The Turf and Amenity industry united to declare that an integrated pest management (IPM) is needed for Chafer and Leatherjacket control. This was the conclusion of the sell-out Emergency Chafer and Leatherjacket Summit that took place recently.
With many chemicals now removed from the turf and amenity sector, crucial practices such as monitoring and using a range of preventative measures within the IPM approach was encouraged. It was also recognised that the identification and understanding the life cycle of these pests is key to successful control.
With limited time to act upon, a cross section of industry stakeholders gathered at Burton Albion Football Club and agreed that a co-ordinated industry-led Chafer and Leatherjacket centred strategy from all areas of the supply chain is needed.
Speakers covered topics including pests and disease problem, natural solution including plant extracts and biocontrol, biostimulants, pest monitoring and case studies on Chafer and Leatherjackets.
Alternative controls such as biopesticides and entomopathogenic nematodes were discussed throughout the event and attendees were encouraged to consider options available based on plant susceptibility, growth stage, crop culture (indoor/outdoor) and to focus on the behaviour and life cycle of the Chafer and Leatherjacket in identifying suitable products, treatment times and application methods.
The event established the true extent of the problem faced by the turf and amenity sector and gave a more in-depth look at the pests and the current controls available. An important element of the day was hearing first hand from course managers who had successfully reduced their reliance on conventional chemical treatments. Phillip Chiverton, course manager at The Grove Golf Resort shared his experience where chafer grubs had caused >£70,000 worth of damage. Phillip said, "There was light at the end of the tunnel as how effective a biological approach has been which provided up to 80% control in year one".
Speaking in the emergency summit, Prof John Moverley, Amenity Forum said: "The demand for high quality pest-free turf is higher than ever and greenkeepers, race course managers and groundsmen's jobs are all the more strained because at present there is no 'silver bullet' control option due to the removal of conventional chemical pesticides".