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Integrated approach is key to crop pest management

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Farmers must ensure they use all the options available to them to combat pests, weeds and diseases in their crops, the NFU have said.

The advice comes at CropTec, where the NFU has urged farmers to use an integrated pest management plan which embraces all elements of crop protection so that pests, weeds and diseases can be managed.

NFU Vice President Guy Smith and combinable crops board vice chairman Robert Lockhart are chairing seminars at the event1. Mr Smith said: “Effective crop protection is essential to food production in the UK. It is also vital that farmers recognise the importance of professional and responsible stewardship. Like most growers I was relieved to see glyphosate given a five year reauthorisation by Brussels earlier this week. It’s now important that growers continue to have access to key herbicides like glyphosate by demonstrating judicious use and showing regulators the importance of these chemicals to crop production.”

NFU combinable crops board vice-chairman Robert Lockhart said: “There have been some really exciting developments in non-chemical pest, weed and disease control and developments of new protection products. Farmers always try to use non-chemical plant control before looking for a chemical solution, and as technology improves these options are becoming more readily available. However, the use of plant protection products is integral to any pest management plan and farmers cannot rely on automation alone. Farmers must be able to utilise all options on all scales, and this is why the development of new active ingredients and products – and making them safe and accessible – is so important.”

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