an approach to managing the impact of a crop’s pests, pathogens and weeds that achieves environmental and economic sustainability. IPM strategies combine available methods (or tools) for monitoring, predicting risk and control of pest, pathogen and weed populations into programmes (or toolboxes) where the tools operate synergistically to reduce environmental impact and economic risk.
The project “IPMWORKS – An EU-wide farm network demonstrating and promoting cost-effective IPM strategies” will coordinate existing networks across Europe, promoting IPM and launching new hubs of farms in regions or sectors where IPM pioneers are not yet engaged in a relevant network.
Advisors coordinating hubs will have a major role in facilitating knowledge sharing, coaching farmers to find their own IPM solutions, and organising local demonstration activities.
The project will stimulate access to the ‘IPM Decisions’ platform and provide information on the IPM methods. It will collect data for comparing IPM strategies, and share results and dissemination material through channels widely used by farmers, broadcasting IPM success stories.
IPMWORKS will organise training, and produce training material, targeting both farmers outside the network and advisory services, in order to prepare for the future dissemination of the peer-to-peer learning approach and the general adoption of IPM throughout the EU.
The James Hutton Institute is taking a leading role in the design and implementation of the data management activities of the European demonstration farm network. Institute scientists will also provide expertise in IPM, on-farm demonstration, and multi-actor engagement to establish and operate the UK demonstration farm hub.
To find out more about IPM, visit the Institute’s dedicated IPM website: IPM@Hutton.
Source: James Hutton Institute