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Potato Cyst Nematode Management symposium a success

Posted 23 September

The 5th Symposium of Potato Cyst Nematode Management, held at Harper Adams University, has been hailed a complete success by event chair, Dr Matthew Back.

Speakers, experts and delegates from across the globe attended the two-day event that brings together experts and academics to share research findings relating to Potato Cyst Nematodes (PCN).

The programme covered a variety of topics including biology, modelling, distribution, novel control strategies, such as trap cropping and cultivar resistance. Discussions were lively and engaging and often continued through coffee breaks and mealtimes. There was also a session chaired by Leendert Molendijk, of Wageningen University, who led discussions on the natural decline of potato cyst nematodes in The Netherlands.

On the event as a whole, Leendert Molendijk said: “It’s great to come to an event like this where scientists, academics and people from the industry all attend to develop solutions that everyone can use.”

The UK agriculture industry was also well represented at every level with EcoSpray’s Technical Director Dr Murree Groom and lifelong Agriculturalist Martin Cessford both in attendance.

Murree Groom said: “The event has been really useful to connect with people in the industry and to be given the chance to showcase some of EcoSpray’s work on Potato Cyst Nematode control is fantastic.”

Martin Cessford agreed: “The consequences of PCN in Scotland is a growing concern because between that and Brexit we might not be able to export anywhere very soon. It’s interesting to meet so many people trying to tackle the same problem and the symposium has been very thought provoking.”

Potato cyst nematodes are microscopic worm-like pests that lie dormant inside mature cysts and then migrate into potato roots causing irreparable damage to the roots. PCN’s economic impact overall has been estimated to be more than £26 million annually to the UK potato industry.

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