Pest Management (IPM) and Plant Protection in Organic Agriculture (PPOA) should be science-based decision-making processes that identify and reduce risks from pests and pest management related strategies. They coordinate the consideration of pest biological factors, environmental conditions, and all available instruments to prevent unacceptable levels of pest damage, while concurrently combining economical means with the least possible risk to people, property, resources, and the environment.
We use the widely known term “biorationals“, as an operative expression to speak about certain kinds of components of plant protection strategies, which are assumed to have advantages concerning risk characteristics on the one hand while at the same time provide acceptable efficacy in reducing pest impact. Nevertheless it is not our intention to propose a new legal category! The products we want to speak about are often materials that are biologically-derived or, if synthetic, structurally similar and functionally identical to a biologically occurring material. Microorganism, plant extracts, basic substances, semiochemicals, as well as non-pesticidal products like biostimulants, biological yield enhancers, plant health promoters, and soil conditioners are a matter of discussion.
Such “biorationals” do not reveal sufficient efficacy against pests alone but are useful to be integrated in plant protection strategies. In addition, the risk-evaluation requirements under national and European regulatory frameworks of these diverse “biorationals” are very different from each other or there is even a lack of regulatory infrastructure to ensure that “biorationals” get a targeted risk assessment and approval procedure.
The symposium »Plant Protection and Plant Health in Europe« is organised jointly by the German Society for Plant Protection and Plant Health (DPG, www.phytomedizin.org), the Julius Kühn-Institut (JKI, www.julius-kuehn.de) and the Albrecht Daniel Thaer-Institut für Agrar- und Gartenbauwissenschaft (www.hu-berlin.de).