The principal objective of the project is to develop a pest control
the European mushroom production industry, which is less reliant on chemical pesticide inputs. This
concept will not only improve competitiveness of the industry in relation to lowering production costs
but will increase consumer confidence in relation to chemical residues or insect pollution in the product.
Reduction of chemical pesticides will also improve health and safety conditions for employees associated
with the mushroom production industry throughout Europe.
The European mushroom
production industry comprising compost producers, casing manufacturers, growers and ancillaries affords
a labour requirement of 50,000 employees. Total annual mushroom production in the EU is ca 900,000 tonnes
with a farm gate value of ca 3000 Million Euros per annum. Insect pest control in commercial mushroom
production throughout Europe is an increasing problem and in addition to the ca 60 Million Euros expended
on pest control measures, yield losses due to pest attack account for a further ca 123 Million Euros.
Withdrawal of insecticides, crop intolerance and the development of pest resistance contributed to reliance
on single insecticide ingredients to control each of the major pest species.
proposed research will provide a sustainable, ecologically sound and commercially competitive pest control
strategy for the European mushroom production industry.