Targeted strategies to reduce pestcide use

Techniques and strategies for precise targeting and reduction of inputs to control PCN are likely to become more important in the future, says Branston Potatoes agronomist, Andy Barker.

“There will be pressure to look at reducing pesticide loading on potatoes and a cut in nematicide use would go a long way towards this.”

Recent research from two LINK projects is addressing the problem, he notes.

Trap cropping, using a sacrificial crop to trigger hatch, but preventing the nematode from completing its lifecycle to reduce populations has shown good results in trials this year, he says.

“Trap cropping is a replacement for Telone, a product under continued pressure for reduction in use from the supermarkets.”

A second area of development within the project is improved mapping techniques based on 1ha block multi-core sampling and the development of a population dynamics model, all of which should lead to a more sustainable approach to the management of PCN.

A more targeted approach to PCN control has shown clear results through the application of Vydate through trickle tape to overcome the extended hatch pattern of G pallida in glasshouse trials.

“Normally the hatch pattern extends beyond the life of the granular nematicide, but this trickle tape system keeps the level of active ingredient in the soil to deal with pallida.”