There is a need to develop and promote more cost-effective and sustainable Integrated Pest Management (IPM) options which are based on a holistic view of agro-ecosystems. IPM is part of EU legislation promoting the sustainable use of plant protection products (SUD). The various IPM solutions being developed across Europe all differ depending on the crops, the available climate monitoring systems, the underlying knowledge of pest populations, on pedo-climatic conditions and on the agro-ecological environment. IPM decision support systems and models developed as part of national or regional research projects usually only deal with limited aspects of crop production and are validated in regional circumstances. As a consequence, it remains often unclear what the value of such a model/system may be in other parts of Europe and what the impact of climate change could be on the validity of the model. Sharing IPM decision supporting tools at EU level therefore has great potential for synergies. Furthermore, on-farm demonstration of novel IPM tools would boost peer-to-peer learning across Europe and help farmers with daily management practices, as well as enable the integration of these tools into precision agriculture.
Proposals shall address only one of the following sub-topics:
A.  Decision support systems (RIA)
Activities shall bring together the various individual IPM models and decision support systems into a platform to make them available for a wider range of geographic conditions. This user-friendly system shall be developed based on epidemiological parameters of existing decision support systems and made easily accessible to farmers and local advisers. Most processes (such as pest and disease development, crop growth, water balances, etc.) described in models/decision support systems, need detailed climate data and continuous improvement/updates. Therefore, proposals shall integrate the various local agro-meteorological networks across the EU to make it possible for all models/decision support systems offered on the platform to access and use these weather data. Activities should focus on pests and diseases for which IPM solutions are most urgently needed. The platform should enable country stakeholders such as research centres, producer organisations and advisors to select and adapt the relevant individual models/decision support systems to their specific country/region/crop context and make them available to the farmers concerned. Proposals must use an open-source approach and should fall under the concept of the 'multi-actor approach' including scientists, farmers, advisors and ICT specialists.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
B.  EU wide demonstration farm network (CSA)
Activities shall contribute to give farmers throughout the EU broader access to the existing knowledge on integrated pest management. They will also help them to incorporate IPM solutions in existing agricultural systems taking into account costs and benefits, by
- creating a European platform to share and further develop IPM decision support systems, covering the various bio-geographical areas;
- establishing partnerships between actors developing cost effective IPM decision support systems which are ready for practice;
- increasing awareness of the available IPM toolbox;
- increasing on-farm use of IPM techniques;
- supporting relevant plant health policies, in particular the implementation of the SUD.
In the long run, results will contribute to more sustainable agriculture by reducing exposure to pesticides of humans and animals, terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, drinking water and the food chain.
Dateline for submission: 11 September 2018 17:00:00 (Brussels time)
Source: The European Commission
Illustration Photo: Beth Hoinacki, owner of Goodfoot Farm located about 20 miles northwest of Corvallis, Ore., looks over her chickens and geese that are part of the biodynamic agricultural method she is adopting on her farm. As the young mixed fruit orchard comes into production, Beth hopes to maintain a no-spray management program for insect pests and diseases. Beth is experimenting in this area with establishing habitat for beneficial insects and integrating animals. (credits: NRCS Oregon / Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0))