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TECHNICAL


As turf managers we understand and control the substrate: by selecting the appropriate dressing we determine the ability of both water and nutrients to move through the surface


target organism from non-target species, including humans. If properly designed and deployed, a biorational agent should be nearly fully compatible with biological controls as envisioned for ‘selective insecticides’ by Stern et al. (1959) (Horowitz et al.).


The term biorational is not restricted to the product being applied to control a pest or disease. If we are looking to support a complex ecosystem that can support beneficial microbes, we need to know that the fertilisers and biostimulants we use will also achieve these ends, otherwise this isn’t an integrated strategy.


Dangers


As with any new technologies, the ability to utilise them effectively will be related to our understanding of how they work. Biological


controls and biopesticides are potentially a safer option than the alternatives which they replace, both for the people who apply them and for the environment. In an attempt to identify potential solutions, managers will be tempted to try biological solutions; products that are not approved are already being imported into the UK and being sold for people to use. It would be interesting to know how much support is being offered to customers who have no experience or training in how to use these types of products. As already indicated, biopesticides operate in a different manner to conventional chemical pesticides: there is a need to account for more factors which requires greater understanding of many of the things discussed in this article. If managers don’t comprehend what is required to obtain


effective control, there is the risk that a failure will result in the perception that these technologies don’t work, compounding the foot shuffling views expressed earlier. For any type of solution to be successful; chemical, cultural or biological; implementation of an appropriate, integrated strategy in which relevant factors have been taken into account and best practices have been applied is necessary. It was heartening to see what the AMBER project was achieving: recognition that there are gaps in knowledge and real research has been undertaken to fill those gaps. This research was well communicated, at an appropriate level for nursery growers, the respective target audience, to be able to apply what was being discussed and improve their ability to use an array of solutions. There’s a lot that we have to learn, the key question is; what is the best way of going about this and then practically implementing the findings?


References


Cary, D. Address to the European Parliament, Copa-Cogeca and IBMA High Level Symposium on Sustainable Plant Protection: Expanding the Farmers’ Toolbox, Brussels, 7 February 2019.


Ellis, C.B. Improving the performance of biopesticides in the production of ornamental crops (AHDB CP158). 26th February 2019, Kenilworth, Warwickshire.


Horowitz, A & Ellsworth, Peter & Ishaaya, Isaac. (2010). Biorational Pest Control - An Overview. 10.1007/978-90-481-2316-2_1.


Mizell, R.F. III and D.E. Short. Integrated pest management in the commercial ornamental nursery. 2006. University of Florida Electronic Data Info. Serv. Bul. ENY-336.


Pedigo, L. P., S. H. Hutchins, and L. G. Higley. 1986. Economic injury levels in theory and practice. Annu. Rev. Entomol. 31:341 368.


Chafer damage 146 PC April/May 2019


Stern V, Smith R, van den Bosch R, Hagen K. 1959. The integration of chemical and biological control of the spotted alfalfa aphid: The integrated control concept. Hilgardia 29(2):81-101.





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