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Farmers urged to explore how natural predators can help kill crop pests

PUBLISHED: 15:01 05 February 2020 | UPDATED: 15:02 05 February 2020

Diss Monitor Farm manager Richard Ling will host a discussion on integrated pest management and beneficial insects. Picture: Liz Bishop

Diss Monitor Farm manager Richard Ling will host a discussion on integrated pest management and beneficial insects. Picture: Liz Bishop

Liz Bishop Photography 2018

Techniques to boost beneficial insects and natural predators to help deal with crop pests will be the focus of a farmers’ meeting near Diss next month.

The topic of integrated pest management (IPM) will be discussed at the February meeting of the Diss Monitor Farm - Norfolk's representative on the knowledge-sharing network run by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).

With many pesticides which farmers previously relied on now unavailable, or at risk of being banned, the need for an integrated approach is becoming increasingly important.

John Holland, head of farmland ecology at the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT), will discuss how pollinators and "beneficials" can be managed and encouraged, and how farmers can take advantage of the interactions between pests and their natural enemies.

Another speaker is Kent farmer Andy Barr, who will explain how he manages pests and boosts natural enemies on his farm - where he has not sprayed insecticides for 12 years.

- The free event runs from 1pm-4.15pm on February 11 at Wortham Village Hall. To book, contact ke.events@ahdb.org.uk.


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