SCEPTREplus - Research for sustainable plant protection products for use in horticulture


Management of pests, diseases and weeds is a major concern for growers of edible and ornamental crops in the UK.  The quality of horticultural produce is paramount and even small levels of damage can lead to major losses in marketable yield.  Efforts to protect crops effectively are hampered in many instances by the limited number of control methods available on individual crops, exacerbated by the de-registration of certain pesticide products, limited development budgets in crop protection companies for new products on specialist or minor crops and incidences of resistance to some of the pesticides that are approved.  

The future for pest, disease and weed control will require growers to take a true IPM approach and integrate conventional pesticides with biopesticides, cultural methods including using rotations, clean plant material, resistant varieties, pheromone technology, biocontrols and physical controls, making treatment decisions based on accurate diagnostics and pest and disease forecasts.  Crop protection companies continue to produce new actives for use on major world crops which are better targeted and have lower environmental impact and several promising fungicides and insecticides and a few herbicides are in development. However, the number of new actives that become registered for use on horticultural crops is relatively small, largely due to the small size of the market in relation to development costs. Fortunately there has been a significant increase in commercial interest and development of biopesticides and the horticulture industry will require more information on their efficacy, persistence, crop safety and how to integrate them into ‘best practice’ treatment programmes.  SCEPTREplus will help to address the issues many growers have with regard to crop protection in horticulture.

Project code:
CP 165
01 April 2017 - 31 March 2021
AHDB Horticulture
AHDB sector cost:
Project leader:

About this project


The aim of the project is to deliver applied research on high priority pest, disease and weed problems in fresh produce and ornamental crops in order to identify effective treatments, support approval of new products and devise and develop IPM programmes.


The core objectives of the project are to:
1. Identify key crop protection priorities in horticultural production in the UK to fill pesticide gaps and reduce overall use of synthetic pesticides. 
2. Identify current and pre-commercial pesticides and biopesticides and assess their potential for use on key crop protection priorities in horticultural production in the UK to fill pesticide gaps and reduce overall use of synthetic pesticides. 
3. For disease and pest problems; Design and deliver pesticide and biopesticide efficacy tests on key crop protection priorities (including seed treatments and use in storage situations) in order to identify effective and crop-safe products for potential use in sustainable disease and pest IPM solutions 
4. For disease and pest problems; Design, test and feed into other sustainable IPM programmes that incorporate pesticides and biopesticides identified in this project to fill gaps in control measures and reduce the use of synthetic pesticides 
5. For weed problems; Design and deliver herbicide screening tests with emphasis on non-target crop tolerance, and potentially including residue studies where relevant. 
6. For weed problems; Design and test systems to reduce herbicide usage by more targeted application and/or other methods, and integrate these with current commercial practice.
7. Test novel non-chemical methods for weed control 
8. For any suitable candidates emerging from the objectives 1-6 above, conduct where necessary residue trials for MRL and support other regulatory data generated projects if this is considered a priority by industry representatives and AHDB. EAMU applications for suitable candidates will be carried out by AHDB with assistance from the Consortium and Researchers in terms of producing ‘cases for need’.  
9. Develop clear management and application guidelines and messages (with manufacturers) to optimise use of biopesticides, linking with other biopesticides programmes, such as AMBER (Application and Management of Biopesticides for Efficacy and Reliability). 
10. Communicate with stakeholders and disseminate information. 

Work packages and reports



SP 16 Evaluation of biopesticides and conventional fungicides for control of Grey Mould (Botrytis cinerea) in stored Dutch White Cabbage

SP 26 Control of septoria on celery - 2018-2020

SP 36 Treatments of lettuce root aphid on lettuce - 2018-2019

SP 37 Control of downy mildew in propagate brassica crops - 2018

SP 43 Evaluation of new products for control of rust in leeks - 2019

SP 54 Downy mildew control on alliums - 2020

SP 62a Evaluation of new seed treatments for control of soil-borne Rhizoctonia in cauliflower - 2021

SP 62b Evaluation of new seed treatments for control Fusarium in leek - 2021

SP63 Spinach Stemphylium Leaf Spot (seed treatments)

SP 63a Evaluation of new seed treatments for control of soil-borne Pythium in leek - 2021

SP 64 Seed treatment for onion neck rot - 2021

SP 65 Novel approaches for bacterial disease control in outdoor field vegetables - 2021

SP 69 Development of new strategies to control carrot cavity spot - 2021

SP 72 Development of an aritificial inoculation method for a cavity spot in pot grown carrots in a glasshouse - 2021


SP 03 Control of asparagus beetle adults and larvae with novel insecticide and bioinsecticide sprays - 2017-2018

SP 04 Control of aphids on carrots, lettuce and brassicas - 2017-2019

SP 05 Control of Thrips tabaci on leek with novel insecticide sprays

SP 22 Evaluation of novel active substances for control of bean seed fly (Delia platura) - 2018-2019

SP 55 Evaluation of Phytodrip for cabbage aphid control - 2020

SP 57 Cabbage whitefly (Aleyrodes proletella) on kale - 2021

SP 58 Leafhopper control on herbs - 2020

SP 59 Flea beetle (Phyllotreta spp.) infestations on brassicas - 2021


SP 01 Carrot and parsnip herbicide screens - 2017-2020

SP 02 Herbs herbicides screens - 2017-2019

SP 06 Herbicide screens for improving weed control in sweetcorn - 2017-2019

SP 10 Weed control in celery - 2017-2019

SP 13 Improving weed control in cucurbits

SP 27 Weed control in brassicas - 2018-2021

SP 28 Weed control on allium crops - 2018-2019

SP 29 Weed control in lettuce and baby leaf - 2018-2021

SP 35 Control of volunteer potatoes in carrots and parsnips - 2018-2020

SP 50 Broad-leaved weed control in legumes - 2019

SP 51 Control of problematic weeds in asparagus - 2019-2020



SP 32 Control of fungal diseases in ornamental plants - Botrytis cinerea

SP 33 Evlauating the crop safety of promising downy mildew products on ornamental plants

SP 42 Control of smoulder & white mould on narcissus - 2019-2020

SP 44 Control of Ornamental rust (in Heuchera) - 2021

SP 45 Control of fusarium basal rot of Narcissus - 2020


SP 15 Efficacy of plant protection products against western flower thrips (WFT) on protected ornamentals

SP 23 Control of sciarids & shore flies on ornamentals - 2018-2020

SP 56 Aphid control on containerised hardy nursery stock - 2020

SP 61 Screening of efficacy and crop safety of novel products for the control of Tetranychus urticae (two-spotted spider mite) on hardy nursery stock - 2021


SP 18 Weed control in narcissus - 2017-2020

SP 30 Weed control in cut flowers - 2019-2020

SP 53 Interaction between herbicides and growing media - 2020



SP 07 Identification of new products for control of downy mildew (Bremia lactucae) and related pathogens on outdoor and protected crops - 2017

SP 14 Evaluation of biopesticides and conventional fungicides for control of Pythium aphanidermatum in cucumber - 2017

SP 21 Control of diseases in hydroponic lettuce - 2018

SP 25 Control of fusarium on lettuce - 2018-2021

SP 40 Control of new tomato blight strain - 2019

SP 46 Controlling Pythium and Rhizoctonia in protected baby leaf salad crops

SP 47 Powdery mildew control in protected crops


SP 08 Efficiacy and crop safety assessment of new and novel products for the control of Aulacorthum solani (glasshouse potato aphid) on glasshouse pepper - 2018

SP 09 Control of Tuta absoluta on tomatoes with novel insecticide sprays - 2018-2019

SP 12 Initial screening of efficacy and crop safety of novel products for the control of Tetranychus urticae (two-spotted spider mite) on glasshouse tomato - 2017

SP 24 Identification of new control treatments for Southern Green Stink Bug (Nezara viridula)

SP 34 Integrated control of tomato russet mite

SP 49 Integrated control strategies for glasshouse mealybug - 2019-2021

SP 58 Leafhopper control on herb - 2020

SP 60 Screening insecticide/biopesticide products for management of Macrolophus 



SP 66  Blackcurrant leaf spot fungicide screen - 2020

SP 67 SP 67 Blackberry downy mildew – 2020

SP 70 Phytophthora in soft fruit - 2021


SP 11 Control of spotted wing drosophila - 2018-2020

SP 20 Identification of new acarcides for gall mite control on blackcurrant - 2018-2020

SP 38 Control of raspberry can midge and blackberry leaf midge 2018-2021

SP 39 Integrated treatment strategies to control capsid bugs - 2018-2020

SP 48 Identifying chemical, biological and cultural control mehtods for UK Blueberry gall midge management


SP 17 Weed control Rhubarb - 2017-2019

SP 31 Weed control in blackcurrants - 2018-2020



SP 19 New treatment strategies to control bacterial canker on cherries - 2018-2020

SP 41 Development of treatments to control plum rust

SP 68 New strategies to control apple canker


SP 52 Weed control in new apple plantings - 2020