Collaboration on nematodes

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Two Scottish farming co-ops back project to tackle nematodes in daffodils and potatoes

A COLLABORATIVE project involving two Scottish farming co-operatives is seeking to mitigate the spread of plant parasitic nematodes in daffodils and potatoes. Backed in Scotland by Grampian Growers and Scottish Agronomy alongside the James Hutton Institute, Harper Adams University and HL Hutchinson Ltd, the three-year research project is looking at sustainable ways to effectively suppress pests and pathogens using cover crops.

 

The UK produces the largest volume of narcissus in the world grown over more than 4,500ha, with the vast percentage of the area grown in Devon, Cornwall, Lincolnshire, the Isles of Scilly, Jersey and Scotland.  In Scotland, daffodil production is mostly concentrated on the east coast where 390ha are grown. Annually, Grampian Growers exports 4,000 tonnes of daffodil bulbs and crops 60 million stems of flowers, with flower production split 60/40 export to UK retail. 


Eric Anderson, Senior Agronomist at Scottish Agronomy, explains the significance of the project: 

 

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“Plant-parasitc nemotodes are microscopic and difficult to control because they live underground or inside of plants. They can seriously damage or even kill crops, but there is no widely available varietal resistance and only limited agrochemical options to treat the nematodes infecting narcissi, some of which are facing an uncertain future. Here in Scotland, we are seeing a rapid rise in land infected by plant parasitic nematodes, posing a very real threat to growers. Through this project we are looking for the most robust alternative solutions through IPM to secure the future of the bulb and potato growing industry.”

 

To read the full article, see the May issue of Potato Review. You can subscribe here.

 

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