Growing up on a sheep and beef farm in Dorset gave me an inbuilt passion and appreciation for the agricultural industry. After studying Geography at university, volunteering, travelling and working around the world, I worked in farm advice roles with an environmental focus on my return. Firstly in the North East and North West for Natural England, working with farmers who were interested in environmental stewardship schemes to the benefit of their farmed environment, income and wider landscape. This was then followed by my role as a Catchment Advisor in the Chelmer and Blackwater Catchment for Essex & Suffolk Water, working with farmers to improve water quality across the catchment.
Challenging the Conventional: Behaviour change methods for the adoption of IPM
John Oldacre Foundation
Conventional arable farming is changing. Farmers in the UK have already lost key plant protection products and are set to lose additional insecticides, fungicides and other synthetic inputs in the next five years. This, combined with the need to lower the cost of production under the insistence that food prices remain low, while also improving yields and protecting the environment, has meant that IPM (Integrated Pest Management) has become vitally important.
IPM’s holistic farm approach to pest, weed and disease control is not a new concept. Existing information and research outlines what needs to be done, how it could be achieved and why this is necessary. Despite this, there has not yet been widespread adoption by arable farmers in the UK to move from a "out of a can" response to fully take this systems approach for on-farm management.
This study will explore how countries around the world have enabled behaviour change for the adoption of IPM, have managed the associated risks and stopped the barriers for its uptake. The aim of this Scholarship is to bring back techniques and recommendations to allow for the rapid adoption of IPM for the benefit of arable farm businesses and UK agriculture.