A research and development call for proposals on evaluating biocide use during hot water treatment for Narcissus, has now been launched by AHDB Horticulture, in response to the changing needs of Narcissus growers.
After harvesting, the majority of the UK’s Narcissus bulbs are dried, cleaned and size graded before storage. Bulbs retained for planting are subjected to hot water treatment (HWT) and planted as soon as possible to minimise the risk of pest and disease development. The hot water and pesticides used in HWT help reduce levels of disease, principally Fusarium basal rot, and pests, mostly nematodes, on the bulbs. However, changes in legislation regarding the approval status of effective crop protection products means growers now need to investigate alternatives for controlling these economically damaging problems.
Cathryn Lambourne, Research and KE Manager for AHDB Horticulture, said “This call for proposals is both supported and funded by the industry and has been generated by the AHDB Horticulture-led Protected Ornamentals, Bulbs and Outdoor Flowers Panel. We hope to see full proposals that evaluate the potential for using biocides to clean water used during hot water treatments of Narcissus bulbs prior to planting. Ultimately we want to find new approaches to HWT that help Narcissus growers counteract these ongoing problems.”
Following the call for proposals it is hoped that the successful funded project will provide information on the efficacy of a range of water treatment techniques to remove pathogenic bacteria, fungal spores and nematodes in recirculated water used during the hot water treatment of narcissus bulbs prior to planting. Indicative funding of £60K is available and work should include initial laboratory screening and comparison studies and be followed by full scale evaluation in a commercial setting. The deadline for proposals is 30 August 2015.
For more information on this funding call visit http://horticulture.ahdb.org.uk/narcissus-biocides-hwt or horticulture.ahdb.org.uk