Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Use of low risk plant protection methods in vegetable production

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
4.03.05  Biotechnical sciences  Plant production  Phytomedicine 

Code Science Field
B390  Biomedical sciences  Phytotechny, horticulture, crop protection, phytopathology 

Code Science Field
4.01  Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences  Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries 
food security; low-risk methods for plant protection; national action program; organic farming; self-sufficiency; sustainable agriculture; vegetables;
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (18)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  17301  Tadej Galič    Technical associate  2016 - 2019 
2.  20069  PhD Barbara Gerič Stare  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Researcher  2016 - 2019  279 
3.  24297  PhD Maja Kožar  Plant production  Researcher  2016 - 2019  198 
4.  29500  PhD Robert Leskovšek  Plant production  Researcher  2016 - 2019  258 
5.  25805  MSc Špela Modic  Plant production  Researcher  2016 - 2019  383 
6.  20162  PhD Sebastjan Radišek  Plant production  Researcher  2016 - 2019  622 
7.  20163  PhD Magda Rak Cizej  Plant production  Researcher  2016 - 2019  567 
8.  26091  PhD Jaka Razinger  Plant production  Head  2016 - 2019  451 
9.  24580  PhD Hans-Josef Schroers  Plant production  Researcher  2016 - 2019  197 
10.  28397  PhD Polona Strajnar  Plant production  Researcher  2016 - 2019  89 
11.  22935  PhD Saša Širca  Plant production  Researcher  2016 - 2019  343 
12.  34421  PhD Melita Theuerschuh  Plant production  Researcher  2016 - 2017  94 
13.  13378  MSc Marjetica Urbančič Zemljič  Plant production  Technical associate  2016 - 2019  672 
14.  05672  PhD Gregor Urek  Plant production  Researcher  2016 - 2019  737 
15.  17853  Barbara Zagorc  Plant production  Researcher  2016 - 2019  373 
16.  13376  MSc Metka Žerjav  Plant production  Researcher  2016 - 2019  357 
17.  39838  Primož Žigon  Plant production  Researcher  2017 - 2019  398 
18.  23195  Silvo Žveplan  Plant production  Technical associate  2016 - 2019  198 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0401  Agricultural institute of Slovenia  Ljubljana  5055431  20,097 
2.  0416  Slovenian Institute of Hop Research and Brewing  Žalec  5051762000  4,269 
Pathogenic organisms (pests, diseases and weeds) (PO) are the causative agents of major economic damage. In order to control the PO or to prevent the loss of crops while maintaining adequate productivity of our agriculture, the use of chemical plant protection products (PPPs) is the "necessary evil". Using PPPs, however, puts a considerate strain on the environment, endangers human health, and presents additional financial burden for the producer. Alternatives to chemical PPPs are environmentally friendlier technologies. An example is the control of PO using low-risk methods (LRM). Those include mechanical or physical weed management, biological plant protection, biopesticide use, and others. An effective use of LRM requires substantial knowledge and experience. Furthermore, untested LRM should be examined in our growing conditions – using this strategy, research findings can be directly applicable to the vegetable production in Slovenia, specifically in an integrated, ecological and other forms of environmentally friendly production of vegetables. Applicability of LRM should also be assessed from a financial standpoint, since the costs of this technology have not yet been systematically collected. Food security and degree of food self-sufficiency is exceptionally important in Europe and Slovenia. Unfortunately, the degree of self-sufficiency concerning vegetables in Slovenia amounts to only 36% for fresh vegetables. In Slovenia, the most widely produced vegetables are Cole crops (Brassicaceae, e.g. cabbage and cauliflower) and leaf vegetables (e.g. salads), amounting to about a quarter of commercial production; they are followed by fruit vegetables (e.g. tomatoes) with 11% of commercial production. Within the scope of CRP project Use of low risk plant protection methods in vegetable production (hereinafter the Project) we will examine the possibility of using different LRM for controlling diseases, pests and weeds in the manufacture of the abovementioned three most important vegetables in Slovenia. We will focus on the problematics and management of Flea beetles and Cabbage fly in Cole crops; snails, wireworms and white rot in leaf vegetables; nematodes of the genus Meloidogyne spp. and soil fungal diseases in tomato production; as well as the possibility of weed control in horticulture using low-risk methods. These POs and weeds will be managed using the currently most promising LRM in a series of two-year field or glasshouse experiments. The effectiveness of LRM will be agronomically and economically evaluated. The success of plant protection against pathogenic organisms depends on the creativity and innovativity of researchers and experts in plant protection. Work on the project will be focused on formulating new, efficient and reliable approaches and tools for pest control. Our work will be based on the traditional knowledge and experience and will be aimed at the development of new, effective tools for integrated plant protection (IPP), especially in the development of possibilities for their practical application. By evaluating the agronomic and economic efficiency of the low-risk methods for plant protection, we plan to introduce into practice appropriate environmentally friendly technologies for protection of Slovenian most important vegetables. The purpose of the project is to replace a number of existing conventional synthetic pesticides used to control major pests, vegetable diseases and weeds, with effective alternative biological control products or low-risk methods for plant protection. This will increase the use of beneficial organisms and low-risk methods for plant protection in the production of vegetables. We will try to incorporate all the technologically and economically efficient methods into the current technologies for horticultural production. Combining various research areas (phytopathology, entomology, nematology, weed science, and production economics) and dissemination of knowledge, we will establ
Significance for science
Lessening the dependence on chemical pesticides is an integral part of the European Union’s (EU) agenda for agriculture (European Parliament, 2009) and Slovene agricultural policy (Resolucija 2011; NAP 2012; Strategija 2014). Thus, to meet the increasing food demand and comply with stricter environmental demands, agriculture must increase food production and quality while decreasing its detrimental ecological impact (Masip et al., 2013), and this is a major challenge (Singh et al., 2011). Additionally, the development of alternative control strategies of pests is urgently needed because of the phase-out of many ‘first-generation’ pesticides. The research approach of this project aims to provide solutions for problems that conventional pest, disease and weed control in vegetable production faces, including environmental and human health concerns as well as insecticide resistance and inadequate pest control. By experimental testing of several low risk methods and evaluation of their economic feasibility we will offer to Slovene researchers from the field of agronomy as well as advisory consultants new knowledge of several tools for plant protection with significantly lower environmental and health impact as compared to classic synthetic pesticides. All expert and scientific results will be presented at various expert and scientific meetings (Zelenjavne urice; DVRS srečanje; Novi izzivi agronomije, ipd.) and will be disseminated in the form of expert and scientific articles, and this will have a direct impact on Slovene agro technical applied research community.
Significance for the country
Plant protection products have many negative effects on human health and the environment. Following the increased public awareness, the Directive on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides (2009/128 / EC) was adopted in Europe. It refers to reducing the risks and impacts of pesticide use on human health and the environment. This Directive requires member states to establish a national action plan for defining the objectives and actions to achieve a reduction of risk due to the use of pesticides. In accordance with Article 14 of that directive, all professional users of plant protection products must follow the defined principles of integrated plant protection. Agriculture in Slovenia is facing many challenges associated with harmful organisms. Currently, there is not enough effective, economically acceptable and technically feasible methods for pest control (directly related to the relationship pest / cultivated plant), which could satisfactorily replace the use of plant protection products, or such methods are still being developed. Thus introduction of alternative plant protection methods (i.e. alternative to chemical plant protection) is extremely important. They will represent the key elements of integrated pest management for economical and sustainable production of vegetables. We will contribute to a reduction of dependence of agricultural production on the use of plant protection products with the development and introduction of non-chemical or low risk methods for plant protection without a negative impact on the profitability and quality of production of agricultural products. The testing and introduction of these methods will address one of the biggest challenges of Slovene agriculture which is low competitiveness, partially caused by a lower number of registered active substances, as compared to foreign vegetable producers. Moreover, we will be able to effectively manage harmful organisms in which resistance developed to frequently used insecticides, fungicides and herbicides. Moreover the introduced low risk methods will provide additional IPM tools against changing pest bionomy due to climate changes. The testing and introduction of low risk plant protection methods will provide sustainable, safe and high quality food production, improve the living standard of growers and have positive effects on Slovene economic growth. These methods will also contribute to reducing agricultural losses due to pests in a manner that presents the minimal risk to human and animal health and to the environment. Low risk methods of pest control and increase public awareness will enhance consumer confidence in the quality and safety of vegetables produced in Slovenia.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2018, final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2018, final report
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