In recent years, contact with others working on IPM in continental Europe has been through EUVRIN; the European Vegetable Research Institutes Network and through the International Organisation for Biological Control (IOBC WPRS) working group on Integrated Protection of Field Vegetables. EUVRIN is an informal network that receives no external funding. There are a number of working groups including an IPM group. The groups try to meet once a year and to collaborate on various initiatives. The IOBC working group is part of a larger network which covers IPM in most crops grown in the world. The IOBC is a membership organisation and a lot of the input from members is voluntary. We hosted a meeting of the vegetable IPM group in Stratford upon Avon last October and that helped to strengthen links between group members. It is through the IOBC and EUVRIN that some of our research initiatives and other opportunities have arisen.
Warwick and the AHDB are partners in a relatively new H2020 Thematic Network called SMARTPROTECT, which is looking to identify and evaluate SMART approaches to pest, and disease management in horticultural crops. These could be tools used for diagnostics, monitoring, control or other aspects of management. At present, the consortium members are trying to use their networks to identify useful technologies and then engage with the companies that distribute them.
A recently completed ERA-NET C-IPM project called FlyIPM focused on the root-feeding fly pests of vegetables. This included the larvae of Delia radicum (L.) (cabbage root fly), D. platura (Meigen) (bean seed fly), D. florilega (Zetterstedt) (root fly), D. antiqua (Meigen) (onion fly), D. floralis (Fallén) (turnip fly) and Chamaepsila rosae (Fabricius) (carrot fly). The project involved a consortium of nine partners from eight countries and Rosemary Collier from Warwick was the coordinator. Most of the novel experimental work focused on cabbage root fly and together the consortium investigated a push-pull approach to managing cabbage root fly, the use of fungal pathogens (Metarhizium) and nematodes, possible repellent compounds and the use of physical barriers (fences) to exclude cabbage root fly. At least one of these approaches is worth exploring further in the UK.
The Warwick team have been working on diamond-back moth in recent years, both on control and on providing early warnings to growers of moth infestations. At present, the most severe infestations appear to arise because of large numbers of moths which migrate from the continent and possibly North Africa. Although we now have better ways of monitoring their arrival, we do not know where the moths originate initially and particularly where they spend the winter. A new Dutch project on IPM in brassicas is investigating the source of these moths using molecular methods. We have already contributed some moths to the project and will send more if sufficient are trapped.