SCEPTREplus aims to deliver applied research on high priority disease, pest and weed problems in fresh produce and ornamental crops to support the approval of plant protection products. It also aims to develop integrated pest management programmes.
The four-year programme has secured £1.65m funding from AHDB, as well as in-kind and financial contributions from agrochemical and biopesticide manufacturers.
SCEPTREplus includes work on chemical, biological and physical crop protection methods. We will look at testing novel products, as well as changing the application methods or timings of existing products.
The programme continues the research carried out in the original SCEPTRE and MOPS programmes, which tested fungicides, insecticides and herbicides on edible and ornamental crops.
The project consortium is chaired by Ed Moorhouse (Agri-Food Solutions) and includes RSK ADAS, NIAB EMR, Stockbridge Technology Centre and the University of Warwick.
SCEPTREplus will focus on new chemistry and non-chemical approaches with improved environmental profiles. Providing growers with access to this new chemistry will reduce the overall adverse environmental impact from the crop protection programme
Due to the high level of regulation for crop protection products in the UK/EU, the shift to safer crop protection products, including biopesticides, should minimise any possible negative environmental impacts of the older established products
The introduction of new crop protection products and strategies will address risks to the supply chain by increasing the number of options for growers to manage current and future challenges, thereby improving the resilience of UK supply chains and underpinning opportunities to develop export markets.
What does SCEPTREplus means for you?
SCEPTREplus will help speed up the process of testing and bringing new products to market, so that the industry is better equipped to manage pest, weed and disease control.
The process to secure EAMU approvals on new products is complex and includes collection of residues data, provision of a supporting case, and the completion and submission of applications to the Chemicals Regulation Directorate (CRD). SCEPTREplus aims to bring new products to market through the AHDB Horticulture-funded EAMU programme, representing the whole industry, so that individual growers don’t have to submit products themselves.
The targets for SCEPTREplus were agreed using AHDB's gap analysis which was conducted in 2016, as well as through consultation with sector panels and grower associations.
There is flexibility in the project structure to allow trial changes from year to year depending on the outcome of results from the previous year. This also allows for any emergency situations that arise, such as lettuce Fusarium wilt, or the inclusion of new products if they become available for testing.