Rows of wheat crop

Crop protection refers to practices and measures employed in agriculture to safeguard crops from both biotic (pests, diseases and weeds) and abiotic (environmental factors) stresses. They key goal of crop production is to maintain crop productivity, health and quality whilst minimising yield losses.

Some key aspects of crop protection. See linked topic pages for more in depth information.

  1. Pest Control: Crop protection involves managing and controlling pests such as insects, rodents, birds, and other organisms that can damage or consume crops. This can be done through the use of pesticides, biological control methods, and cultural practices.

  2. Disease ManagementPlant diseases caused by bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other pathogens can devastate crops. Crop protection strategies include planting disease-resistant varieties, applying fungicides or antibiotics when necessary, and practicing good sanitation.

  3. Weed Management: Weeds compete with crops for nutrients, water, and sunlight. Effective weed control methods include herbicide application, mechanical cultivation, and the use of cover crops.

  4. Environmental Stress Management: Environmental factors like drought, extreme temperatures, and soil problems can negatively impact crop growth. Crop protection may involve using irrigation, mulching, and soil management practices to mitigate these stresses.

  5. Genetic Improvement: Breeding and genetic editing techniques can be used to develop crops that are more resistant to pests, diseases, and environmental stresses. This is a long-term approach to crop protection.

  6. Biological Control: Using natural predators or beneficial organisms to control pest populations is an eco-friendly approach to crop protection. Ladybugs, parasitic wasps, and nematodes are examples of beneficial organisms used for pest control.

  7. Integrated Pest Management (IPM): IPM is a holistic approach that combines various strategies to manage pests in an environmentally and economically sustainable way. It involves monitoring pest populations, using biological control methods, and judiciously applying chemical pesticides only when necessary.

  8. Cultural Practices: Crop protection also includes implementing cultural practices such as crop rotation, intercropping, and adjusting planting dates to reduce pest and disease pressure.

  9. Education and Training: Educating farmers about best practices in crop protection is essential for effective implementation. This includes teaching them how to identify pests and diseases, use pesticides safely, and adopt sustainable farming techniques.

  10. Regulations and Safety: Crop protection products, including pesticides, are subject to regulations to ensure their safe use and minimize environmental impacts. Proper handling, storage, and disposal of these products are critical aspects of crop protection safety.

A large number of factors affect the choice and implementation of crop protection methods such as: crop type, agricultural sector, pest and disease pressure, environmental conditions, geographic location, farm size, budget and resources, regulations and compliance, market demands, field/farm history, access to technology.

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ADAS provides ideas, specialist knowledge and solutions to secure our food and enhance the environment. We understand food production and the challenges and opportunities faced by organisations operating in the natural environment

Integrated Pest Management highlights the growth of a healthy crop with the least possible disruption to agro-ecosystems and encourages natural pest control mechanisms. IPM is one of the tools for low-pesticide-input pest management, and IPM must now be implemented by all professional agchem users.

The British Society for Plant Pathology (BSPP) was founded in 1981 for the study and advancement of plant pathology.

The challenges of food security, climate change and sustainable development present exciting opportunities for agricultural research and innovation. The NIAB Group is the UK’s fastest growing crop science organisation, having trebled in size over the past decade through a strategic programme of investment, merger and acquisition.

Derived from natural materials such as animals, plants, bacteria and certain minerals. Designed to affect only one target pest and often decompose quickly. 

The major commodity crops in the UK are wheat, barley, oilseed rape, field beans, sugar beet and potatoes, but around half of agricultural land grows grass.   

Commonly known as Septoria or Septoria leaf blotch, this is the most damaging foliar disease in the UK for Winter Wheat. With a carefully constructed fungicide programme and use of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), disease pressure can be managed and losses greatly reduced.  

ADAS scientists help evidence and guide crop disease management by chemical, genetic and biological approaches. Our expertise covers all areas of disease management on the major crops. We lead multi-organisation collaborative research into disease management and preventation, as well as provide strategic consultancy.  

The Potato Cyst Nematode damages the roots causing poor growth, wilting during periods of water stress and early senescence.

Rapid crop disease detection. SwiftDetect can reveal the level of disease in your crop even in the latent period, with results in 1 business day.

UPL

This Open Access chapter describes the current status of IWM for grasslands. Its focus is on mana

A range of products are commercially available that claim to enable more efficient nutrient uptake, allowing less nutrient to be applied as fertiliser.

The IPM Decisions project will create an online platform that is easy to use for the monitoring and management of pests. Access the platform now at https://platform.ipmdecisions.net/  

Cereal diseases affecting wheat, barley, oats, rye, triticale and maize can be caused by a variety of factors, including fungal, bacterial or viral infections, pests and insects, and environmental stress.

We are CHAP, one of four UK Agri-Tech Innovation Centres. We bring together scientists, farmers, advisors and pioneers to advance crop productivity and yield around the world.

Syngenta UK is a leading agribusiness committed to sustainable agriculture through innovative research and technology.

Insecticides are a type of agrochemical used to kill, harm or deter insects that either directly infect cultivated plants/animals or that are carriers of disease. In agricultural settings, insecticides may be used in both arable and livestock husbandry situations. The classification of insecticides can occur in various ways: via their biochemical mode of action, their mode of penetration or on the basis of their chemistry. They can also come in various formulations and delivery-systems such as sprays, gels or baits.

An EU-Wide Farm Network Demonstrating and promoting cost-effective IPM Strategies.

This Topic doesn't yet have a Stewarded summary, but connected groups, content and organisations show below. Click the 'Ask to Join' button if you would like to be a Steward for this Topic and provide a summary of current knowledge and recommend useful resources, organisations, networks and projects. "Like" this Topic if you would like to see it prioritised for providing a wikipedia style summary.

The application of agrochemicals by modern crop sprayers involves sophisticated technologies applied by skilled operators.

App and website dedicated to pest, disease & weed identification and management.

Enviresearch exists to provide the best regulatory and risk assessment service in Europe for the global chemical industry.

This section is focused on the predators and parasitoids of key crop pests.

Online guide to identifying arable weeds from ADAS, AHDB and BASF

Now in its 10th year, the CropTec show combines industry-leading exhibitors, the latest machinery and technology, networking and discussion opportunities as well as valuable updates on developments across the arable sector.    Tickets are free and available now by registering at www.croptecshow.com.

The encyclopedia of oilseed rape diseases is a guide that was created by ADAS and BASF to help growers identify and understand diseases of OSR. As well as highlight emerging threats such as Verticillium wilt and raise awareness of other economically damaging diseases. 

At ADAS Boxworth, a range of Horticultural trials take place both on-site and on growers/farmers' land in order to provide unbiased scientific advice to growers and farmers aroud the UK.

This Open Access chapter describes the current status of IWM for grasslands. Its focus is on management practices available to influence transitions in a weed’s life cycle: from the soil seed bank to seedling establishment, from the seedling stage to the mature plant, and from the mature plant to the soil seed bank.

Fungicides are a type of agrochemical used specifically to kill fungal pathogens or inhibit the growth of fungi and the spores that they produce. They full under the umbrella of plant protection products (PPPs), also referred to as pesticides, along with other agrochemicals such as herbicides and insecticides that target weeds and insect pests respectively.  Prior to the development of fungicides, there are many historic cases of pathogenic fungi devastating crop yields - one of the most famous being the Irish Potato famine of 1845-52. This was caused by the potato late blight fungal pathogen Phytophthora infestans which today still causes massive losses to agriculture globally, although management by fungicides is now an important component of control.  A wide variety of fungicides exist with various modes of action (MOAs) to effectively control many fungal diseases including mildews, rusts, blights and leaf spots. A threat to modern agriculture is the development and spread of resistance to such fungicides amongst fungal populations.

We aim to provide sugar beet growers and wider industry with the resources required to grow a healthy and profitable sugar beet crop in the UK.

The Weed Resistance Action Group (WRAG) produces guidance on pesticide resistance issues. Hosted by AHDB, this information can be used to help protect crops and the long-term efficacy of herbicides.

The Leading Voice for the Agrisupply Industry The Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC) is the agrisupply industry’s leading trade association.

This Topic doesn't yet have a Stewarded summary, but connected groups, content and organisations show below. Click the 'Ask to Join' button if you would like to be a Steward for this Topic and provide a summary of current knowledge and recommend useful resources, organisations, networks and projects. "Like" this Topic if you would like to see it prioritised for providing a wikipedia style summary.

Agrochemicals are chemical products used for agricultural purposes. Although agrochemicals have high input costs, they are widely used in the farming industry for their beneficial effects on crop yields and quality and associated reduced labour costs. Together with advances in agricultural machinery and infrastructure, the use of agrochemicals played a large role in the Green Revolution. This was a period in the 21st century in which the spread of various agricultural technologies led to greatly increased yields and production globally. However, a number of concerns around agrochemicals exist including negative effects on human health and the environment and the development of pest populations that are becoming resistant to them. A major challenge of modern agriculture is to try and reduce reliance on agrochemicals whilst continuing to increase yields and feed a growing global population.

An ADAS report to DEFRA in 1998 highlighting key trends and research priorities for the sunflower industry in the UK Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus var. macrocarpus) are in high demand due to the culinary, confectionary, bird-seed and industrial uses of their seeds (and thus oils), in addition to the popularity of the flowers in horticulture. At the time of this report in 1998, the UK imported ~350,000 tonnes of seed annually.  Whilst sunflower can be grown in the UK, there are a number of challenges including limited drilling dates to comply with soil temperature requirements, and careful monitoring of a range pests and diseases that sunflower is susceptible to. Further risks such as a late harvest time and the possibility of sunflower itself becoming a weed in following crops meant many farmers were not considering growing sunflowers on their farms. Based on a survey of UK farmers (including both sunflower growers and non-growers), the key factors reported that would encourage more UK farmers to adopt sunflower crops were… To convince farmers of profitability Guaranteed establishment of the crop Earlier harvests Good disease and weed control More information on growing the crops This project provided a comprehensive review of growing sunflower as an arable crop in the UK.  You can find the entire report linked at the bottom of this article (including historical and market information on sunflowers) but some of the key sections are highlighted here. Note all information is accurate for the time of this report (1998).

This area is for identification of pest and beneficial insects and invertebrates.

Corteva is a global R&D focused agribusiness

A group of farmers is investigating with Harper Adams University how trap crops such as sticky and African nightshade can be used as a biological management practice.

Herbicides are substances (usually chemical) used to control weeds in a variety of situations including agriculture, horticulture and managed landscapes. Herbicides are classified according to their mode of action (MOA) - this is the precise biochemical mechanism in which the herbicide targets and kills the weed. The 'active ingredient' of the herbicide is the specific herbicidal compound that has the phytotoxic effect and this is formulated with a variety of other ingredients (including other active substances, surfactants, buffers, adjuvants e.t.c) to make a final product which is given a trade name by the herbicide manufacturer. With any herbicide product you will find an associated product label which explains how to use the product safely and legally. This page provides an overview of herbicides including how they are classified and used. Please link any pages or projects relating to herbicide use to this topic page.  Some widely used herbicides (e.g glyphosate) also have their own topic page. Other related topics on FarmPEP include herbicide resistance,  bioherbicides, broad leaved weeds and grass weeds.  

This page is for the resources available for monitoring pest activity.

AHDB Guide published in 2018.

Ergot is a fungus that grows on rye, triticale, wheat and barley, and to a lesser extent, oats. It also affects a wide range of grasses, particularly blackgrass. Although the disease has a relatively small effect on yield, ergots contain large amounts of toxic alkaloids that can pose a pose a risk to animal and human health.

Phoma leaf spot and stem canker is one of the most damaging diseases in oilseed rape, caused by two closely related fungal pathogens: Leptosphaeria maculans (Plenodomus lingam) and L. biglobosa (P. biglobosus).

Agro Mavens helps you and your business get talked about in the world of agriculture and agritech. A specialist marketing and communications agency for agriculture, from our base in the UK we work with agriculturally active brands all around the world, from multinationals to start-ups.

Take-all is a root disease caused by the soil dwelling ascomycete fungus Gaeumannomyces graminis var. tritici. The fungus is capable of infecting cereal crops such a wheat, barley, triticale and rye however, oats are immune. Take-all can also affect several common grasses such as couch grass and bromes. Another variety of take-all fungus (graminis var. avenae) can infect oats and other cereals, but this is currently very rare in the UK.

The Fungicide Resistance Action Group (FRAG) produces guidance on pesticide resistance issues. Hosted by AHDB, this information can be used to help protect crops and the long-term efficacy of fungicides.

Researchers from Wageningen University & Research (WUR) and Leiden University have engineered a biological barrier that protects plants from diseases and pests.

Rothamsted's Insect Survey is host to a nationwide network of light-traps and suction-traps that

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