Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Integrated approach and economic evaluation

Site-specific, integrated strategies for late blight and crop performance management often improved the physical (marketable yield) and financial (cost/benefit) performance compared with Currently Used Late Blight Management Strategy (CULBMS). Blight control was generally lower than where copper-based fungicides were used, but copper did not always improve yields. Critical appraisal of CULBMS identifies deficiencies, but it may already be optimised in some cases. For others, simply adopting current state of the art technology would improve efficacy.

There is no single blueprint: the integrated system must be designed for a specific situation. The systems approach at grower, country and EU level will narrow the production gap between crops grown with and without copper-based fungicides. Effective information dissemination is required to achieve this objective and further research to develop less advanced strategies; identify positive interactions between components and site-specific requirements successfully.

Optimising systems could take several years in many cases and will need re-evaluation/modification as technological, political, climatic, environmental and economic conditions change. A lower-input programme of copper-based fungicides may be an interim solution. Less dependency on copper will sustain the production and profitability of organic potato growing in Europe, benefiting all stakeholders and meet an important EU organic farming policy objective.

Reported by

Swiss Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL)
5070 FRICK
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