Development and uptake of a scheme for predicting risk of severe light leaf spot on oilseed rape
Fitt, Bruce D.L.
To reduce reliance on fungicides for disease control on oilseed rape, Decision Support Systems (DSS) are being developed to guide fungicide applications as part of an integrated pest and disease management strategy. This paper reports the development and uptake of an empirical model for prediction of risk of severe light leaf spot using disease survey and meteorological data to produce autumn regional and crop-specific prediction of epidemic risk for the following spring. Following initial delivery of the light leaf spot forecast via the farming press, an Internet-based interactive website was developed to provide crop-specific predictions. Uptake by growers, advisors and other members of the arable industry has been encouraging. There is evidence to suggest that growers and their advisors visit the website for an up-to-date prediction at the time when they are making fungicide application decisions.