Plant health is critical for our access to enough affordable and nutritious food, as well as for the production and marketability of quality ornamental plants.

Pests, diseases, weeds and environmental stresses can all threaten plant health, damage crops and impact sales. In recent decades, these have all been well controlled using chemical pesticides. The withdrawal of key active ingredients and pesticide resistance is putting pressure on what remains.

Integrated pest management is not new, but the need for growers to adopt a range of control measures is increasing. Not only is this now vital for sustainable production, there is also a greater focus on the less “nature-friendly” aspects of cropping. The industry must look for new, innovative ways to improve plant health and maintain food security.

Through R&D, on-site consultancy and specialised technical expertise, we support all sectors within horticulture, from individual growers to pesticide (bioprotectant and chemical) producers.

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Crop walking

Our BASIS and FACTS qualified consultants specialise in providing impartial, high-level agronomic advice. Experienced industry leaders in their specialisms, the team understand all aspects of crop production. They can advise on sustainable approaches to maximise plant health in a variety of production systems and cropping environments.

Pathology and entomology consultancy

The ADAS Pathology and Entomology (P&D) team have extensive knowledge and experience working on a wide range of plant pathogens and pests. The team work directly with growers, providing advice tailored to the commercial practices used at their specific production sites.

Working alongside our crop consultants, the P&D team identify pest and disease samples sent to our laboratories. Unlike other research institutes, we provide interpretation and advice on management for any issues identified.

In addition to providing expert advice on established pest and disease threats, we are at the frontline to investigate and respond to emerging issues. Recent examples include:

Site hygiene

Good hygiene practices prevent (or delay) the introduction of harmful micro-organisms, plant pathogens, pests and weeds from entering onto sites. This is particularly important at propagation. Minimising their spread will maintain plant health, reduce pesticides use and crop wastage, and keep labour costs down.

We have experience in the production of site-specific hygiene and biosecurity protocols for a range of sites, including protected cropping businesses. This can range from simple ‘best practice’ advice to more in-depth protocols. It can also involve site visits, sampling (where necessary) and advice on disinfectants and their use.

Post harvest

Plant health must be maintained postharvest to reduce losses to rots and pest outbreaks during storage. Our post harvest facility includes a suite of controlled environment rooms to evaluate current and new techniques in maintaining plant health.

Field and laboratory trials

ADAS Horticulture has decades of experience designing and managing statistically robust trials. We improve, or establish new techniques in promoting plant health, including chemical, nutritional and technological solutions.

New project enquiries

We are open to new project work, industry workshop delivery or training to deploy our specialist plant health knowledge. Contact us to learn more.