Plant pests and diseases cause yield losses and reduce the quality of plant materials. Depending on the crop grown, yield losses can range from about 50% to 80% if pests, pathogens, bacteria, viruses and weeds are left uncontrolled. Avoiding these losses requires the creation of an unfavorable environment for the development of pests and pathogens. This can be achieved by using resistant cultivars, crop rotation, tillage systems interrupting the pathogen's lifecycle, or, the use of pesticides. An optimum efficacy of actions taken in the field with a minimum of environmental impact can only be achieved if an effective method is used at the right time in the right place. The project focusses on answering the question when fungal pathogens in cereals and insect pests in rapeseed need to be controlled.
The emerging technology domain of precision farming aims at applying what is needed when it is needed where it is needed, thereby respecting the production capacity of natural resources at increasingly small scales without jeopardizing farm income or agricultural productivity. In the context of national and EU goals, crop protection strategies are developed and communicated to farmers, teachers and advisors that limit 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 tools 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, contributions to conferences, knowledge transfer at fairs and field days as well as publications in newspapers and scientific journals.
The project contributes to:
Warning bulletins on national websites:
Bilska K, Kulik T, Ostrowska-Kołodziejczak A, Buśko M, Pasquali M, Beyer M, Baturo-Cieśniewska A, Juda M, Załuski D, Treder K, Denekas J, Perkowski J (2018): Development of a highly sensitive FcMito qPCR assay for the quantification of the toxigenic fungal plant pathogen Fusarium culmorum. Toxins 10: 211.
El Jarroudi M, Kouadio L, Beyer M, Hoffmann L, Tychon B, Maraite H, Bock CH, Delfosse P (2015): Economics of a decision-support system for managing the main fungal diseases of winter wheat in the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg. Field Crops Research 172: 32–41.
Pallez-Barthel M, Pasquali M, Srimpf K, Cocco E, Gollier M Dondelinger J, Beyer M (2018): Occurrence of Fusarium species, chemotypes and toxins in winter wheat from Luxembourg – a ten-year survey indicates reversible major shifts in the species composition related to dry years. 7èmes journées Mycotoxines – Bordeaux – 18-19 janvier 2018.