New Nuffield Farming report calls for fresh approach to IPM adoption

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  • Head of Environment, Audit and Public Affairs at BASIS, Teresa Meadows NSch 2020 has published her Nuffield Farming report titled ‘Increasing the uptake of integrated pest management in UK arable farming’, sponsored by The John Oldacre Foundation

As part of her Scholarship, Teresa travelled to the Netherlands, Kenya, USA, Scotland and England. Due to travel restrictions as a result of the covid pandemic, she also had online discussions with experts and farmers from Australia, New Zealand, Nepal, Bangladesh, USA, Germany and Switzerland. 

Teresa aimed to understand how to motivate widespread adoption of integrated pest management (IPM) strategies, looking at both the incentives and barriers which affect uptake. She also explored the techniques and best practices which could be applied to UK systems.

Her report identifies several key findings, noting that the RESET Mindset Model for behaviour change can help, explaining: “Successes in motivating change and uptake of practices around the world have come from implementing rules, education, social pressure, economic stimuli and the use of tools. By implementing the elements from these five areas and ‘pressing all the buttons’ of the RESET Mindset Model, IPM adoption in the UK arable farming sector would be advanced.” 

Teresa concludes that individuals, agronomists and the industry need to move away from IPM adoption as a result of compliance, and work towards motivating adoption through knowledge, community support, financial incentives and the resources required. 

She also calls for a step-change in how IPM is viewed by taking a holistic and integrated systems approach: “Aiming for optimum plant health, soil health and a diverse ecosystem will ultimately achieve reductions in pests, weeds and diseases and create a more resilient arable farming sector. 

“Thinking should change from ‘what can we kill?’ to ‘what can we introduce?’ Working together to implement IPM strategies on a large-scale in our arable farming sector will benefit crops, economics, the environment and human wellbeing”.

The report is now available on the Nuffield Farming website at www.nuffieldscholar.org/reports  or can be downloaded directly at https://bit.ly/45D0baw.

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