Know what you need to know about plant health?
We can hazard a guess that ensuring the quality of the plants you produce ranks fairly highly on your list of priorities? But with quality comes managing plant health, and this is very much affected by whether they are infected with diseases or troubled with pests.
As a grower you need to be able to identify the pests and pathogens that might affect your crop. Then you need to understand how to treat the pests and pathogens to ensure that you get a good quality crop at the end of your cycle, and reduce the risk of lost crops which could potentially have been avoided with earlier identification of pests or diseases.
Did you know that Defra has established a plant health risk register? Today, this register has over 1,000 different pests and pathogens listed which are a potential threat to crops or the natural environment in the UK. Could you identify them?
If you are importing or exporting your produce then you will also need to get to grips with plant health legislation, which controls the import and movement of certain plants, seeds and organic matter such as soils, fruit, potatoes, vegetables, cut flowers, foliage and grains.
To add a little more complexity, controls differ according to the species but could include the need for classification, a phytosanitary certificate, a plant passport and/ or inspection requirements. It is important that as a grower you understand the legislations that apply to you and are aware of things like plant passporting and how you issue plant passports or phytosanitary certificates.
Just when you thought things couldn’t get more complex, there is the small matter of Brexit implications! If you are an importer or an exporter, your registrations for inspections for importing plants could well change, all depending on the outcome of the Brexit negotiations. Both tariffs and plant health legislation are likely to be affected by Brexit.
Clear as mud?
To help you take steps to understanding and identification of these pests and pathogens so that you can deal with them on your own holdings, we are hosting a series of workshops which will provide commercial growers of ornamental plants with information on plant pest and diseases.
It will include a description of pest and disease problems and explain how growers can make use of Plant Health Risk Register, established by the UK Government, in enhancing biosecurity and plant health in the nursery.
There will also be an opportunity to discuss other aspects of plant health associated with the import and export of plants with a representative from Welsh Government.
Workshops will be held on:
- Wednesday 13 November 2019 - The Brewhouse, Powis Castle & Garden, Welshpool, Powys, SY21 8RF
- Wednesday 20 November 2019 - Jill Walters Suite, Aberglasney, Llangathen, Carmarthenshire, SA32 8QH
- Tuesday 26 November 2019 - Llywelyn Suite, Seiont Manor, Llanrug, Caernarfon, LL55 2AQ
For more information see this video introduction from Dr David Skydmore, Senior Plant Health Professional.