Inaugural IPM@Hutton and CSC stakeholder group meeting
Over the latter half of 2018, the Integrated Pest and Disease Management Strategic Group (IPM@Hutton) and Centre for Sustainable Cropping at the James Hutton Institute invited representatives of a range of external organisations and associations to form a stakeholder group, with which the IPM and CSC groups can interact, report to and receive feedback from. An inaugural stakeholder meeting was held at the James Hutton Institute on the morning of the 13th of December 2018.
Adrian Newton formally began the meeting with a welcome presentation on the purpose of the IPM@Hutton and Centre for Sustainable Cropping stakeholder group. Adrian outlined that the remit of the stakeholder group is; to provide input to Hutton research on current issues in IPM/sustainable management strategies from a commercial and policy point of view; to provide feedback on the findings and outcomes from current projects, including integration of practices at the CSC Platform; and to provide an outlet for Hutton research to industry and policy groups. The benefits for group members include access to data and new research findings, as well as access to field and experimental sites for events/visits and workshops.
A series of 15-minute presentations, followed by questions, were then delivered to the stakeholder group as follows:
Roy Neilson – “IPM Research at the James Hutton Institute: an overview”. Roy’s presentation covered the global context of IPM and touched on many areas of active IPM research at the Institute.
Cathy Hawes – “The Centre for Sustainable Cropping: a long-term platform for arable research”. Cathy covered the aim and history of the CSC and detailed ongoing research on the platform.
Alison Lees – “Prospects for late blight IPM in potatoes”. Alison’s presentation centred around the steps required for uptake of new practice, with regards to changing late blight management strategies in light of recently updated blight risk forecasting tools.
Jennie Brierley – “Management practices affecting soil-borne pathogens of potato on crops through a rotation”. Jennie explained the role of disease risk assessment as a key component of IPM, using the example of the development of quantitative molecular methods to classify the risk posed by seed- and soil-borne potato pathogens.
Ali Karley – “How does sustainable management affect the abundance of cereal aphids and their natural enemies?”. In the final presentation, Ali described how sustainable cropping (integrated management) at the CSC influences biocontrol of crop pests, with a focus on the abundance and activity of natural pest enemies, monitoring aphids in winter and spring barley and exploring the dynamics between insect pests and their natural enemies under cereal-legume mixes.
The final section of the stakeholder meeting was a chaired open discussion session, where attendees gave their thoughts on three pre-circulated questions intended to stimulate discussion:
What are the current/upcoming issues for growers in crop protection and environmental management?
What policy changes are on the horizon that might affect practical management options for growers?
What research areas need to be better covered to address these issues in the medium-long term?
Feedback from the meeting was positive, with those who attended finding it informative and worthwhile, and were keen to participate in further events going forward. A full report was prepared after the meeting and circulated to all participants.