Practical findings from Horticultural Development Council trial, plus summaries of academic research and scientific trials, compiled by Dr Ken Cockshull.
Each season, strawberry growers expect to contend with certain flower and leaf pests, but they can never be quite sure when the pests will strike.
Most vegetables are botanically roots, leaves, stems, seeds or fruits. Broccoli is a flower bud, so the grower has a difficult task aiming for prolonged storage.
Previous HDC-funded work identified a replacement for formalin as an additive to bulb treatment tanks. However, the industry wanted to avoid depending on just FAM 30 (an iodine-based disinfectant).
Internal fruit rot of sweet pepper is an increasing problem worldwide and poses a significant issue for growers because symptoms will often not arise until at the packhouse or supermarket.
Pre and post-harvest splitting in radishes results in significant product wastage.
The phasing-out of tungsten bulbs led HDC to investigate alternatives (PC 296).
The soft-fruit industry is under pressure to reduce pesticide residues.
Spraying technology has seen some significant developments over the past few years.
Early experience of using SmartFreshTM in pear stores found that the fruit often fails to ripen properly after coming out of store.
Spray programmes incorporating already approved and experimental bio-fungicides and chemical products with activity against the main lettuce diseases are being evaluated in HDC project FV/PE 410 "Lettuce: Further development of 'Best Practice' for disease control in protected and outdoor crops".
The use of herbicides after cropping in narcissus production is important because weeds germinate after the soil has been disturbed by pickers.
Pea breeders have introduced several new snap pea varieties to the industry. However, until now there has been no independent assessment or evaluation of these compared to existing standard varieties.
Hawthorn-parsley aphid (Dysaphis apiifolia) and mint aphid (Ovatus crataegarius) are common pests on parsley and mint respectively. Growers have not seen parasitism of either of these aphids by any of the three parasitoid species commonly used in glasshouses for biological control - Aphidius colemani, Aphidius ervi and Aphelinus abdominalis.
Following the first independent variety trial on parsnips for many years, in FV 336, a second trial was commissioned to include new varieties released since that project was completed in order to provide insight into the strengths and weaknesses of today's varieties.
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