Integrated control of root-feeding fly larvae infesting vegetable crops (FlyIPM)

22-03-2021

This report is the result of a project with participating institutes from and co-funded by parties from the UK, France, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, Ireland, Norway, and Slovenia.

In the European Union, the Directive 2009/128/EC on the sustainable use of pesticides makes it mandatory to implement the principles of Integrated Pest Management (IPM). To face this challenge member states of the European Union has co-funded an initiative to coordinate Integrated Pest Management (C-IPM) through an ERA-NET funding programme under the Seventh Framework Programme on research and development.

The present report is the result of a project with participating institutes from and co-funded by parties from the UK, France, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, Ireland, Norway, and Slovenia.

‘Integrated control of root-feeding fly larvae infesting vegetable crops (FlyIPM)’ has focused on the tools and approaches that might be part of an IPM package to manage root-feeding fly larvae on vegetables and this is particularly 1) biocontrol with entomopathogens and nematodes, 2) physical barriers, 3) combinations of attractants and repellents and 4) the development of a push-pull strategy using trap crops. Underlying all of this is a need to know when pests are present, through crop monitoring and weather-based forecasts. With the exception of monitoring and forecasting, very few of the tools are used by growers currently. The research focus was particularly on the cabbage root fly (Delia radicum).

Of the tools that have been evaluated, there seems to be real potential for improved forecasting systems for several species. In addition to the current use of crop covers to exclude certain pests, vertical barriers seem to be a good option for management of D. radicum in certain situations. Whilst the push-pull technique requires further work before it is commercially-viable, there is real potential to use it as part of an IPM strategy for D. radicum in future. Interestingly, although this research has confirmed that the mortality of D. radicum larvae achieved by the fungal pathogens tested is ‘too late’ to protect the current crop, it could be applied to a trap crop to improve its function as a ‘dead end’.

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