Compilation of agreed common methods among existing IPM networks

Silke Dachbrodt-Saaydeh (JKI), Thomas Rottstock (JKI), Annett Gummert (JKI), Jan Helbig (JKI), Sandie Masson (Agroscope), Callum Bennett (LEAF), Marleen Riemens (WR), Geert Kessel (WR)


The deliverable aims to identify and bring together best practices of existing and previous demo-farm networks, which promote IPM in Europe, in order to develop advice for existing and newly established IPM demo-farm networks. The information was gathered via a qualitative survey comprising a questionnaire and interviews with the organisers of the demo-farm networks. The respondents represent five European demo-farm networks, engaged in testing and dissemination of IPM strategies: DEPHY-France, DIPSGermany, GROEN-AoZ-Netherlands, LEAF–United Kingdom and PestiRed-Switzerland.
Despite obvious organisational differences among the demo-farm networks, a variety of recommendations on best practices was identified. The general findings suggest that it is important for IPM demo-farm networks to comprise at least farmers, advisors and researchers. For the long-term transformation of practices, a value driven motivation of farmers’ is essential. It is advisable to clearly define roles, activities and criteria for data collection from the beginning. The demo-farm networks suggest ideally implementing IPM on whole farms. To reduce initial difficulties, the farmers can begin the process with practices, which are known to be easily adopted. Establishment of farmer groups ensure peer-to-peer learning, while facilitators guarantee freedom of choice for the farmers. Field visits and associated face-to-face communication are crucial for the success of demo-farm networks. The publication of results from demofarm networks can form the basis for improving the IPM advice for farmers and especially, to plan their cropping systems and IPM measures with a long-term perspective.
Preventive measures like diverse crop rotations and cultivation of more resistant varieties are crucial in IPM. This is also the case for well-organized field monitoring, which in combination with thresholds and ideally decision support systems are the basis for decisions for plant protection measures. Mechanical and thermal weed control can be a suitable alternative to herbicides. There is a demand for more biological control measures as alternative to conventional plant protection products (PPP). Moreover, farmers desire better information on selective, more target-specific PPP. The experience of the demo-farm networks shows that IPM measures have potential to reduce the use of PPP. Resistance development can for instance be avoided by the use of preventive measures, use of mechanical methods as well as change and mixture of different mode of actions of pesticides. It is recommended to conduct annual planning and evaluation of performance on farm and network level.

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