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Scottish IPM Assessment Planning

27 May 2024

This article is produced as a part of the FAS Crops & Soils Bulletin. Subscribe now to receive the full report in your inbox monthly.

From 2025 IPM plans will be supported in Scotland as part of the conditions for the first Whole Farm Plan which requires farmers and crofters to complete two baselining activities from a list of options including carbon audits, biodiversity audits, soil analysis, the creation of animal health and welfare plans or integrated pest management plans. Agricultural support is changing - ( 

IPM plans are already an annual requirement of farmers operating under quality assurance schemes, such as Red Tractor and Scottish Quality Crops. This allows for the monitoring of changes in IPM practice, perceived pest threats and factors associated with good IPM practice which provides an indication of the effectiveness of R&D and Knowledge Exchange activities related to IPM. 

IPM practices are however numerous and varied, which makes them difficult to quantify. Measuring adoption of IPM practices turns something rather mysterious into something more tangible and is necessary for realistic objectives to be set. SRUC led a team of researchers spread across the UK and Ireland in co-developing a survey and metric to measure IPM practices with farmers and agronomists. This work has been well received by industry as the method for quantifying adoption and was which has contributed to its widespread success. Additionally, for those seeking more detailed IPM planning and guidance there is the freely available, advanced IPM planning tool developed by ADAS, SRUC and NFU. 

The Voluntary Initiative, National Farmers Union and Plant Health Centre have based their IPM Assessment Plans on this research and, since launch at the start of 2021, over 17,000 plans have been completed in the UK. IPM plans are now also available for arable crops, grassland, and horticultural crops at Scottish IPM Assessment Plan | Plant Health Centre.


Henry Creissen, University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) Orkney

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