PURE progress in innovative IPM in pome fruit in Europe
Research on innovative Integrated Pest Management (IPM) tools is done on-station and on-farm in the PURE project. The idea is that IPM tools are tested under well-defined conditions in experimental orchards. Subsequently, they are tested in commercial orchards as part of a total IPM system where drawbacks and bottlenecks become clear. In subsequent on-station experiments the drawbacks or bottlenecks are solved and adjusted IPM tools are again tested in commercial orchards. We call this the “design – assessment – adjustment cycle”. It is meant, together with co-innovation techniques, to promote uptake of innovative IPM tools by commercial farmers. For apple, new innovations are the use of exclusion netting against codling moth (Cydia pomonella), and the use of an antagonist against conidia of Venturia inaequalis. For pear, the overwintering inoculum of brown spot of pear (Stemphylium vesicarium) is reduced by antagonists and natural fertilisers, and the control of pear sucker (Cacopsylla pyricola) is promoted by natural enemies. For both apple and pear an innovative canopy adapted sprayer is used to reduce emissions and to further reduce pesticide use. Efficacy of these innovative IPM tools and IPM systems is assessed by the newly developed software for environmental effects: SYNOPS, for economic effects: PREMISE, and for overall sustainability, including economic, social and environmental aspects: DEXiPM-pomefruit. Results show that the overall sustainability of the conventional system is already high. Nevertheless, innovative IPM tools provided an improvement of environmental quality with an efficient control of diseases or pests. The cost for running the innovative IPM systems was often higher than the conventional system.