Nav: Home

Networking is the way to go

October 04, 2016

Weeds, diseases and animal pests can make life miserable for agricultural crops and curtail their yield. Pesticides are one tool that farmers can use to control plant pests and protect agricultural crops. However, sustainable agriculture calls for a wider range of tools to keep the use of pesticides to an optimal minimum.

Integrated pest management is the solution, but getting farmers to implement integrated pest management faces many challenges. A group of European scientists, including from the Department of Agroecology at Aarhus University, has focused on this issue and they suggest that networking is a powerful approach to solving the problem.

Integrated pest management faces a wide range of challenges. Climate change, development of pesticide resistance, and development of virulence that matches host resistance are external factors that must constantly be taken into account.

A trend towards decreasing budget allocations for research in integrated pest management, increasing scarcity of expertise, lack of knowledge transfer from research to practice, communication gaps, and lack of research that encompasses many disciplines together are internal hurdles that stand in the way of spreading integrated pest management (IPM). There is hope, though.

- There is increasing awareness that transnational networking is one means to overcome such challenges and to address common priorities in agriculture, the scientists state in an article published in the scientific journal Crop Protection.

Three ways to improve networking

Many stakeholders are involved in crop protection, including farmers, advisors, researchers, policy makers and commercial companies.

- Crop protection needs to be coordinated through effective communications and dynamic collaboration to make any IPM strategy successful, the scientists say.

There is already a wide variety of networking activities in the field of IPM. However, networking in IPM can be boosted and its impact can be widely increased. The scientists describe three specific recommendations based on a decade-long IPM networking experience in Europe:
  • More researchers could benefit if existing networks improved communication between research organizations in Europe and worldwide. Even when specific crop protection problems are different, one can learn from approaches applied elsewhere. Opening of collaborative long-term experiments to researchers from different institutions could help optimise research costs and results.

  • Improved networking between researchers and advisors could increase the flow of knowledge and information to farmers about the latest developments and technological applications. Knowledge transfer can grow and improve if advisors are involved in defining research projects from the start, thus ensuring sufficient research in the socio-economic context of farmers. Foresight studies with multiple stakeholders, such as researchers, farmers, advisors and policy makers, can define groundbreaking research themes for the future, not readily available for application in the field, but in line with expectations of multiple stakeholders.

  • Improved structuring of knowledge generation approaches in IPM and the respective outputs, and improved communication and dissemination in the IPM networks will allow policy makers to evaluate hot topics that need legislation. Participation of policy makers in the knowledge generating process can increase the effectiveness of newly proposed guidelines and legislations. International networks can provide examples for structuring local IPM networks involving multiple stakeholders aiming at self-governance.

The main impact of following the scientists' recommendations would be to open up the specific networks for sectorial users to create real multi-actor networks for IPM.
-end-


Aarhus University

Related Pesticides Articles:

SDHI pesticides are toxic for human cells
French scientists led by a CNRS researcher have just revealed that eight succinate dehydrogenase inhibitor pesticide molecules do not just inhibit the SDH activity of fungi, but can also block that of earthworms, bees, and human cells in varying proportions.
Pesticides deliver a one-two punch to honey bees
A new paper in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry reveals that adjuvants, chemicals commonly added to pesticides, amplify toxicity affecting mortality rates, flight intensity, colony intensity, and pupae development in honey bees.
Hypertension found in children exposed to flower pesticides
Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine found higher blood pressure and pesticide exposures in children associated with a heightened pesticide spraying period around the Mother's Day flower harvest.
Banned pesticides in Europe's rivers
Tests of Europe's rivers and canals have revealed more than 100 pesticides -- including 24 that are not licensed for use in the EU.
The persistence of pesticides threatens European soils
A study developed by researchers from the Diverfarming project finds pesticide residues in the soils of eleven European countries in six different cropping systems
Honeybees at risk from Zika pesticides
Up to 13 percent of US beekeepers are in danger of losing their colonies due to pesticides sprayed to contain the Zika virus, new research suggests.
Alternatives to pesticides -- Researchers suggest popular weeds
Research proves that extracts from S. nigrum and D. stramonium, globally existing weed species, may help to protect crop systems against agricultural pests.
Seeing pesticides spread through insect bodies
Osaka University-led team provides insights into the distribution of pesticides within insects using a newly developed method of insect sample preparation.
The more pesticides bees eat, the more they like them
Bumblebees acquire a taste for pesticide-laced food as they become more exposed to it, a behavior showing possible symptoms of addiction.
Research shows pesticides influence bee learning and memory
A large-scale study published by researchers from Royal Holloway University of London has drawn together the findings of a decade of agrochemical research to confirm that pesticides used in crop protection have a significant negative impact on the learning and memory abilities of bees.
More Pesticides News and Pesticides Current Events

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2019.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Risk
Why do we revere risk-takers, even when their actions terrify us? Why are some better at taking risks than others? This hour, TED speakers explore the alluring, dangerous, and calculated sides of risk. Guests include professional rock climber Alex Honnold, economist Mariana Mazzucato, psychology researcher Kashfia Rahman, structural engineer and bridge designer Ian Firth, and risk intelligence expert Dylan Evans.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#541 Wayfinding
These days when we want to know where we are or how to get where we want to go, most of us will pull out a smart phone with a built-in GPS and map app. Some of us old timers might still use an old school paper map from time to time. But we didn't always used to lean so heavily on maps and technology, and in some remote places of the world some people still navigate and wayfind their way without the aid of these tools... and in some cases do better without them. This week, host Rachelle Saunders...
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dolly Parton's America: Neon Moss
Today on Radiolab, we're bringing you the fourth episode of Jad's special series, Dolly Parton's America. In this episode, Jad goes back up the mountain to visit Dolly's actual Tennessee mountain home, where she tells stories about her first trips out of the holler. Back on the mountaintop, standing under the rain by the Little Pigeon River, the trip triggers memories of Jad's first visit to his father's childhood home, and opens the gateway to dizzying stories of music and migration. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.