Plant pests and diseases cause yield losses and reduce the quality of plant materials. Depending on the crop grown, yield losses range from about 50% to 80% if pests, pathogens, bacteria, viruses and weeds are left uncontrolled. Avoiding the damage these organisms cause requires the creation of an unfavourable environment for their development by using, for example, resistant varieties, crop rotation, tillage systems interrupting the pathogen's lifecycle, or,the use of pesticides. Furthermore, an accurate diagnosis is needed to select effective treatments against the pest or pathogen.
In the context of national and EU goals, crop protection strategies and technologies are developed and communicated to farmers, teachers and advisors that keep pesticide use to a minimum at the same time safeguarding yield and quality of plant materials produced in Luxembourg. Project outputs include recommendations for optimizing integrated cropping systems, decision support systems for managing pests and diseases in the major crops, molecular tools for the accurate identification and quantification of pests and pathogens, pest and disease warning bulletins, conference contributions and publications in newspapers and scientific journals.
The project contributes to:
Warning bulletins on national websites:
"Evidence for a reversible drought induced shift in the species composition of mycotoxin producing Fusarium head blight pathogens isolated from symptomatic wheat heads." International Journal for Food Microbiology, 2014