PO - INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES ON ARABLE FARMS IN THE BRITISH ISLES AND THEIR LINKS WITH AGRONOMIC PROBLEMS AND FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) has been described as the selection and use of pest control practices to ensure improved economic, ecological and social consequences. For some 40 years, farmers worldwide have been encouraged by a variety of agencies to adopt such practices, with the term 'pests' being used broadly to include diseases, weeds, insects and molluscs. Despite this pressure, little is known about the extent, nature and efficacy (in both environmental and economic terms) of such practices.
This poster paper will report on a study of IPM measures on 400 arable farms in the British Isles in early 2017. This research is being carried out by an inter-disciplinary team from four research institutes/universities in England, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland. The study employed an identical questionnaire survey in the four countries which was largely administered on-farm. Data were collected on the extent of the use of IPM, why the farmers used it, their arable farming rotational practices, why they chose different crop varieties and what measures they use to control the introduction and spread of pests on their farms. Collaborating farmers
also provided data on what pests they saw as providing the greatest concern to crop production on their farms, what were the most valuable sources of management to them in this respect and their relationship with their crop protection advisors. A final section of the questionnaire enabled the collection of a range of contextual information on the farm business, the farmer and his/her situation and the financial performance of their farm business.
This poster paper will detail the results of the above, somewhat novel, survey of IPM practices in the British Isles, together with the reasons why they have been adopted and their linkages with the socio-demographic situation of the farmers and their farm businesses. Statistical techniques will be employed to examine the linkages between IPM practices, the financial performance of the farm business and the details of the farmers and their farm businesses. Results of relevance to advisors and extension agencies, and other food chain stakeholders, will be drawn.
Keywords: Integrated Pest Management; arable farms; financial performance; British Isles