2024-9

Developing Integrated Pest Management in Nordic currant production

Coordinator: Olle Anderbrant, Lund University, olle.anderbrant(a)biol.lu.se

 

Black currant bushes in rows on a green field, seen in perspective. Many bushes lacking leaves.
Heavily damaged black currant field. Photo Olle Anderbrant

Currants (Ribes spp.) are commonly grown in the Nordic countries, although the area of commercial cultivation is relatively small (3 000 ha) and has in some regions decreased during the last decades. There are several reasons for the decline, one of which is the more restricted possibilities to use chemical biocides against insects and other pests and diseases due to EU regulations. Another is the competition from countries with less strict environmental regulations or lower costs in general. In some Nordic areas insects can destroy over 90% of the yield, making currant production a risky business with low profit and lack of sustainability.

Currants are rich in vitamins and antioxidants and receive a lot of attention from researchers and experts in the areas of health and nutrition. In fact, most scientific publications about currants are focusing on their physiological or medical effects. There are not many other crops with these values growing well at our northern latitudes and it would be unlucky to further reduce our possibilities for self-sufficiency by letting production decrease more and a waste of competence if more

White squared bottom in a small white plastic tent. Containing dead bugs.
Pheromone monitoring trap for the currant shoot borer. Photo Olle Anderbrant

growers have to abandon currant cropping. Thus, the outcome from the network will contribute to the continuation and development of berry production at high latitudes and strengthen the sustainability of the local bioeconomy.

The overarching goal of the network is to make a foundation for the work necessary to reach a sustainable currant production in northern Europe. This will be achieved
1 by summarizing the present and expected future pest problems and evaluate available management methods including ongoing trials with pheromone-based mating disruption
2 by establishing a strong, international consortium to enable acquisition of future research grants. Researchers, advisors and growers are involved.

 

The partners are:
Finland: LUKE
Norway: NIBIO, Norsk Landbruksrådgiving Viken  
Sweden: Lund University, SLU, Hushållningssällskapet