22 June 2023
‘Increasing the uptake of integrated pest management in UK arable farming’
HEAD of Environment, Audit and Public Affairs at BASIS, Teresa Meadows NSch 2020 has published her Nuffield Farming report titled ‘Increasing the uptake of integrated pest management in UK arable farming’, sponsored by The John Oldacre Foundation.
As part of her Scholarship, Teresa travelled to the Netherlands, Kenya, USA, Scotland and England. Due to travel restrictions as a result of the covid pandemic, she also had online discussions with experts and farmers from Australia, New Zealand, Nepal, Bangladesh, USA, Germany and Switzerland.
Teresa aimed to understand how to motivate widespread adoption of integrated pest management (IPM) strategies, looking at both the incentives and barriers which affect uptake. She also explored the techniques and best practices which could be applied to UK systems.
Her report identifies several key findings, noting that the RESET Mindset Model for behaviour change can help, explaining: “Successes in motivating change and uptake of practices around the world have come from implementing rules, education, social pressure, economic stimuli and the use of tools. By implementing the elements from these five areas and ‘pressing all the buttons’ of the RESET Mindset Model, IPM adoption in the UK arable farming sector would be advanced.”
Teresa concludes that individuals, agronomists and the industry need to move away from IPM adoption as a result of compliance, and work towards motivating adoption through knowledge, community support, financial incentives and the resources required.
She also calls for a step-change in how IPM is viewed by taking a holistic and integrated systems approach: “Aiming for optimum plant health, soil health and a diverse ecosystem will ultimately achieve reductions in pests, weeds and diseases and create a more resilient arable farming sector.
“Thinking should change from ’what can we kill?’ to ‘what can we introduce?’ Working together to implement IPM strategies on a large-scale in our arable farming sector will benefit crops, economics, the environment and human wellbeing”.
The report is now available on the Nuffield Farming website at www.nuffieldscholar.org/reports or can be downloaded directly at https://bit.ly/45D0baw.
Teresa first presented her findings during the 2022 Nuffield Farming Conference in Cardiff City Hall. She received the John Stewart Shield for the best presentation during the conference.
• Investigate the stimuli, or range of factors, which have driven the uptake of integrated pest management (IPM) practices for the farmers and organisations visited.
• Seek IPM practices from other countries, or sectors, which could be used in UK arable farming.
• Develop ways that these practices can be successfully implemented in the UK to enable IPM strategies to be further adopted by farmers, agronomists and the industry.
• To enable a step-change towards the uptake of integrated pest management in UK arable farming, we need to move from “regulatory IPM” to “voluntary IPM”.
• To achieve this, as arable farmers, agronomists, researchers, extension advisers, governments, buyers and consumers, we need to put into practice actions across all five areas of the RESET Mindset behaviour change model:
o RULES: Achieve the changes before the rules come into force
o EDUCATION: Invest in training and knowledge
o SOCIAL PRESSURE: Create a community
o ECONOMIC STIMULI: Ensure the economics are in place
o TOOLS: Research the tools
• IPM practices are many and varied. If we’re to move forward, all components of IPM need to be considered and actioned on-farm in a holistic manner. To ensure success, we need to integrate those practices and think about adopting a system, not just individual components.