SMARTCROP, or "Innovative methods, techniques and instruments for integrated plant protection (IPV) that can increase sustainable food production", is a comprehensive 5-year research project that will contribute to the increased use of integrated plant protection in Norway.
Norway has introduced the EU directive on the sustainable use of pesticides. However, we lack both tools for IPV that growers can use in practice and instruments that lead to increased use and development of IPV. Through the project SMARTCROP we want, therefore, to meet these challenges.
The project has four scientific work packages:
- Development of new IPV tools for the farmer
- Effects of various IPV measures
- New models and decision support systems for IPV
- New instruments for the use of IPV (attitudes, economy, available IPV tools)
We will test and demonstrate "best IPV practice" and study effects on pests, their natural enemies, crops, economy and environmental risks under Norwegian conditions. New simulation models for interactions between pests and beneficial organisms will be developed and existing models for warning will be improved. We will establish experimental sites for practical research and demonstration. Detailed laboratory experiments will be conducted to study the interactions between important organisms in various cultures.
Many of the project participants and the project’s reference group represent stakeholders and key end-users. All will participate actively in the research process and thus give scientists useful feedback about the IPV tools and instruments to be developed in the project. Such active participation will be important both to develop robust IPV tools and to ensure that they are applied, in addition to good implementation and understanding of IPV in the entire value chain.
Norway has implemented EU´s Directive on sustainable use of pesticides (2009/128/EC) which promotes the use of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and alternative approaches or techniques (IPM tools) to minimize pesticide use. There is a lack, however, of proven and practical IPM tools for farmers to use, as well as a relevant policy for a successful implementation of IPM.