The results from a three-year crop protection project have identified several effective novel chemical products and biopesticides for the control of pests and diseases to help support growers of ornamental crops.

Two products tested within the trials, which finished in spring 2017, are already available for growers to use within their integrated pest management programmes.

Met52 OD (Metarhizium anisopliae) has been approved on-label for use in protected ornamentals and an Extension of Authorisation for Minor Use (EAMU) has been obtained for Reflect (isopyrazam) for the control of powdery mildew in ornamental plant production.

Further applications for additional effective products identified within the project are currently being made to the Chemicals Regulation Directorate (CRD) by the AHDB EAMU programme to obtain approvals for growers. 

Philip Collison, from J. A. Collison and Sons, industry representative for the AHDB-funded project MOPS (Managing Ornamental Plants Sustainably), said, “The chemical trials and the EAMUs that AHDB help to generate from research programmes like MOPS are very useful for our business and of great value to the ornamentals industry.”

Bolette Palle Neve, crop protection scientist at AHDB said, “Many of the products tested in project MOPS performed really well in trials and have great potential for ornamental plant protection.

The process of getting products to market can take time, but we are currently working on EAMU applications for a number of products which I know will make a real difference for pest and disease control on nurseries in the future.”

Integrated pest management strategies for the ornamentals industry will now be incorporated into the new AHDB-funded SCEPTREplus project which began in spring 2017. Key targets have been announced for year one and for ornamental growers will include bacterial diseases, downy mildew, western flower thrips, groundsel and willow herb control. Many of the targets included in edible crop trials will also be applicable to ornamentals such as control of aphids.

Martin McPherson, researcher for both MOPS and SCEPTREplus at Stockbridge Technology Centre said; “The MOPS project has been an extremely important resource to identify active ingredients of interest and to gather data on efficacy and crop safety and we hope SCEPTREplus continues this work and that new authorisations can continue to be sought to develop and support IPM programmes.”

The final MOPS project summary is now available for growers to view here: bit.ly/AHDBmops